I arrived before dawn in full gear- turkey vest, box call on my hip, camo cushion to sit on, binoculars, fanny pack with book to read, snacks, bug spray, flash light, water and rubber shock gobbler. A mesh bag slung over my shoulder contained three decoys- a bearded gobbler and two hens. I wore full camo, head net, mesh gloves and snake boots. Slung over the other shoulder a Super Black Eagle, 12 gage loaded with duplex 2’s and 4’s. I was dropped me off on the southern tip of a large bay head situated on the west side of a very long and wide pasture that ran to the north and south. At the very tip of the point was an oak tree and it was under this tree that I set up, facing north.
The day before we made a scouting run. As we drove up the middle of the pasture we glassed the woods on either side and at the north tip of this bay head I spotted two large gobblers in full regalia, strutting their stuff. The patch of woods that bordered the bay head contained a dense grove of cypress and it looked like there might be water on the ground beneath making the perfect roosting place.
I settled in, pulling out and locating my gear close at hand in the dark. I try to get all of my housekeeping done as soon and as quickly as possible so that by daybreak I am as stealthy as I can be with all of my attention focused on what is going on around me. One thing I did right early on and that I highly recommend is buying the most expensive pair of binoculars as you can afford. We need them in everything we do in the woods, next to our gun or bow it is our most important piece of gear. When I am set up I have my binos at my chest hanging from a halter, my box call is on the ground by my left leg, my shotgun is across my lap, my fanny pack or back pack is open and on the ground next to my right leg where I can easily reach in and get my book, bug spray or call.
Thinking back I figured that two gobblers competing for the same hens would add a little distraction and make it easier to make a kill, but I was wrong- all it did was add two more eyes to those telescopic viewfinders on the top of their heads. Both birds appeared as they had done the day before, walking out of the woods near where the cypress were, expecting that they had flown down just at daylight back in the trees out of sight. They were making their way out towards the long point stopping to pick at the grass and gobble intermittently. I did not hear any other gobblers answer back.