Larry's Short Stories

The Perfect Turkey Stalk

This old Model 12 and I have chased many a turkey and shot more than I can remember.
This old Model 12 and I have chased many a turkey and shot more than I can remember.

Everything started routinely; there were turkeys gobbling to my left at 5:45 a.m. — across the creek. Unfortunately, they went the other way, gobbling occasionally. At 8:00 there was another gobble across the creek but farther to the north.
Time to execute Plan B — make a stalk. Down to the creek and across I went, walking quietly through the woods to the other side and slowly out to the edge of the field. Everything was clear; the bird was over the hill, farther to the west. Stepping out, there were two toms feeding 400 yards to my right and above Dragonfly Lake. These weren’t the birds I was stalking; not wanting to disturb them, I walked left along the brush line to the south end of the field — staying out of sight of the birds to the north.
The bird to the west was still gobbling, so I moved along the south edge of the field, then north along a hollow in the middle. About half way up, I saw two gobblers come out of the point about 80 yards in front — but they didn’t see me. Dropping down immediately, I set up my decoy in the weeds, took cover behind a small

It’s surprising how long a box of turkey shells lasts, when you only shoot two each year – most years, that is!  That’s a 10" beard.
It’s surprising how long a box of turkey shells lasts, when you only shoot two each year – most years, that is! That’s a 10" beard.

cedar and started calling. To my surprise, both birds ran away, stopping at a small island of woods about 50 yards farther north and looking back my way — just their heads showing. After a while, they moved on.
Now begins the final part of the stalk. I crept across 75 yards of open field, to the small island, with the birds over the hill to my right. Skirting around the woods, the coast was clear on the far side, so I moved toward the birds.
At the end of the island, nothing; the birds were behind a big mound of top soil, left from lake construction, years before. The mound was perfect cover to get within range. Quickly I crossed the 50 yard opening and moved to the lower end of the mound. Over the top, I could see two birds in range, but too close together to shoot. Then I heard a putt and barely visible out in front was a single gobbler, with his head up walking back to the others — he’d just made me. Positioned my barrel toward a break in the grass that he should pass through, and blasted him. It was a perfect turkey stalk, 1-1/2 hours in total.

This picture taken from the turkey's perspective; I stalked to the lower end of the mound, for a 35 yard shot.
This picture taken from the turkey's perspective; I stalked to the lower end of the mound, for a 35 yard shot.
Larry's Short Stories