Stan and Goliath the Gobbler

No, I have not yet crossed paths with a wild turkey willing to give itself to my family’s sustenance.  Others, however, are having success, and sharing what they know.  To wit: the following note from Stan Wills of Crab Creek fame.

“Fellow Hunters…  I have been hunting a big turkey I named ‘Goliath’ for several years.

“Tonight he met his match.  Here is his story.  We are driving down the road where he hangs out. John yells ‘big Bird on the right!’ I look and it is ‘Goliath.’  I jump out and shoot.  ‘BOOM!!!’  I got him!  Then I wake up from the dream.  …Oops.

“In the waking world, the 2013 season of Turkey hunting has started.  The youth season was fantastic.  I took out Erin, a 12 year old girl, and her father.  She shot her first turkey.  It had a nine-inch beard. Everything was perfect.  The turkeys were everywhere and talking like crazy. We managed to get real close and she made a great shot.  I don’t know who was more excited, her or her Dad.

“John & Rick came over for the opener and we saw & heard lots of turkeys.  I called a big tom in for Rick and he missed. I called a big tom for John and he missed. Rick went home early with a sour taste in his mouth for missing—he could hardly wait to return.  John redeemed himself the next day with a double—he got two nice birds on his own as I could not hunt the evening hunt. Now it was my turn.

“I had watched the big tom roost the night before.  As I was heading back to the truck I heard several more toms gobble off in the distance.  One sounded bigger than the rest.  Before I got back to the truck at least 6 different toms had gobbled.  Tomorrow was going to be fun.

“I was up at 3:30 and out the door by 4:00 A.M.  It was colder than usual (10 degrees).  A storm was on the way and I needed to get this done before the snow, sleet, rain & wind blew in—typical for this time of year.  I pulled up and got out of the truck an hour before daylight.  I could already hear gobbles.  I eased thru the trees headed for a spot near the big tom of last night.  He was gobbling already.

“I slipped up against a tree, sat down, and waited for sunrise.  Except for the cold it was perfect; clear skies with lots of stars and turkeys gobbling in the distance.  Soon I heard the distinct sound of a bird flying down.  …Probably a hen.  Still too early for the toms to fly down—they are always the last.  15 Minutes later I heard him gobble—on the ground.  I waited a few more minutes before I started calling.  Turkeys are just like people, they have their morning routine and no matter what you do they won’t deviate from it.  When the time was right I gave a little “yelp.”  He gobbled right back.  I was ready.  I could hear putt’s from the hens, they were close.

“Then I heard a branch break, then another.  How big IS this turkey?  What is making that noise?  The turkeys went quiet…. Snap….  Snap…… Something was coming my way and it was BIG. Holy Sh…!  It was cow moose, followed right behind by her calf.  They walk within 5 yards of me.  I had never seen moose in this area before.  I had heard they were here, but really people I am hunting turkeys, not moose.  I watch as they disappear over the hill.  Back to reality, Stan.
“Quiet…  Nothing.  No putts, no gobbles.  The moose had busted my hunt.  I decided to stay put just in case.  I waited several minutes.  Softly, I hit the call with a yelp…nothing.  I tried a little louder and I got a response about 150 yards away.  This was a different bird.  I hit the call with ‘Yelp, putt, putt, putt,’  …Another Gobble.  He was coming.  For the next 10 minutes every time I hit the call he responded.  Soon I could see him.  He was the big Tom.  It was time to quit calling and make him find me.  I watched him disappear behind trees and small mounds for the next 15 minutes.  He was close, but not close enough.  John & Rick had both missed earlier by shooting too soon and not waiting for Tom to get close.  He was 50 yards away.  He disappeared again behind some weeds. Suddenly, there he is!  It is ‘Goliath.’ Holy Sh…!  Don’t choke now, Stan. My heart was racing.  Should I shoot or wait?  45 yards…  Wait.  40 yards…  Wait…  He stops. He looks up and GOBBLES!! Holy Sh… that was loud…  I can’t move.  Steady, Stan here he comes.  35 Yards…  He stops behind a tree. GOBBLE! GOBBLE!!  I slowly turn toward him.  He starts walking thru some brush and small trees… 30 Yards…  I have no shot…  A bug lands on nose.  God I need to scratch that.  25 Yards…  Still no clear shot.  He stops again.  Nothing… He is looking at something…  Is it me?  Don’t blow this, Stan… The bug flies away. thank God.  Goliath hasn’t moved.  Neither have I.  Here he comes again.  20 yards… He fans his tail.  He turns away from me.  I can shoot.  No!  Wait for him to turn, I tell myself.  He folds his fan back in and starts feeding with his head down, away from me.  Soon he is behind another tree.  15 yards…  I can’t believe how close he is.  He is huge.  Something catches his attention.  He looks my way.  He sees the sun reflect off my glasses.  It is now or never.  ‘BOOM!!!!’  13 yards…  Big Bird down…
“I get up and run to him.  I grab him by the neck and the saga of ‘Goliath’ has ended.  I get back to the truck, take a few pictures and head for the house just as a hail storm hits.  I had not even noticed the clouds roll in.  Goliath had a thick 9-inch beard, his spurs were just under an inch and he weighed 22 pounds.  It was worth the wait.  Stan”


Written by Jim Huckabay. Posted in Uncategorized

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Comments (1)

  • wildwinds
    May 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm |

    Well, what are your thoughts? What is missing and what should I be adding here. Advertizing on the page, photos or??

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