Jeremy Pollock & I decided to try our luck with a turkey we messed with a few days prior. He likes to roost halfway up a hardwood sidehill, off the edge of a bench near a small drainage. It's a place turkeys have traditionally roosted that I know well. We figured we'd come in from above him & listen from there at daybreak. Sure enough, he let out one of his telltale, half-hearted gobbles just after the songbirds started singing! So we snuck a little closer & set up at the head of that drainage about 100 yards from him. To make a long story short, we watched him pitch down & come our direction, along with a jake. But there were some hens roosted out the ridge below us & they pulled the gobblers away from us. By 7:20, we were out of there to try & find a more cooperative turkey. So we decided to jump in the car & drive to a nearby piece of public land that I checked out a few weeks ago. We pulled in at 8:30 & made our way back to a point overlooking a big hollow to do some calling. When we got back in there & began calling, a hen responded way off somewhere! We couldn't pinpoint her exactly, so we cut the distance & called again. But she wouldn't answer. So we just kind of sat there listening for a few minutes & took in the scenery. We never did hear her again, so we decided to swing around the point & make our way back to the car to hit another spot. About halfway back to the vehicle, Jeremy thought he heard a gobble! So we stopped & listened...sure enough, there was a bird hammering way off in the distance! We didn't know if he was across the hollow on the adjacent ridge or at the head of that hollow. So we kept heading towards him & he continued to gobble his head off! Once we were close to the head of the hollow, I could tell he was on the other ridge. But he was coming closer & still gobbling good on his own! I told Jeremy to get the car & I would move towards him to figure out where he was at. I made it to the road & started towards him as Jeremy turned the car around. The closer I got, I could tell he was coming towards the road! About that time, Jeremy came driving down the road & I motioned for him to pull off about 1/4 mile away from the gobbler. By now, it was 10 o'clock & this bird was just hammering! As we closed the distance, we weren't 100% sure which side of the road he was on, because he was so close to it. The problem was, the left side of the road was private ground! We would have to drop down into the woods on the right side of the road regardless. He continued to gobble his fool head off as we closed the distance. Once we found a suitable setup for the camera, we got ready. Jeremy ran out towards the road to call to him at 10:15 in hopes that he could steer him in front of the camera. He ate up the excited yelping that Jeremy did & sounded very interested! So Jeremy hurried back & got set up. Once he was ready, the bird got quiet...& so did we. Pretty soon another bird started gobbling behind us about 1/4 mile away on the ridge this one just came from! As a matter of fact, there were two birds gobbling out there. At 10:21, Jeremy said "There he is!" He was off to our left about 50 yards & we both would have to turn to get on him. As soon as he went behind a tree, we both got turned on him. He came from behind a tree, stopped at about 35 yards & looked around. Then I asked Jeremy if he could shoot. He said yes, so I yelped at him. He ran his head out to gobble & Jeremy dropped him! It was a flash hunt with one of those birds that you like to find every now & then.
Sunrise: 6:30 a.m.
Temperature: 51 degrees at daybreak (57 degrees at 10:30)
Barometer: 29.89 & rising
Location: southeast Ohio
# of gobbles heard: 200+