Jed Paronish - Pennsylvania

 

Good friend/competitive turkey caller, Jed Paronish & I hooked up to do some late-season turkey hunting on a farm he hasn't hunted all season.  With the threat of scattered thunderstorms in the forecast throughout the morning, we hoped the rain would hold off.  It was very warm & humid, but we were excited to hunt together for the first time this season.  We started off at the edge of a hay field on a high spot to listen at daybreak.  The clouds began to break up & the eastern sky started to turn orange.  But we still hadn't heard anything.  Some distant crows cawed...still nothing.  So Jed crow called a few times & still not a gobble.  We walked along the woodline towards a shallow hollow where birds like to roost.  Jed reached in his vest & pulled out a pot call.  He then began to cluck or putt like a hen turkey still on the limb.  He did this for maybe 30 seconds then started getting more excited as he went.  Wouldn't you know a bird gobbled just below us!  We hurried down the hill on a tractor road & got set up in the corner of another small hay field.  Jed put a lone, hen decoy right on that tractor road as I readied my camera gear.  This turkey was roosted in a small, hardwood hollow maybe 100 yards from where we were set up.  He was on our level, but the woodline we were set up along was kind of thick with brush & we were both worried that he might come out above & behind us.  Once we were ready, Jed gave him a few soft clucks & a plain yelp...gobble!  A few minutes later, Jed gave him a few more clucks & some plain yelps...gobble!  This time, we could tell he was on the ground.  Jed called just enough to keep tabs on him & he kept closing the distance.  He didn't gobble a whole lot, which is typical of most late-season gobblers.  But pretty soon, we heard a twig snap just inside the woods to our right!  Jed called one more time & he hammered right on top of us!  It wasn't long & Jed saw him pop out of the woods maybe 25 yards below us.  He spotted the decoy & SLOWLY strutted his way right up to it!  He put on a breathtaking show as he tried to impress our hen decoy.  But Jed ended the show with a report from his 12 gauge at 6:05 a.m.!  As Jed got up & ran out to put his foot on that turkey's neck, another bird putted & flew across the hollow.  I'm not so sure we didn't get between that gobbler & his hen.  Whatever the case, it was a hunt that was just meant to be!

 

Sunrise:  5:53 a.m.

 

Temperature:  66 degrees

 

Wind:  2 mph

 

Barometer:  30.04 & rising

 

Location:  southwest Pennsylvania

 

# of gobbles heard:  8

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