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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