Phillip Bryant - West Virginia

After doing a little scouting on some public land a couple weeks ago, my good friend, Phillip Bryant & I decided to give it a try. We made the long walk back into the wma & as soon as we got on top, we heard a few birds gobbling! They were on another ridge across the hollow from us. But they were FIRED UP! Before we made our way over to them, Phillip owl hooted to see if we could get a response on the ridge we were on. When he did, we heard another group of birds respond on our ridge! So we slid in a little closer & got set up with decoys on an old logging road. The closest birds were less than 100 yards underneath us. Both groups of birds gobbled really good (especially the ones on the far ridge). We started calling to them & pretty soon the distant birds gobbled just to our left! Phillip said "They're to my left Chad! Coming down the road!" There were six longbeards together & I thought for sure they were going to come right in & gang up on our jake decoy. But they made a beeline for the other group of birds down over the hill from us & a fight ensued! Fighting purrs & wingbeats filled the crisp morning air. Then it got quiet for a bit. Every time we called to them after that, they seemed to put distance between us. So we decided to make a move. As we were discussing our options, they gobbled again on their own. But they were behind & above us. So we took off running the opposite direction & flipped around to face them. It's a good thing we acted quick because it wasn't long after we sat down, they showed up on top of the ridge (just above where we originally set up). It was the same six gobblers! Neither one of us had a call out, so I began doing some under the breath yelping with my natural voice & they just stood & stared for what seemed like forever. Finally, they broke & started coming down the hill towards us. In all the shuffle, Phillip only had enough time to put the jake decoy out. But they definitely saw it & slowly made their way to it. Before we knew it, they were in our laps & bunched up around the decoy! One of the gobblers flogged the intruder jake & it startled a few of the others. Three or four of them jumped in the air & they all sort of scattered a little. Phillip picked one out & pulled the trigger. What happened next is something I've never witnessed in all my 31 years of chasing spring turkeys! But I'll let the footage speak for itself. All I'll say here is it all worked out & Phillip was fortunate to tag his first video bird! It was an unforgettable morning in the turkey woods. One I'm sure Phillip & I will never forget!

Sunrise: 6:39 a.m

Temperature: 26 degrees (partly cloudy)

Wind: calm

Barometer: 29.89 & rising

Location: northern WV

# of gobbles heard: 100

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