With A Little Help From My Friends

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When I got to the house Fred was there and he took one look at me and asked, “What’s wrong?”

Before I told him I asked how he did. Fred had tagged another nice Tom. (Go to Fred’s last hunt.)

I told both Fred and our host Terry what had happened. We went back to where I last saw the two gobblers. Terry brought his 4-wheeler. Fred saw drops of blood by the fence that led to the open gate. Terry drove further up the hill and searched the more open area on the hill top with no results.

Then Terry drove through the open gate to look the adjacent pasture over. In a few minutes he returned he told us that the adjacent pasture had a dam. And he had seen two gobblers in the trees on this side of the dam. One was definitely hurt.

We made a plan. We’d go back downhill to the lower fence. Then we would cross the fence and walk to a second fence, where we could see the edge of the dam.

That’s what we did. At the second fence we spotted the two gobblers in the cedar trees on the dam about 60 yards from  us. The next part of the plan was for me to go down the fence about 80 yards and cross it and sneak over to the other end of the dam and wait. So that’s what I did.

Terry and Fred waited 5 minutes and then slipped quietly toward the gobblers. I was situated near  the top of the dam and hidden behind some cedar trees waiting to see how this situation would shake out.

I heard talking. Then I saw movement in the trees between me and the voices. It was a big gobbler and he was in a hurry. I slipped down the hill a few yards and the big gobbler came right by me.

Next, I saw my gobbler coming. He was definitely hurt. I drew but I couldn’t get a shot off because of the cedars. He was out of sight in a few yards.

I ran.

And quickly cleared of the cedars on the dam. I made a quick survey of the surroundings. The fence I’d crossed was 40 yards below. A cross fence was about the same distance away, and it was going up hill.

I couldn’t see the gobbler.

“Up the hill … or down the hill?”, I thought.  And I picked “down” and ran to the cross fence and turned right. Up ahead, there was a turkey feather looking object right by the fence. I headed there in record time.

My gobbler was laying in an opening in the wire. He was not moving. And his head was down. I grabbed him by the legs and held him up as Terry and Fred ran up.

Fred looked at the gobbler as I set up to take a picture. “He has 5 beards,” Fred said. I took a picture.

Later in the day we measured the beards. The longest beard was 10 1/2″ and the total of all 5 was 24 3/4″. He had an inch and a quarter spurs too. Nice.

And that makes 3 and 3, both Fred Lutger and I tagged out in Nebraska in 2012.

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