Matt Kapinus - Ohio

After a bird we roosted gave us the slip early this morning, cousin Matt & I jumped in the truck, headed to another spot on some state land & decided to take a long walk. It was almost 8:30 when we started out the ridge to do some cutt'n & runn'n. We covered the entire ridgetop with no hits, then crossed a small hollow & up onto another ridge. The wind began to pick up a little after 9 o'clock. We were walking a gas line right-of-way, just below the ridgeline, when a gobbler hit my excited hen yelps! The sound of his gobble was muffled. So I assumed he was up & over the top (on the opposite face). We took off running to the ridgetop to get the high ground! There was an old logging road that ran the length of the ridge & it would be a great place to set up. But I wanted to find out exactly where he was before we set up. So I crowed to him & he hit right away! He was only seventy or eighty yards below us & just in front of us. So we backed up on that logging road & got set up at a little after 10 o'clock with the sun at our backs. He jumped all over my excited yelps three or four times & it wasn't three minutes before he popped out on that road, maybe 55 yards in front of us! He blowed up as soon as he stepped out in the road, then turned & started walking right to us! The sun was glimmering off every one of his feathers as he steadily closed the distance. I had one heck of a time seeing the LCD screen on my video camera because of the glare. But it was as pretty of a sight as you can imagine! At 30 yards or so, he threw his head up & was just looking for the hen he heard when Matt sent a swarm of killer bees at his noggin, blowing him off his feet! It was a prime example of just how fast things can happen. What a way to kick off the season in Ohio!

Sunrise: 6:33 a.m

Temperature: 51 degrees (partly cloudy) 61 degrees at 10 am

Wind: 5 mph early (12 mph at 10 am)

Barometer: 30.23 & rising

Location: east-central Ohio

# of gobbles heard: 40

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