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On Monday the 21st, Dave and I got an early start on some birds we had roosted the night before. This was a large group of turkeys with several toms. When we put them to bed, we noticed that the toms flew up in a tree line overlooking their strutting zone while the hens opted for the heavier cover of the timber. This made our decision real easy: get between the toms and the hens and wait for things to heat up, and heat up they did.

Just as light was starting to break, those toms started sounding off, one and then another and another until they all had a turn, then the whole process started again. Dave and I had already positioned ourselves perfectly on a grassy knob tucked into a cedar tree and a cluster of leafless shrubs. In front of us, we had placed the king strut, a hen, and a jake decoy.

After listening to the chorus of toms gobbling for a good half hour, we heard the distinct sound of wings beating, signaling to both of us that they were finally on the ground, and the chess game could begin. I looked out the windows of our Ameristep Dream Season blind to see a tom in full strut to my right; at the same time I heard drumming and carefully looked to my left to see two more toms coming to the decoys. With bow in hand, I let out a couple of soft yelps and got an immediate response.

The turkeys moved beyond the decoys, and I started to fear they may walk away, so I gave them another call, and one of the birds broke away and walked right into our set. I glanced at Dave to reaffirm that he was laying it all down and then carefully came to full draw. When that bird stepped out from behind the decoy at 15 yards and turned facing us, I knew my opportunity had presented itself. I settled the pin and released the arrow and watched as it disappeared in the big tom's chest. We both watched the tom run over the hill out of sight, but I was certain he was running dead.
,br> After the other birds had left the field, we stepped out to find my bird 60 yards away. I grabbed him by the legs, and as we started walking back to the blind, we noticed just how good our setup really was. The treestand pattern blended perfectly with the leafless trees and bushes of early spring. There is no doubt in our minds that it will fool even the most cautious bird. The Flambeau decoys are almost lifelike, and my X-force performed flawlessly. All these things make turkey hunting seem almost easy.