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Adventures of Chasing a Gobblin’

The avid turkey hunters in Henderson County share the thrill and excitement the sport can bring to the challenge of chasing the bird.
Photo Submitted / The Lexington Progress

Article Submitted by Holly Overman-

Turkey season has opened here in Henderson County. Hunters have hit the woods with their shotguns or bows to harvest a nice big-bearded gobbler. Those that don’t hunt turkeys won’t understand the thrill and challenge of the chase. So, I’ll elaborate the experience for you.

Just before daybreak, you get to the woods and tuck in among the pines. When the sun begins to rise over the treetops, you hear a gobble off in the distance as a turkey wakes up for the day. He flies down from his roosting spot to go find his hens who usually roost a little way away. If you’re lucky, you might hear multiple gobbles in many directions from other birds as well.

A hunter tries to learn where that bird is generally roosting so they can cut him off before he connects with his hens. Once they get with their hens, they become a little harder to call in. That’s when you switch tactics and work the boss hen. If you get her attention or even make her mad enough, she might come check you out. If she does, that male gobbler will follow.

For example, back in the spring of 2016 I harvested my first ever turkey. My brother and oldest niece went with my husband and I that morning. We found this gobbler in a field strutting in the midst of his hens. We got set up against the trees while my husband started calling. He used a few different sequences until he ended up making the boss hen mad.

After waiting for several moments, two of the lead hens came around the ridge in front of us. I sat still waiting for the tom to come in view. I heard leaves rustling over the ridge to my left then seen his fan peaking over it. I had to adjust my position quickly but managed to do so before his head came into view. Once he lowered his fan, I aimed for the base of his neck and…

For the complete story, see the April 13th edition of The Lexington Progress.

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