Matt Kapinus - Ohio

 

Cousin Matt & I started on a familiar ridge this morning, hoping to hear some gobbling on some nearby ridges.  But to our surprise, we only heard one or two birds on far ridges.  So we decided to walk back to the truck & drive around to get closer.  When we got to the truck, we heard another bird within 100 yards!  He was gobbling good.  But he was in a bad spot.  There was nowhere to set up for the camera.  So we let him walk past us, continuing to gobble as he went.  He walked right down the road past the truck & up onto the ridge we started on!  Once he got on top, we were able to cut the distance & get underneath him.  Meanwhile, he continued to move over the top & onto the backside of the ridge.  Once he was on the far side, we took off running to get to the top.  Once we got on top, he sort of got quiet for a while.  So I did some light hen talk & got no response!  I continued to call for a minute or so & still got no response.  We eased up a little more & he cut me off when I yelped to him!  So we ran back & picked a good place to set up on an old logging trail.  As Matt put the decoys out, he gobbled a few more times on his own.  We didn't sit there two minutes & I heard Matt say "There he is!  He's in the road!" Turns out, there were two of them (both longbeards).  I could see two full fans coming up onto the top of the ridge directly where I stood calling just a few minutes ago!  They continued to strut in circles as they looked at our decoys.  It was a beautiful sight, their brilliant red heads against the bright green grass poking up through the leaves on the old logging road.  At one point, I thought there might be a hen behind them because they would turn away strutting.  But they ended up being alone.  At the 45 yard mark, they locked up & wouldn't come any closer!  Matt wanted them to get just a few yards closer before he attempted a shot.  This went on for a good while.  Finally, I decided to fire them up a little & see if they would cut the distance.  I threw out a short excited yelp & they both ran their necks out!  But they continued to strut in circles in one spot.  At one point, I thought they might just walk off.  So I did some more excited yelping & got them to come just a little closer.  Matt said "Get his head up.  The one on the left."  I cutt & yelped, they both ran their heads out & Matt dropped his second Ohio longbeard of the 2018 season @ 7:45!  What a hunt!!  Some beautiful video too!

 

Sunrise:  6:19 a.m

 

Temperature:  69 degrees (mostly cloudy skies) 

 

Wind:  8 mph

 

Barometer:  29.93 & falling

 

Location:  east-central Ohio

 

# of gobbles heard:  75

 

 

 

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