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The Un-Killable Turkey

The Un-killable Turkey

I tossed and turned for the fourth night in a row. It seemed that anything I tried would not get this gobbler to cooperate and I was beginning to believe that there are indeed turkey’s that are actually un-killable. They are the ones that have kept me up way too many nights. It seems as if these birds have extremely high I.Q. and seem to know we are there and what games we are playing.

The worst of the un-killable turkeys are those that know you are there and seem to have a ballistic chart in their brain and strut, parade and gobble like no tomorrow ten yards beyond where you feel comfortable shooting. They are taunting you and making our life as miserable as possible. It is indeed these birds that have caused normally sane men and women to throw in the towel and go crappie fishing during the peak of April because they have become convinced that no one can intentionally kill the eastern wild turkey. The few that are killed are the stupid, and the irreverent. Those that need to be purged from the gene pool. But the truly wise old birds will spot you from one hundred yards buried in a ghillie suit, or recognize your calling and know somehow that you are not one of his girls.

These are the birds that have haunted me for several years. Sure like everyone else, I can fill a tag or two on the two year old birds and have a great hunt. Extreme gobbling, strutting and parading to within five yards. While I really enjoy killing these birds, and the excitement that comes with it. It is the three and four year old birds that keep me up at night. The birds that are there, but never make a sound. They do not gobble on the roost, or on the ground. They seek the hens and find them by roosting with them and never leaving their sight. There is no need to go looking for hens, he is roosting with them, spending his days servicing his harem and then rustles them to bed early.

These birds can actually be un-killable. They have spent the past three years with the flock. They know the voices of all the hens they recognize their calls like we hear the sound of our wives in a room of friends and family. When she calls across the room, our ears perk up and we know she has spoken. Ole Tom who has been raised with all the hens, has come to know them intimately. He has under many cases already bred them in years past and probably this year and he knows all of the ins and outs of the ladies and the land they call home.

A case in point is occurring this season – again. I have pictures of the gobbler, I see the scratching, the tracks in the road. I have even seen hens. But not once in thirteen consecutive days has he uttered a sound. He has not gobbled – at all. I managed a glimpse at eighty yards. It was fleeting, barely lasting two seconds, but enough to confirm what I suspected. This was him, it was the bird that has haunted me for now the second year. Game camera pictures confirm he is a very old bird. Tracks, scat and feathers confirm his preferred roosting locations. Yet when I slip in the woods, hours before dawn, I hide and sit quietly hoping for an ambush, still he eludes me. When I call softly, he ignores me. When I call the hens to within ten yards he never shows. I have never believed that there was a turkey that was un-killable, but I am beginning to wonder. Yet, I must say, that no other turkey will get my attention for the season.

No other bird will keep me up at night, or evade my dreams. I have him on my mind almost constantly. Pondering the ins and outs of his movements, his activities and his motives. Will he become more vocal when the hens start setting on their nests? Will he be easier to kill in the middle of the day? Is he hiding in plain sight and I am making some mistakes that I am not aware of? I have no idea at this juncture but one thing is for sure, I will deploy any and all tactics that I can dream of, read about, and ask those far better than I about how to kill this bird and I will spend the rest of the season chasing the one bird that to this point has been un-killable.