Late in the second week of Missouri’s spring season, I stole a Thursday morning off work when the weather was good. I headed back down to Pistol Gap to duel with Grand Canyon gobblers. I arrive this time at 5:15 as daylight is getting progressively earlier. Having parked and set up under the same tree I did the previous week, I heard two gobblers start distant gobbling to the west at 5:50 am. It was apparent they probably had hens nearby as the gobbing ceased at 6:15…I call periodically until 9:30 while reading from Tom Kelly’s Tenth Legion. Later after reviewing an aerial photo, I learn the west adjoining land owner had a green food plot opening on the hill above the bottomland forest. I suspect these Grand Canyon turkeys like to either fly down in this plot, or use it as a strut zone after fly down. Aside from waiting these birds out until late morning to see if one will get so fired up he would cross the Grand Canyon, I hang it up. I decide to hunt at my friends Chuck’s place tomorrow after becoming frustrated with these Grand Canyon birds. As I drive out slowly down the old Frisco line rail bed, I carefully look for signs of turkey on adjoining property and think intently about how to improve success. I contemplate if there are other places I should investigate on the Camp Branch Creek property that has some semblance of open ground cover and nothing comes to mind. I just don’t know why my side of the creek seldom has roosted gobblers. The bottomland forest is nearly identical on both sides in terms of tree size. There may be a few larger sycamores on the adjoining property that they select for, or maybe it’s the food plot. The access road on my side of the creek is a good place for a gobbler to fly down in early spring. I just don’t have an explanation. Over the years I’ve called in several hens, a flock of jakes, and one walk-on gobbler. Unlike some other places I hunt, there are no real mowed trails for humans or wildlife to use, it’s just a jungle. I will come back though, in hopes of making one fly across the creek. I think next year I will try an new tactic. I will walk in first thing and go about 80 yards further east into the woods, wait for the first gobble and yelp a little. If he is on the opposite side of the creek, I will give him the silent treatment and move west towards the creek. Then yelp loudly at the creek, fall back 40 yards and yelp again. Alternately, I may have to scratch this property in the future.
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