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Georgia Turkey Hunting Tales



Name: Dean Mundhenke
Location: Georgia - Crawford County
Time: April 4th, 2006 - 7:55 pm
Subspecies: Eastern
Weight: 20.5625 lb.
Beards: 8.9375"
Spurs 1.125" left, 1.1875" right
Distance: 12 yd.
Decoys: None
Calls Used: Billy Buice Trumpet; Leaf Scratching


The Saga of James Bond 003, Leaf Investigator Extraordinaire

Met up with this particular turkey on the second day of the 2006 spring season. When I first saw him 'bout 200 yards down the pipeline, I immediately thought of the same trick I'd pulled on ol' CottonTop. Yet, even with aggressive purrin' throw in, he was havin' none of my game. See he already had several hens about him and Bond being the type he was, the hen would have to come to him.

So be it then. This ever thinnin' hen the size of 225 lbs commenced to head his way. Pulled off a feat that has only worked once before by edgin' down the line 'bout 20 yards in to just before my destination.

Worked like a charm up to the point where I'd selected a tree to call from. As I was scraping the leaves away from its base, I see a red headed turkey enter the wood line across from me. Dang, ol' well, might as well give him a shot just the same. Couple more pushes of dry leaves and all I gotta do is sit down. No sooner than the second leave rackin' did I hear a strong gobble to my left. Ah ha, that wasn't the same bird I'd seen leave the gas line. Trouble was, I wasn't set. Had vines and the like above my gun and only a couple pines between me and Bond. He was closin' fast, puffin' in and out and just as he came around the last pine, there I was gun back like I was fixin' to bayonet somebody.

Sure as I'm a turkey huntin' fool, did that gobbler realize I wasn't right. Camo'ed to the hilt, complete with Mossy Oak glasses, I remained motionless as possible and thought I'd try callin' a bit. Maybe he'd gobble and I could make my move while he was stretchin' his neck. Mind you he is drillin' holes through me with his suspicions.

Soon as I yelped a bit, he said Uh Uhh and turned to leave outta there. I tried a fleeting shot at 10 or 15 yards but I might as well been throwin' stones. My pattern that close is the size of a fifty cent piece, if that big, and as a few of my dearest friends can attest, I ain't all that good with rifles, whether that be bullets or shotshells actin' like bullets. Sides, ain't many can hit a gobbler leavin' fast, head bouncing and the like, especially if he's aimin' for a neck shot. Might be one friend that goes by the handle ah Stumpy, but hellfire you can't count him, he can kill anything and never even pick up a gun.

Oh well, he'll live to see another day, which is how I gave him the name James Bond, plus he had that "Never Say Die" attitude.

I didn't have to wait very long for the next encounter as I guessed his roost area perfectly. Monday morning had me just across the creek from his gobblin' perch. I figured I was in good with this setup. The last turkey I'd sat up on, when this roost was used, pitched down and went straight across the creek to strut on the highest point of the line, exactly right smack dab behind me. All was going as planned as he landed 'bout 60 yards in front of me on the opposite side of the creek.

I offered a quiet yelp series and he blew up. Turned a bit, then folded and looked hard up my way. Then he acted like he wanted to blow up again, so I offered a bit of leaf scratchin'. WRONG MOVE! He immediately took a tall strong stance, peered my way again and did an abrupt about face and commenced to get the hellouttadodge. Leaf Investigator and he nailed me.

Bond 2, Redbeard 0. I half arse figured it would take at least 7 or more encounters with this bird and I envisioned a battle that could take more than one season. Love that kind, long as they stay alive for me and me only.

Ran into a different bird the next couple hunts, Ol' Moses. A tom with a wide gray beard that painted the clover green as he walked. He would prove to be an educated bird, as well. Even more so since I done and went and buzzed the top of his head with a cup full of Nitro pellets. Tain't got him at this time of the story, so he's another tale.

Truth be told, this tale should have a different shooter than ol' Redbeard. It being spring break, my boy Will is outta school and we'd planned a four day hunt. If he hadn't begged off on going for the love of paintballing, then he'd hung this bad arse turk from his wall. But he didn't and I returned to the club in time to roost a bird.

'Bout 6pm I see this gobbler 'zactly in the same area as when we first met. He's busy feeding on the clover and is accompanied by one hen. I mean to tell ya, this bird was hungry. Craw stuffin' for all he was worth. Solid hour, nothing but eatin'. I knew there was no way to get up on him, so I just watched to see which side of the woods he'd enter for a good nights rest.

Long comes 7pm when a barred owl announces to the world the woods are about to become his domain, only a little over an hour 'til dark. Mr. Bond wasn't about to comply and immediately let one of the sweetest gobbles ever to roll down those hollers. Then he commenced to show off.

For the most part of the next hour, James showed his stuff. Blowed up and pointed his tail to the feeding hen. Never bothered to gobble again, not even when I clucked loudly on a Billy Buice yelper, but what he did do, sent shivers down my spine. I suppose first he puffed up his chest big time and cocked his fan just right, then he just stood there and from my 'nocular view, not a feather stirred. The sounds to rumble down that pipeline were breath takin'. They entered the soul of every being in ear shot, mine included. My heart rumbled. My ears searched for the direction but found none. It was just air borne. The drum of a wild turkey, I'd heard it plenty but never have seen a wild turkey perform it. Lord, was I impressed. 'Twas a good day leavin' it at that, but the best or perhaps worse (for him certainly) was yet to come.

Dusk was rapidly approaching and the hen took the lead to their nighttime sanctuary. He followed and wanting to insure he stayed on that side and to determine how far into the woods he'd roost, I hot footed it down the side of the line he was last seen entering. I chose a huge pine right on the line and just scooted enough pine needles away for a butt shot. Sat right down and listened with my game ear; heard one fly up, one more to go.

Takin' him long enough, after hearin' a bit of walkin' in the dry leaves, that was for sure. 15 minutes and dark thirty would arrive. Two or three more steps and they are getting' closer and closer; then as if a ghost just appearing standin' maybe 12 yards out is James Bond 003.

What the tar' nation he was doin' is beyond me. Had he come up to see what just scratched out the leaves? Had he come up to fly up to the very pine I was sittin' against? Don't most pitch from a slope to a tree? Or was he just gonna give a peek out to the line to see if the hen that'd clucked earlier had gone to bed?

Beats me, what I do know is that keen eye of his noticed my big arse sittin' up agin that fat pine and he knew something wasn't quite right. I had not moved one muscle at that point but I was now. Inchin' up my 10 slowly as I could, he turned to step right behind a fallen pine limb covering all but his head. Remember I need more than a head; the miss on Ol' Moses was still fresh in my head.

I reckon Bond's investigative nature is what led to his demises for rather than leavin' with what he thought he knew, he arched his neck and head back away from that protective pine limb and met Mr. Nitro Ray head on. I mean to tell ya, unless I'm wrong and I actually shot the club and the club recoiled and knocked ol' James up side the head, this bird caught every last one of those pellets at a mere 12 yards.

Dead Bird Rodeo time once again and guess what... The ol' boy got the last word with a hook to the palm. Yeehi, rodeo time, twistin' and ah turnin', glove caught up in a sharp spur, he'd won. Onliest second turkey ever to get me. Bully for him. Though he died hard, he died fine. 007 turned out to be only double ought 3, as it was our third encounter. Fine bird with sharp hooked spurs at over an inch, thick almost 9 inch beard and weighed in at 20.09 lbs.





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