By: Gary Lewis
In the early season, more often than not, the hen spots us and sounds the alarm. That’s not as likely to happen in the last few days of the season.
We hadn’t heard a gobble since daylight. And it was going to be hot today. We’d try one more spot. And then this season would be over.
A few minutes before 8 a.m., Jim spotted a flock of six toms, 800 yards away on the neighbor’s property.
They were little more than brown dots on a green landscape.
I made a series of quiet hen sounds while Jim watched.
“They’re listening,” he whispered.
One tom stretched out his neck and gobbled.
Then the turkeys started to move.
Then we heard a hen.
It was on the ridge at the same level as the gobblers, and, we guessed, about 100 yards from the property line. If they ran into her, they’d probably hang up. But it was worth a try.
We jumped in the truck and motored a half-mile up the hill. Jim hid the truck and I walked down through the trees to set up a decoy and lean my back against a tree.
A little hen talk prompted the hen to start clucking again.
Way out in the distance a turkey answered. There had been six gobblers. There was one hen between us. This could work, I told myself.
On the box, I mimicked the sounds the hen had made.
Soon the hen was quiet. No gobblers gobbled.
Rather than raise the volume, I called quietly, as quiet as possible. Turkey whispers.
Some 15 minutes passed with no gobbles, and then five shiny toms came into view.
The grass was too tall to see beard length. As soon as the first bright red head cleared a fallen tree, I put the bead on it and squeezed the trigger.
It was 9:10 a.m. With that lonely hen’s help, I’d hen-whispered for about an hour.
At first it seemed like the hen was my competitor for the toms’ attentions, but because there were more males than females, her seductive charms helped lure the toms into my trap.