???Team Tagle’s Turkey Hunt: no blind, MO Public Land

Team Tagle (father-son) hit the woods early.  ?We prepared a strategy for the hunt and prepared for potential foul weather. Well, when we got to the public land, I realized I did not pack my waterproof boots nor jacket. The walk was entertaining as we had to walk a tight edge due to the rising water from all the rain we’ve had.  Yes, my feet were soaked.  After we reached, no sooner after I set my last decoy (they are named “Jose & Josefina” – smile), we saw a gobbler come off of his roost.  It was insane.., just gotten set up!!  I was not even ready with my bow and arrow set-up, nor my release. Thank goodness he was 500 yards away.  THEN, I realized I left back in the truck my binos, slate and mouth calls, masks.., I was just a hot mess. I had to count on my “natural” calling skills (if any) and began using my mouth to call that gobbler in.  Then, of course we had to be right under the 10% precipitation, it started to rain pretty good, but we hung in there.  My camera man (my son) was prepared for the inclement weather.  Boy did that gobbler repond to my calls and the decoys.  He headed toward us on a B line.., hammering away.  I was feeling my heart beat all over my body, constantly telling my partner not to make the sligthest movement.  He was putting on a show.., afterall, he was the star of this whole thing.  My son did a great job running the camera and captured some great footage.  The gobbler circled around us, but we did not count on his strutting staging area…, I had no cover as to be able to draw my bow.  15 yards away, easy shot (if I am able to pull it off), heart skippin many a beats. It was now or never, made my move, got busted and he took off toward the woods.  I was able to make a few cutting calls, and he stopped at the opposite side 20 yards away. He was still responding, curious, and began strutting again.  When he got completely behind the view of a large tree, I repositioned myself to take a shot when needed.  My son did the same thing.   I took advantage of the cover and drew my bow, holding it as long as I could.  At this point, it was all a gamble, for we did not know what side of the tree he’d come out, nor WHEN.  As the luck I’d be having, he peeked past the tree excatly when I was letting down. HUNT OVER.  This time, he was not sticking around.  To top it off, our camera fouled up on us…., again.

Despite all the challenges we had, I’d do it all over again!  Here’s why:  my son finally learned about the “rush” (wait ’till he experiences buck fever).  He learned why it’s called hunting.  He learned about the turkey’s defense mechanism – sight.  He learned how difficult it is to walk away with a slam dunk.  I learned that throughout the whole ordeal, I could not stop thinking, “I am with my son, what an honor!!”. We have a lot to learn from each other, especially how to film our hunts.   Lastly, he learned how blessed we are after the tornado hit close to home.., the turkey encounter was just a bonus.  Our prayers to all those affected by the tornado and to all our men and women who make it possible for me to have moments like this one.  Adios!!