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The Beginning of an Addiction

By Michael Lee, Quaker Boy Pro Staff

The weather was cool and clear in Stewart County, Georgia that April morning. The sun's first beams were about to begin lighting up the woods, but all was still quiet. The creek wasn't that high for a spring morning and the leaves were dry from lack of rain. As my uncle and I crossed, we decided to stop and yelp a few times with his Quaker Boy Boat Paddle box call. We had no longer let the echo of the first yelp get out of the oaks in the bottom when we heard him cut loose. Gobble, Gobble, he hammered hard.

It was my first time officially turkey hunting. I had tried to arrow a couple during the fall season in Alabama a few years back, but was unsuccessful. I was after deer then anyway, and didn't think too much about hunting a long beard. My uncle, David Dollar, had told me how much fun chasing a weary Tom was, but I had never imagined the intensity until this morning.

As the Tom gobbled, it all came together at that moment; I knew what turkey hunting was all about. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and pure adrenaline and excitement set in. We crept up the creek bottom trying to close the gap. The bird was still on the roost as best we could tell. The gap had been closed to around 100 yards; there we knew we had to setup soon. Placing a lone hen decoy out, I backed up against a large Oak that offered good cover. My uncle slipped back away about 30 yards hoping to draw the gobbler in if he hung up out of range.

Several minutes passed and we stopped calling, figuring that the gobbler knew our location if he was interested. Then I heard the flapping of wings as he made his way off of his roost. I heard him hit the ground, and then I heard the sound I have grown to love and hate. She sounded much sweeter than us, yelp, yelp, and yelp. He had already found his girlfriend for the morning. All we could do is look and listen as she towed him up the creek bottom away from us.

For a moment, you are steady, calm, excited, and just in awe of the opportunity that you know for sure is about to be presented in front of you. Then, like a small child having his prize taken away, you sit scratching your head as to what had just happened. Was it something we did wrong? Should we have gotten closer? Did we call too much? Did we not call enough? Nope. We just got a front seat lesson on a gobbler being "henned up".

I thought that morning was one of the greatest times I had ever experienced in the outdoors. The rush was like that of seeing my first buck, hitting my first homerun, catching my first bass, or seeing my first covey rise. From that day on, not a Spring morning goes by without me waking up and listening, listening for that long gobble as the woods wake up and those gobblers start their mornings with thunder.

For more information about Quaker Boy's outstanding line of quality game calls, visit http://www.quakerboygamecalls.com/


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