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“Not a Minute to Spare”

We had the pleasure of having Brian Lovett, the editor of Turkey and Turkey Hunting Magazine, in camp to hunt with us during the second week of Missouri’s turkey season.

Despite a heavy low-pressure system hovering over northern Missouri, the morning started off hot. We had birds gobbling around us, and before too long, a big longbeard strutted into our setup. But somehow, Brian managed to miss the old gobbler at 31 paces.

After a few jokes and jabs from Mark and Terry, we were on our way to strike up another bird, and it didn’t take long before we hit the jackpot! The only problem was that the turkeys were across a county road on a neighboring farm. We knew this would be a challenge, but we thought the gobblers were hot enough for Mark’s world-class calling to pull them across the road.

After humping down a hill, across a big creek and up another big hill, we came to the edge of Terry’s farm. With only 15 minutes before closing time, we knew we had to somehow call the birds across the road.

Without wasting a second, Mark fired up his Cherry Bomb Slate call and Shippwreck mouth call and hammered at the birds. They screamed back, and the game was on! While Brian, Coon Dog and I waited in our ambush position, Mark walked back and forth float calling and sweet-talking to the gobblers on the other side of the road. They hammered louder and louder while getting closer to us.

It was a race against time. The birds were coming, but the clock was ticking. Missouri’s turkey season closes at 1 p.m. every day, and we had about two minutes left when the noisy birds popped into view. Unbelievably, they had left the other farm and crossed a fence, a county road and yet another fence to get to us.

As the birds gobbled and strutted through the timber toward us, the clock ticked to 12:59 p.m. After letting the rear gobbler scream at us one last time, Brian busted him at 25 steps! That just goes to show that it’s not over till the fat lady sings — and that bird was singin’!

As told by Aaron Bennett