The early spring turkey season provides the best opportunity to have a close encounter with a mature boss gobbler.
Story and photography by Nate Skinner
Slamming the truck door I heard it. A deep, raspy gobble that rumbled across the meadow as its echo pierced the midday silence. That kind of roaring thunder could only be produced by one critter — a mature Rio Grande gobbler. It was the sound that had been anticipated all morning.
Yanking the door open a diaphragm was retrieved and placed in my mouth while pulling my bow from its case. A few aggressive cuts on the latex demanded a response and were immediately answered by multiple gobbles. The field before me was scanned in the direction of the gobbling ruckus. In the distance three Toms were traveling along the fence line about to enter some thicker brush on the edge of a small creek.
Just minutes earlier a lunch break was about to be taken after a long morning of calling from a pop-up blind in hopes of bringing a trophy bird within bow range. After passing on a few young jakes during a three hour sit, I was loading my truck when the sound that was longed for was finally heard.
Scampering across that creek bed just a couple of hundred yards to the south of where the three had gobblers crossed, some tall grass provided a good place to hunker down. With an arrow already nocked I sounded off again. This time a thunderous reply sent a shot of adrenaline coursing through my veins to a pounding heart.