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May 4: Darrell Tudela

After a very successful youth Day on Saturday with my friends son, opening day for us was not so successful. We set up on birds that we put to bed the night before, but as happens so many times, they hit the ground and followed hens the other way. We chased birds from 4:15 am(it get’s light early on the Northeast Coast) ‘til Noon, which is when we hunting time ends. Try again tomorrow. Again we were able to put some birds to bed and set up with high hopes. Repeat yesterday morning. We’re off runnin’ and gunnin’. After a couple of unsuccessful set ups, we spot a Tom at the far edge of a field disappearing into the woodline. We know the area, so we drive down the road a bit and set up in a back cut corn field with King Strut about 35 yards out. We make a couple calls and get an immediate gobble from the direction of the bird we just saw. That’s the only sound we ever got from that direction.

Fortunately we got a response from a couple hundred yards in the opposite direction. This bird was obviously in some kind of strut zone that he didn’t care to leave. He went back and forth gobbling back to my calls for over half an hour not getting an inch closer. I tried every call I had in my vest. As a last resort, I thought maybe a little competition. I took out a gobbler shaker and threw out a gobble. He responded as he had been. He gobbled a minute later and had closed the distance by what sounded like half…He’s on his way, we stayed quiet except for one more yelp to help his direction and came through the woods right to us. Luckily he caught a glimpse of King Strut in the field and made a quick 90 and headed right toward him. I let him get out to introduce himself to the King and then let him have it. Now I’ll take my place behind the camera for Rick & Dad, & boys and anyone else that wants to go.