By Katrina Gorghis
Perseverance is key to any hunt especially the almighty Tennessee spring thunder chicken aka ‘Eastern Wild Turkey’. This year was definitely one for the books.
There he was just a few days before season, perfectly situated on the side of a hill 400 yards away. He knew he was taunting me. Every morning he was out there hammering away and strutting his stuff. He would pull two to three hens every day from the surrounding ridges to his little hilltop and then vanish out of site. I hunted him hard, multiple weeks this season I set out a couple decoys and called. He would have conversations with me, but it wasn’t enough. He always kept his distance. I came so close… watched him 150 yards, 100 yards, 80 yards, and then the notorious hen cut in between and they both disappeared into the morning sunlight. The next hunt my heart sank. I set up like normal had him and another gobbler calling back and they were moving. I listened as both moved towards the valley in front of me and …..bang….bang…. shots rang out. I just sat there, heart in my stomach, thoughts of missed opportunities. I just new someone else bagged him and I would never get to see him again. I went home licking my wounds. I hoped that there was still a gobbler around, but it was silent for weeks. Until…… here he comes. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The hen was out and he came running across the field, stopped to fan, and yes it’s him! I could tell because that fan is unique; he is missing his center tail feather. I prepped myself and got ready for any opportunity he would provide. He stepped onto my property and started following the hen close enough to get a shot! I was ecstatic! Especially when I got close to him and found out he was double bearded and had 1-1/4 spurs. What a roller coaster of a spring turkey hunting season!!!!!!!