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I logged onto the SD GF&P website to be happy to see that there was still leftover tags in a prairie unit close to home. It didn’t take much for me to convince myself that I needed to hunt turkeys more!
I had scouted and found a lone tom with a small group of hens that were very hunt-able given the right conditions. I was on this hunt alone as I settled into the blind in the pitch black early morning hours. An hour later a gobble busted into the stillness followed by the many sounds that wake a day up. Birds were chirping, turkeys were gobbling and you could literally hear the grass and weeds growing! It was a beautiful morning to say the least! A short time after the first gobble I heard two other birds gobbling from a distant ridge. Things were shaping up nicely!
I heard the closer tom pitch down and I peeked out the side of the blind to see him above me on the ridge strutting and gobbling his head off about 100 yards away waiting for a couple of hens to come down so he could go about his business. I had positioned in front of me an Avian-X Jake and Lay Down Hen about 10 yards away. He saw the decoys instantly but didn’t want to come in without his hens. A hen flew down right over top of the blind and landed 80 yards out. Luckily I must have talked just right and noticed another tom come running down the hill about 150 yards away. This was likely one of the distant toms I heard gobbling in that direction earlier. This upset the first tom and he raced down to greet his opponent. Then wouldn’t you know, another tom came racing in to join them! I watched as the two biggest toms danced for the hen and picked on the smaller tom. A few convincing purrs and yelps and the smaller tom decided to leave the bigger toms and come in To check out my decoys and calls. When he was pecking at my jake one of the big toms decided he was going to investigate as well and ran into my setup 20 yards away and started gobbling his head off! It didn’t take long as an arrow zipped through that tom and he flew a short distance and died.
This fired up the other big tom and he ran as fast as he could in full strut to the dead tom and began to have his way with him. I was still in my blind about 85 yards away and quickly decided to stalk the aggressive tom that was ruining a good picture opportunity! I inched forward pressed to the ground weaving among the pine trees to get into position for a shot. I could see feathers being torn from my first bird as the live tom gobbled like crazy and pecked and spurred my first bird to oblivion.
I ranged the live bird that was standing on top of the dead bird at 24 yards. I got to my knees and readied for a shot as he saw me moving. He came out of full strut to run away but I guess he was taken by emotion and he jumped back on my bird and went into full strut again! Needless to say he went a short distance after another shot was taken with my bow!
I couldn’t believe it! A double on another perfect morning! Both were big birds with 9 3/4″ and 9 3/8″ beards one being a 2 1/2 year old and the other likely a 3 1/2 year old bird.
Ever try taking pictures with two turkeys by yourself? It can be quite a chore to say the least! After an hour and a half of snapping pictures I headed back towards home to be with my family as they wanted to sleep in on this day. They sure missed out!!!
Special thank you to Avian-X decoys as well! Their decoys definitely have helped me be more successful in the field!