Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Rio Trio

As if you didn't notice, my anticipation meter is shooting through the roof right now! April is an awesome month, what with the opening of Major League Baseball Season as well as Spring Gobbler season. Today, I'm reminiscing from the Spring of 2006 and an incredible hunt on the Burdett Ranch in Childress, Texas with Todd Lewis, an Elder at the Marble Falls church and Dan Burdett, a Deacon at Marble Falls.
Last week, I was blessed to be invited by Dan Burdett to join him and Todd Lewis on Dan's ranch near Childress, Texas for some turkey hunting. The ranch encompasses about 12,000 acres and is spectacular, teeming with wildlife and natural beauty.
I was able to harvest a nice gobbler on Thursday. The gobbler sported a 10" beard and 1" spurs. It was the second Rio I've ever bagged.

But the real action heated up hot and heavy on Friday morning. On Thursday evening, Dan, Todd and I spotted a flock of 33 turkeys feeding in a field. So, after an uneventful hunt at daybreak on Friday morning, we decided to make our way over to the field where we saw the turkeys the evening before. We arrived at a bluff overlooking the field at about 8:30 a.m. and through the binoculars, spotted 17 turkeys one field over from where we saw them on Thursday. There were at least three gobblers strutting for the feeding hens.

I told Dan and Todd I would call like crazy in the hopes of coaxing the gobblers away from the hens. A daunting task? Absolutely! The turkeys were about 400 yards away from our setup, with nothing but open fields between us and them. I laid the calling on hot and heavy and they answered nearly every call but seemed initially disinterested in making the long jaunt across the fields.

We placed a jake and hen decoy on the edge of the field and set up just into the woods. We continued peering through the binoculars and noticed the mood of the gobblers begin to change. They began making their way toward us. I continued to call very aggressively and excitedly and each gobble was more vocal and loud -- a sure sign the gobblers were heading our way.

I eased back about 25 yards behind Dan and Todd, just out of sight to the amazing action that was about to unfold. The last time I called, I could tell the gobblers were just out of sight. Then, within a matter of seconds, Todd shot, dropping the two gobblers in the lead. The gobbler in the rear, the dominant bird with sharp 1" spurs, gobbled immediately, startled by the blast of Todd's shotgun. Dan fired, dropping the bird in his tracks, giving us a harvest of three turkeys.

The Rio Trio looked to be composed of a 2 year-old, a 3 year-old, and a 4-year old. Each tom sported a 10" beard.

It was a fabulous way to cap off a great three day time of rest, relaxation, fellowship and pure hunting fun! The Burdett Ranch, two good friends, and the memory of the "Rio Trio" is one I will savor the rest of my life.