Gobblin’ In Dixie
By Bert Moore
Once again, spring has sprung in the South and turkey season is open in Alabama. I have the privilege to hunt the famed Tombigbee River bottoms in southwest Alabama. This area is rich in whitetails, turkey, wild hogs and basically all game native to the South. I started my hunt well before daylight in an area that hasn't been turkey hunted for a couple years. I stood on the edge of a whitetail food plot (Tecomate Monster Mix) and decided to just listen for a gobble. At 6:30 a.m. all of nature was starting to come alive. Cardinals were chirping, owls were softly hooting, and geese were flying up the river. This morning the honking of the geese set the gobblers to gobbling. I could hear four different gobblers sounding off to the geese approximately 200 yards off the back end of the Monster Mix field. I quickly moved to the back of the field following the gobbles still on the roost. Once I hit the hardwoods surrounding the field, I began to carefully ease through the woods so not to spook the gobblers. It was still very dark but the woods were starting to illumine with day breaking.
After quietly moving towards the gobbles, approximately 100 yards, I decided to set up under an old live oak tree. The gobblers were gobbling to owls now. I pulled out my old favorite Cody slate call and quietly yelped a few times…nothing. More owl hoots, more gobbles. So then I hit a couple strokes on my 1966 Lynch Fool Proof (this was my grandfather's favorite turkey call…it has fooled probably 100 longbeards in its career).
My grandfather passed away in 1986 and this call is my favorite inheritance. Anyway, with a couple strokes, all four turkeys started cutting me off with their gobbles. This was awesome! Within a couple minutes, I heard two gobblers fly off the roost but I couldn't see them. A few strokes on the Lynch and I instantly knew they were close and coming quickly. Through a tangle of Spanish moss and hardwood vines, I could make out a gobbler in full strut and the subordinate next to him. The subordinate attempted to strut but the dominant bird quickly put him down. Here they came. When they got to 40 yards, I could hear a hen yelping to my right and knew that I needed to act fast. The situation worked out perfectly, the old tom came out of strut and was peering through the tangles to find me when the younger one let out a putt. BOOM from my Mossberg 935 and the old tom was down.
Prayers of jubilation were said as I stood over the old tom. I believe that the Eastern wild turkey is the hardest game to hunt in the South and when you are fortunate to harvest one, the good Lord is smiling down on you very favorably. We are so blessed to be able to experience God's wonderful creation and we should always offer thanks to him and never take anything for granted. This old tom weighed 22 pounds, 10" beard, and 1 1/16" spurs. When cleaning this bird back at camp, I noticed lots of green "grass" in his craw. Upon further examination, I could tell that he had been taking full advantage of the Monster Mix field a couple hundred yards away from his roost. So, Monster Mix is not only good for deer, but the turkeys like it too. What a trophy for opening weekend.
Posted by Tecomate Wildlife Systems