I decided to hit a familiar spot in Ohio this morning. One that's been very good throughout the years. I talked to the landowner yesterday & he said he was seeing them in this bottom pasture regularly back in March & early April, but not as much lately. There's only one way to find out what's going on there, so Jeremy & I figured we'd give it a shot. It was very foggy as we made the trek down into the bottom pasture. Just before dropping down in there, we heard a bird gobble in a wooded draw to the east! So we hurried over that way to get a bead on it. When we got over there, we heard more birds gobbling down in the bottom on the far side of that pasture!...& they started hammering! So we hoofed it down over the steep sidehill & got our decoys set up in the pasture. If not for the fog, we would have never been able to get them out there! It was breaking daylight fast. We got ready as the gobbling increased. There were at least two gobblers across the bottom pasture & we were within 150 yards of both of them. Out of nowhere, a lone hen showed up in the pasture to our right. Then another hen began doing some soft tree talk on the sidehill right in between the two gobblers! She started with some single note yelps & slowly built up to some beautiful, raspy tree yelps! The two gobblers ate it up! Jeremy jumped in with some soft yelps & went back & forth with the older sounding hen. The gobbling picked up even more as the hen started to put a little more excitement into her yelping. Another hen started yelping in the bottom to the west. The fog was still pretty thick as the sun began coming up. The hen in front of us was just pecking around within twenty yards of us. Then another hen pitched into the pasture & landed within fifteen yards! Two more birds pitched down...those two were jakes. The talkative hen on the sidehill was still yelping & the gobblers were just hammering! The hen to the west began to really fire up & another gobbler was back there with her as well. At this point, we had two jakes & two hens in the pasture. The hen that was doing all the yelping came down & landed in the pasture about seventy yards to the east. Jeremy continued to do some soft yelping & the gobblers kept hitting his calls! The hen that was way off through the bottom to our west really fired up! She began mixing in some cutts with her yelping! One of the jakes in front of us started strutting. The fog began to lift as the sun lifted in the sky. The hen to our left started cutting as well! I jumped in with some excited yelps & cutts. The gobblers were just about gobbling non-stop! It was turning out to be an orchestra of turkey talk! Both jakes were now strutting as the two hens continued to peck around. The hen that was doing all the talking to our east closed the distance as I conversed back & forth with her. A longbeard dropped in to the pasture to our east! He saw our Avian X quarter strut decoy standing behind a squatted hen decoy & started doing some aggressive whines & purrs! Then he just started running in! When he reached the jake decoy, he began circling it as he whined & purred. He flogged the decoy a few times & put on a show for us. Then the two jakes wanted in on the action & started running in. Jeremy waited until the jakes were clear & pulled the trigger at 6:44. The longbeard dropped in his tracks & I told Jeremy to sit still. The two jakes didn't know what to think. The hens though, didn't want to stick around as they putted & left the field. Those two jakes hung around for a while, but eventually walked off. Jeremy retrieved his first longbeard of the spring & we celebrated a successful morning in the great state of Ohio! He turned out to be a 19 lb. two year old with some wing barring in his middle tail feathers.
Sunrise: 6:29 a.m
Temperature: 50 degrees (clear & foggy)
Barometer: 29.97 & steady
Location: southeasst Ohio
# of gobbles heard: 300+