The meeting place was a remote logging road intersection. And as I arrived, I could see that he was already there. The dim outline of his pickup visible in the moonlight.
I had driven slowly, one hand holding a cup of coffee. Peering through the defroster holes in the windowshield of the pickup truck. Dressed for the cold, I had adjusted the cab heat down a couple of times already. And I had lowered the door glass a bit to help dissapate the interior moisture and to keep from getting too hot.
While driving to the rendezvous I had gone over the checklist.
3 1/2 inch magnum shells, cammo vest with all kinds of calls and equipment in it, tk+2 choke in the single shot shotgun, cammo foam pad to sit on attached to the vest, cammo hat, cammo face veil, cammo pants, cammo shirt. I was hopeing I hadn’t forgotten anything.
While talking about this particular old Turkey Gobbler over the days preceeding this hunt, I had developed a sence of awe.
He had baffeled, on several occasions, a couple of the best turkey hunters I have known. As part of the planning of this hunt we had discussed the various ways that this crafty old bird had defeated my friends.
Impressive, quite impressive.
During the course of our conversations I began to realize that this epic battle of woodscraft skills between my friends and this wary old bird, had consumed hours of thought and planning.
Was this to be the day of reckoning for the old gobbler ?
It was still way before first light, so I took my thermos and cup as I climbed into my buddy’s truck.
Sitting in the dark, quietly sipping on coffee that was just a bit too hot, we finalised our plan.
We would take the quietest truck and ease into the area near where the old gobbler was last known to roost. Then, call, to make sure that he was there. If not, then we would go on, casting about for another gobbler to hunt.
Slipping quietly down the gravel road we came to a stop in a place where we could hear well. Then we sat quietly for several minutes. Wondering, would he still be there ?
After what seemed an eternity, my buddy gently rolled his window down.
Pursing his lips and cupping his hands, he shattered the pre dawn chill with the call of a barred owl.
Immediately there was a loud thundering gobble in territorial response !
The old gobbler was still there !
Quickly deciding how much time we had before he might fly down off of the roost and how near we should get before setting up, we slipped silently into the woods.
The hunt had began.