Here you go!
Congratulations Kornfed Jr. Awesome story. @bankfish! I was able to get one Saturday, just haven't had time to post about it until now. I was out on public land Saturday morning. Picked out a spot to sit the night before on onX. Sat out there until around 7:30 and didn't hear anything, then decided to get up and go check some fields up ahead of me a couple of hundred yards. I slowly walked up to the fields and made my way around them, checking for birds. I got to the corner of one field and stepped into the woods to let off a few calls. I had decided if I didn't hear anything, I would work my way back to my truck to move on to another area. After calling, I thought I heard movement up ahead of me. Then I heard something loud behind, turned out to be a dude hiking as far as I could tell. He walked diagonally across me, stopped, looked for a while and then turned around and walked back out the way he came. I waited for a minute or so and then decided to work my forward a little bit to see if the next field had anything in it. As I am working my way up, I glance to my right and boom, there's a bird 5 yards from me just staring at me. The bird was a male (red head) but I could not see his beard. I stayed as still as possible and watched several birds move through down the field edge, including two more red heads. Eventually the bird that was staring at me moves off and he doesn't seem spooked.
I give the birds a minute to move down the field and head back to the field I had come from and run down it. The woods between the two fields was thick enough that I felt safe moving fast and making a little noise. I get the end of the field and setup on the path that connects the bottom of the two fields. I had tucked into the brush a little bit. The path turned into the woods and down into a small creek bottom. I sat there and waited for the birds to pop out. I could hear the hens short yelping and a jake yelping. I threw some soft yelps back with my mouth call. I probably waited 15 minutes before the action began. One of the hens had just yelped and I could tell they were close and then I heard long loud yelps behind me. I tried turning my head to the right to see what was making the sound, but I was pretty sure it was a person calling. I turn my head back to the left and the hen is standing just inside the brushline along the side of the path (about 30 yards). A jake walked up behind her. They stood there for a second and then moved off like they didn't like the situation but they never putted. I decided to hold off on shooting the jake because I thought there was a bigger bird in the group. Sure enough, I see another red head coming out. I waited until he came out and when I saw his bird swing out, I swung my gun around and branch and let him have it. He went down pretty hard and started flopping down into the drainage before I made it to him. After I brought him back up to where I was setup, there were two guys standing there. It was them that had been calling behind me, they had walked into the one field and could see the birds in the other field. They also saw something shiny and they couldn't figure out what it was. It ended up being the barrel of my gun 😂.
He had a little better than a 9.5" beard and just over an inch spurs. He weighed 20.2 pounds. Sorry for the long-winded story but I just like sharing the details of the hunt, definitely one I will remember.
Going to register him on the scoreboard tomorrow probably at this point. I am exhausted from getting up early on the weekends and then my second covid shot.
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