I soon decided to pull up stakes and move to another part of the timber. By the time I reached my destination, the sun was well above the horizon. Within ten minutes of popping up the Double Bull, I spotted a single hen coming through the oaks. I called, she responded, and I got a few photos. That was the last turkey I saw or heard for the next hour, which was about the time I spotted a mature gobbler. He was around 150 yards away walking across a grassy area located at the base of the ridge I was sitting on. I struck up the Kirkman box call, and the gobbler hit the brakes. I called again, and he stretched his neck about a mile. When I hit the call a third time, the tom gobbled back. We went back and forth for awhile until the tom finally began to strut in place. But although the bird was clearly interested in my yelping, he appeared to have no plans of changing course. The standoff continued; the gobbler quit strutting and I could tell he was losing interest. To me it was obvious that this bird was about to take the show on the road.
Hitting the panic button, I began trying to start a fire with the box call.
Suddenly, there he was. No longer at a sprint, the tom was now approaching at a steady walk. The early morning light was perfect, and as the gobbler made his way around gooseberry bushes and through patches of Dutchman's Breeches, I couldn't resist taking my first shot with the camera. By the time I had made that decision the turkey was already too close for very much fooling around on my part.
Laying the camera aside, I picked up the longbow and took aim again. I was using a primitive 45 #, Osage orange bow crafted by Dave Thomas, and as I pulled back on the string I quickly rehearsed my mental check list of 'shooting points'. The broadhead hit home, passed completely through the tom, and the arrow came to rest a short distance away.
The tom sported a 10 1/2-inch beard and was armed with 1 1/4-inch, needle sharp spurs. He weighed in at 21.5 pounds -- which was a quarter pound lighter than my biggest-ever jake bagged with the same bow in Clayton County in April. Praise God for another exciting morning in the Iowa out-of-doors!