Double Gobble Double Whack
January 10, 2003
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Double Gobble Double Whack

Dear Lord, my feeble attempts at recreating anything sounding like a sexy hen turkey were dismal and rather funny. I winced. I sounded horrible. It was an unnatural, abrasive noise somewhere between an ancient screen door squeaking and Geddy Lee having a bad night on a tinny PA system with his band Rush. Not good. I was pretty sure all living creatures within a mile of my Double Bull blind were making a mad dash for parts unknown in the opposite direction of my ambush setup. I’m such a butterball.

I chalked up my Knight and Hale box call and roughed up my slate with a small square of course sandpaper, took a deep breath and slowly tried again. Much to my amazement, this series of subtle yelps sounded pretty darned good. I smiled ear to ear, rotated between box call and slate, and did my best to keep the realism in each seductive call. I think we have something going on here.

My beautiful SpiritWild Ranch was alive with a cacophony of spectacular birdsongs, and the crows had some violent attack going on nearby. As usual, this lovely spring turkey morning in Central Texas was awe inspiring to say the least. Then I heard it.

A thunderous deep gobble erupted somewhere behind me, and was then followed immediately by another out front. Wow! I’m turkey hunting now baby! I turned up my Walker’s Game Ears so I could hear everything better, cut a few yelps and was answered by toms in every direction. Double live gonzo gobble!

My turkey whacking deluxe Mossy Oak Remington 1187 thumbhole 12-gauge shotgun was loaded with terminal jelly-head 3 inch No. 5 shot, and my Martin bow had an arrow nocked, ready to rock, leaning against the blind wall. I figured if a big dumb strutter gave it to me at close range, I would arrow it, but if a long beard tempted me farther out and in a difficult position, I would lambaste it with the mighty 12. After a number of unsuccessful mornings, I was here to kill a turkey one way or another.

Just as I flicked on my vidcam, a hen walked right in front of my blind and joined the four decoys in the grassy grove before me. A perfect, slight intermittent breeze caused the decoys to sway slowly to and fro, and the hen pecked away with them. Soon, four more hens arrived and made themselves right at home with their uncle Ted.

Another loud gobble shook the woods and I could see a sun drenched iridescent fan glowing against the morning dew 50 yards to my right. The beautiful Rio Grand gobbler thundered off in response to every quiet hen yelp I uttered, and then there were two.

Now the hens were giving me the ultimate lesson in hen-speak, and I did a pretty good job of replicating the subtleties of their vocalizations. I was loving it. The setup looked too good to be true, and I was already mentally preparing a delicious marinade for my turkey breasts, confident that the hens in front of me would lure the big boys over any minute now. I have a dream.

With the two competing toms raising increasing hell to my right, I could now see that a single hen was with them, and slowly but surely my hens wandered over to them and eventually they all walked off together. Too good to be true indeed.

Frustrated, I simply continued to call and watch my decoys.

Then WHAM! Four toms came charging in from behind me and surrounded my decoys. Each tom would take turns strutting and gobbling as I fired up my vidcam and grabbed my bow. All four stayed just beyond the dekes, with the closest gobbler about 35 yards out. I aimed small to miss small and let ‘er rip. My first arrow sliced breast feathers and caused the tom to leap high into the air, but he came down and immediately began strutting again. He was a little farther out now and my second arrow looked like it may have hit its mark, but I got the same reaction.

Now all four toms were looking about, heads up, when arrow number three clipped the same tom again. Amazingly, they stood their ground as I nocked arrow number four. The tom I had grazed with three arrows now walked away to the left with his three comrades in tow. I drew back my arrow, he stopped at 35 yards, and this arrow hit him center mass and flipped him drumsticks over tea kettle a flopping! The other three made a mad dash for the forest behind me as I laid down my bow and grabbed the Remington 12.

I peeked out the back window of the Double Bull and saw them cross the creek and dart up the ridge directly behind me as I slid the barrel through the window, leveled the fiber optic front sight on the last birds head, and at 40 yards, blew him away. Hallelujah!

Two gorgeous Rio’s, one with the bow and one with the shotgun. Wild.

I retrieved my two hard won prizes and admired their beauty. Not only are there more wild turkey in North America today than ever in recorded history, but there are certainly more wild turkey on my property than in recorded history. Ya gotta love that. God bless the American hunters, and God bless the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Wild turkey flesh is special, and it has to be handled with special care. I have come to conclude that the most important step for optimal table fare is to hang the bird whole at around 35 degrees for a week. Then I carefully skin and filet the precious breast meat and cut off the drumsticks at the ball joint. I marinate the meat in the fridge overnight in a deep glass dish covered with apple cider vinegar and olive oil, well saturated with garlic pepper, garlic salt and parsley flakes.

Adding a good coating of ground rosemary and thyme is real good too. Then you simply grill over quality wood charcoal coals, brushing liberally with butter infested with herbal chicken seasoning until well singed. And it makes one of life’s greatest, most delicious and healthy meals. You can hear a thundering double gobble in every bite.

For more wild game recipes, get a copy of “Kill It & Grill It” at www.tednugent.com.

I retrieved my two hard won prizes and admired their beauty. Not only are there more wild turkey in North America today than ever in recorded history, but there are certainly more wild turkey on my property than in recorded history. Ya gotta love that. God bless the American hunters, and God bless the National Wild Turkey Federation.

TTHA

TTHA

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