Great iridescent colours. A nice tuft of hair on its chest.
Obviously has powerful legs, and can run great distances... It can forage for nuts and grains like nobody's business. Wingspan. Oh, what a wingspan.
Jeffery Thuss was onto this beast like a pimple on a teenager's face. He set up, and called like a desperate school boy looking for a date to the semi-formal. In walked this 9 inch bearded, 1 and 1/8 inched spurred, 25 pound plus monster of a Tom. Jeff, like said teenaged boy, didn't quite know what to do next.
The conclusion shall be no surprise to anyone who is able to predict. Jeff rang my place at about 5:00 saying he'd shot one huge turkey. I wasn't home. There was the message. I missed it by a few minutes, but did listen to it once I arrived home. The phone rang again. This time it was 5:30. I was at home, and I had that feeling it was Jeff. He was just itch'n, just barely able to contain his excitement regarding this trophy. I picked up the phone.
"Did you get my message?", Jeff promptly asked without the standard hellos, or how's-it-going...
"I just got home. I just walked in the door from a run. What's going on?" I had got his message, but played it cool. None the wiser, kind of thing.
So Jeff went on about the stuff to go on about after hitting such large fowl with a number 4 turkey load, and indicated he'd be immediately over to display the prize in person.
It was pretty big.... It was really big actually. Again, I am no Daniel Boone, or Davey Crockett, or Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whilrwind, but it was a pretty big bird according to my greenish hunting experience and ability..... Good on you Jeff.
From the 3 guys I Turkey hunt with, we have learned that it is really inconsistent. Jeff shot a fairly big bird a few years ago, I was sitting with him at the time, but has gone 2 or 3 years dry since.... Larry, has shot a few smaller birds in the past few years, then was skunked for a bit, then got a decent sized one, but has yet to get one or see one, or even hear one this year.... Calling lots always seems to work however. We have always got some sort of a reaction from Toms and Jakes by calling. Decoys are important too. Toms and Jakes will walk into a collection of decoys, but I have never thought that was the deal-sealer. Calling > Decoys.
Again it had very large feet. 2 really big spurs on each leg. Jeff said it was pretty close when he shot it. Maybe only 20 yards or so. According to him there are a few more out their.... So who knows. I'll probably get another tag as the season is still another month long. This time I can sit, and wait for a sizable feathered creature to cross my path.
Jeff had an observation that I think is what hunting really is about for me, him, and many others. He expressed being upset that Larry or I wasn't with him to celebrate his good fortune in the field. Being solo, and doing this alone was a bit of a let-down for him. Hunting is a good bond we have. It is, and has been about teamwork and working together for the most part. It is about over-coming a challenge and working out a problem. We can't say we hunt because of the necessity for food - there are grocery stores. We don't hunt for the trophy and display of the game - our wives wouldn't let us hang taxidermied (sp?) items in our living rooms. Hunting is a sport and certainly a challenge. It is a bond that brings family and friends together. Hunting is about being in the outdoors, enjoying nature, and being a responsible conservationist. Undoubtedly it is a solo passion for thousands, but for us, me, at this time of our lives, it is about a shared common interest that unites.