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Played hooky from work today seein how it was the first day in NY.

My buddy Hoppy needed a ride this morning as his truck was in the shop.

picked him up at 4:30 and headed over to the same first day spot as last year. decided to set at the same tree as I killed my first day bird last year.

5:15 brought the first distant gobble up past the bean field, 5:25 ole wattery gobble let loose 150 yards to my left.

under cover of the leaves that have popped out I moved to the left about 25 yards and left Hoppy with the burrville bomber.

The woods came alive with gobbles and we had 9 birds hammering within 2-300 yards of us. ole wattery hit the ground at 5:45! he moved north towards the closest long beard from us to the north, the whole time I set there I thought about past hunts here and hearing his distinctive gobbles for the past 4 years, would today be the day?

I moved over 1 tree as it would provide more cover for me even though it was covered with poison ivy and I get poison ivy BAD! but I knew if the birds came the direction I thought they would come in sure as heck I would get busted setting there.

6:10 ole wattery RIPS a gobble right out front of me less than 80 yards! I could hear something in the leaves behind a big maple that was just in front of me and all of a sudden a hen steps out from behind the tree at 5 yards! she knew something was there but couldnt make me move......come on hoppy call again!

he called and wattery cuts him off! the hen moves by me and I can see 2 white heads coming up the logging road, they get up on a dirt mound and I see the first one has ~3/4" spurs but the second one (wattery) has some nice heavy spurs but a smaller beard, it doesn't matter to me what the beard is when I see the spurs

they walk up to 30 yards and now the hen is soft putting at hoppy they seperate I set the crosshairs on wattery and think about the last 4 years, I ease the safety off and slowly put pressure on the trigger until the shot echoed thorough the hollow and it was over.

Some time over the last year he had broken both spurs off but had them just about repointed they were not needle sharp but man they are THICK at the bases.

23 lbs even on the LOC fishing derby scale

1 3/8" & 1 7/16" spurs

9" beard.

Hpim0277.jpg

Hpim0278.jpg

filled out my tag, did a few pictures, stashed the gun and bird along with the sweatshirts as the temps were rising and so any yotes didnt get ideas and we went trolling.

walked the whole 300 acres and not another bird would answer us! got back to the truck and headed to another spot, got outa the truck geared up again and we didn't walk 60 yards when a bird gobbled on his own up on the hardwood flat! we hustled through the cedars on the logging roads and I gt Hoppy set up right in an intersection off the main logging road from the hardwoods. I walked back into the cedars or should I saw crawled into the cedars.

Pulled out the Burrville bomber and man he jumped all over the first call like a fat kid on a donut! I called again he cuts me off and he is definatly closer! I wait a minute and call again and minga he about blew my hat off! I thought geesh he is right on the logging road and I can barely see Hoppy but he has the gun up and pointed right down the road ( I couldn't see the bird from my vantage point but HE could )

I called again and he cuts me off before I get to the second part of the yelp........BBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMM and Hoppy is up and moving!

Second bird of the morning was down for good! Hoppy said he was just taking it all in watching him strut and gobble right in the bright sunlight but he decided to end it before the bird realized no hen = trouble and got outa there, in one big jump off the logging road he woulda been safe as you cant see 10 feet into the cedars.

man I cant think of a better way to spend a beautiful morning in the turkey woods! not just because we both scored but Hoppy is like me a die hard turkey hunter, not just one that enjoys the kill but enjoys the WHOLE hunt. We walked up on a nesting hen mallard in the middle of the woods this morning! no water ANYWHERE around her and she had a nest right up against a huge beech tree and had 13 eggs in it! We talked about that for probably 15 minutes, we saw a number of deer 2 were definatly bucks and found some more treestand locations in our travels.

Tomorrow I am taking 2 greenhorns out and not carrying a gun , I will just be the caller and let them enjoy the hunts.

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