We were standing under a pine tree behind the jeep as it was breaking
daylight, trying to decide what to do, when out on the ridge in which we
were standing on, a gobbler gobbled. He looked at me and said lets go.
Since it was raining we were able to move quickly and make the set-up. We
set down side by side by an oak tree and my friend started telling me what
calls to make, they sounded terrible but the bird was responding. After
about fifteen minutes or so the gobbler appeared in front of us, coming up
the ridge straight at us. He stopped about fifty yards out, which was too
far for my 16 ga. shotgun. My friend whispered to me to make a soft yelp or
two, that wasn’t going to happen for me because I was shaking so bad from
excitement the call sounded more like a goose rather than a turkey. Here
he came slowly making his way closer, he finally made it to 30 yards and I
couldn’t take it any more so I shot and missed him, the bird took to the air
and I shot the second time and he fell to the ground. I laid my shotgun
down, and ran over to the gobbler, he was still moving and I jumped on top
of him, and with the bird being wet I pulled most of the feathers off of his
breast. My buddy came over and pulled me off the bird and said
that I had shot a Jake. My reply was it’s a gobbler and I don’t care if it’s a
Jake or not. He had a 4 ½ in. beard. After bagging my gobbler on that hunt,
I practiced to become a better caller with adding some friction calls to my
hunting vest. I continued to practice to the point that my friends started
telling me that I should enter the Franklin county turkey calling contest.
Turkey hunting started for me on a rainy spring morning on the last day of
PA spring gobbler season in 1978, with a local friend that I grew up with. He
ask me to go turkey hunting with him on the last day of season, and I only
new how to make a few calls with a mouth call and I had no idea what they
meant to the turkey. My buddy told me if we here one I will leave you know
what call to make and when to do it. We set out early that morning to a
place that my buddy had hunted a few times earlier that spring, and it was
pouring down a steady rain when we got to the area that we were going to
hunt. We were in his old Jeep CJ5 convertible, and we set there trying to
come up with a game plan since the rain had shown no signs of letting up.