Saga of James Bond 003, Leaf Investigator
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
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
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
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
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.