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franklin county times

Wilson bags first gobbler

By By Mike Giles
April 5, 2002
There's nothing quite as exciting as calling up an old battle scarred gobbler that's been fighting off all comers. Seventeen-year-old Lance Wilson, a Meridian High senior, recently experienced the ultimate thrill of harvesting his first long beard. What makes the feat more impressive is the fact that he called the turkey up with a diaphragm call that he had purchased just hours earlier.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to master a mouth call and some people just never get the hang of it. Wilson didn't know you weren't supposed to buy a call and then promptly go harvest your first turkey on the same day. But youth was served on this day, as he did exactly that!
Shortly after church one Sunday he went to a store and bought a new mouth call. A couple of hours later found him sitting in the woods of rural Neshoba County listening for the sound of a hen or old gobbler. After a short wait, he decided to follow a trail toward an area that usually held some birds.
As he made his way down the trail he thought that he heard some turkey activity in a nearby field. Stalking slowly through the woods he eased his way up near the field to check out the activity. Sure enough, he spotted a trio of gobblers with a harem of hens. Setting up for the action he found a good vantage point to keep an eye on the birds while waiting for them to make their move.
Moment of truth
After watching the flock for a little while, Wilson saw the hens head into the woods for parts unknown. As the hens departed, the gobblers followed as if in tow by an invisible string. Two of the large birds were strutting and cutting up. Wilson knew that it was time for action or he would risk losing sight of the gobblers for good. As he sent out some pleading yelps from the mouth call, two of the gobblers abruptly turned and made a beeline straight in his direction.
One of the gobblers never came out of a full strut and was really primed for business. He was ready for that one last hen on the day and he wasn't about to let her get away. Sometimes you can do everything right and still come away empty handed. On other days everything seems to happen just right. This was one of those days for this aspiring young hunter.
The turkeys were almost identical but one was clearly the dominant bird. As they zeroed in on the hen, Lance picked out the lead gobbler and took aim. At 35 yards he let him have it with a full load of number 5 shot. In the blink of an eye the old bird was down and out for the count. And another gobbler had bit the dust done in by a lone young hunter who had gone one on one with the long beard and won!

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