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Apalahicola Forest Gobbler Down!!

Well it started last night... I decided to go for a run. And instead of running on the normal walking trail down the side of the hwy I figured I would multi-task and run down a few forest roads close to the house/look for gobbler tracks. I found 2 tracks that were fresh and it was late in the afternoon so I knew they would be roosted not far.

Got up early this morning to be sure I would be the first one to where the birds crossed. But my stupid dog managed to mess that idea up. He popped the latch on his pen and got into the trash. So once I got all that cleaned up and gave him a little piece of my mind and fist... I was on my way. And of course 2 different trucks were parked not far from where I found the tracks. I went one block over to a track that I thought was a 'maybe'

Normal gobbling time rolls around... nada. They have been burning around where I was hunting and it was extra thick with smog this morning. Finally at 7:40 a bird bust off and gobbles 3 times on the roost. Then shuts up. Too far for me to want to try so I sit tight and wait for something else. A short time later what I believe was the same bird flew down towards me and gobbled his head off for a solid 2 minutes or so. I make up my mind to start heading that way and set out. Short time later... he **** up and never said another word. I'm guessing some hens got with him. I wait another 30 min and decide to try to get lucky somewhere else.

Got back to the truck and drove to a place I heard some birds before the season... yelped there a few times and got nothing. I had a place that I hadn't got to listen at yet this year but had a gut feeling there would be a bird there. So I head that way. I walk about 200 yds down a dirt bike trail then stop and call. Nothing. Start heading to some oaks I wanted to sit down in and I hear him bust off about 250 yds in front of me. I take off and hang a right at an upcoming intersection. As soon as I got set up he gobbled again. But that sucker had went through the intersection towards where I orignally yelped a few times. I swung around the tree and dashed to a pine tree about 30 yds behind me. I sit down call some more... about 30 seconds later he gobbles. I answer him... and a minute later he gobbles again much closer. I decide to shut up and let him come on in. Finally he comes out of some thick stuff about 40 yds out to my right. Luckily he begins to parrallel me and come in a little closer. At about 35 yds he goes behind a big pine. I swung that way and when he popped out the other side I clucked and that was all she wrote. 9 inch beard and 3/4 inch spurs. Not a monster but I'll take him any day from the forest!


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