East Tennessee Mountain Bird

The day before my “unplanned” hunt, I was at a customer’s Block Plant in Chattanooga.  My customer asked if I had my hunting gear with me.  “Yes sir!” I replied.  He said he would get someone to show me where their lease was so that I could hunt that afternoon and/or the next morning. 

The place was flooded with tracks.  So much it looked like a velociraptor pen. 

I finally started hearing a few gobbles before dark.  I had to step aside for a few minutes to record a “Strut Report” for the Southern Outdoorsmen podcast.  When I finished, the birds had gobbled a few more times before settling in for the night. 

I returned the next morning dark and early and got set up in a small clearing just above his headboard.  He woke up to a pink sky and resumed where he left off with the Spring Thunder. 

He pitched down in the leaves around 6:05 and started making his way up the hill towards my soft “good mornings” I had teased him with a few times. 

As he poked his head up to see what was in the clearing, his attitude changed completely.  He started spitting and drumming and strutted towards my jake decoy. 

He had only made a couple circles around the jake when I let the 12 gauge send him to the big roost in the sky.
 

When I walked up to him, I thanked him for his cooperation and for the best fifteen minutes of Spring 2018. 

About Josh Kaywood

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