Finally made it out, and scored.

Hitechhunter

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I invited BDB to come along, but he had some lame excuse, something about his wife having a baby or something. Anyway, we drove in at first light and spooked a bird that was already in the valley we planned to hunt. We set up anyway. After a few calls, we got a response from way down a gully. We worked him for about an hour, he seemed to take forever to come in. Finally, he was gobbling from just inside the brush line, about 100 yards out, when the ranch hand came driving in. He saw our blind and turned around, but the tom fell silent.

I made a few wimpy gobbles and he got back in the action by responding. A huge hen emerged first, and the tom followed about five minutes later. He was limping bad, no wonder he came in so slow. He stayed near his hen that was feeding and, although he was strutting and gobbling to our decoys, we wouldn't come in. He didn't want to leave his hen. See first two pics.

I threw in a few more wimpy gobbles and then heard little yelps from behind me. I called in two young hens. As the hens made their way across the field towards us, the tom finally started hopping over in their direction, angling towards us across the open field. There is no better decoy that two hens yelping away and walking towards our set-up!

As he hopped and angled towards us, it became clear that we was only going to pass at about 75 yards. I left my rangefinder at home, and I'm glad I did. If I would have ranged him, we probably would have passed on the shot! My buddy put him down with one shot from his 3 1/2 turkey gun, and I had my red dot scoped 3 1/2 inch bead on him as a follow up, but he was down.

We climbed out of the blind, and the bugger got up and took off running as fast as he could (limping). We gave chase and after a few follow-up shots he was down for good. One of his legs was broken just above the knee. Beard was 8 inches. It was a fun hunt!

We figured the hens never went to his gobbles or struts because they know he only has one leg and can't properly mount them! The ranch owner told us it was good we got him before the coyotes or mountain lions did.
 

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chompot

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Congrats, Sounds like a fun hunt, full of laughs!
 

Kentuck

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Nice job. I hunted with a friend in KY a couple of years ago and he shot one at 62 yards. He was using a 10 guage though.
 

BDB

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Nice work Mike, congrats to your buddy!! I am working on a hunt for a week from Saturday or Sunday. The in-laws will be here to help with the baby so ya never know I might be able to sneak out for a couple of hours without the wife killing me.
 

Hitechhunter

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We left and hunted another portion of the ranch with no luck (heard a shot from a road hunter), then returned to this spot. We drove in a little too close and spooked a tom who was strutting and gobbling in the field, so there are more there.
 

sportyg

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ya did great working that bird.. Congrats to you and your buddy..
 

skeeterbait

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Like you said, he probably couldn't breed with that leg and sooner or later a yote or cat would have got him. Risky shot but considering the situation I think I would have tried for him too. Glad it worked out. Congrats on a well earned tom!
 


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