Our first hunt together was quite tentative. We had met just a short time before and didn't know one another's hunting style at all. So when we ran into a vocal gobbler right away and got set-up and calling, the fool bird did what they so often do - it hung-up!
That situation calls for a change in tactics but when you don't know your hunting partner's preferences well, and when you are hunting in their territory and not your own, and when you buddy is doing the calling and not you, you defer and keep your mouth shut.
At least that is what I did that day.
My hunting buddy, however, realizing that I was already a senior citizen and not knowing if I would be at all receptive to moving to another spot also kept quiet. Because of indecision, that gobbler got away.
Well, that problem has been firmly solved.
Afterwards, we sat at the kitchen table of her house and exchanged ideas as to what we might have done. We found out we both had the same idea: pick up our stuff and move 100 yards in another direction, change to a different-sounding caller and try again.
That was the first hunt that my very best friend and hunting buddy, Joanie Haidle, from Armstrong County, shared. In short order we discovered that we are kindred minds and souls in the matter of hunting turkeys. We are in sync, as they say, and don't usually have to exchange a lot of conversation over gobbler hunting tactics.
What I found out is that she is an amazingly talented lady, a true outdoorsman (if I may call her that) and that she makes and markets her own line of turkey calls and that they are the best I've ever used. When we hunt together, I defer to her calling skills and I am never wrong in that decision.
Joanie and I have had more fun and thrills and absolute astounding hunting experiences you can ever imagine in the years and seasons that have passed since our first hunt together about 12 years ago. We will be presenting some seminars together on the subject of how to fool the tough old gobblers we all face today at the Allegheny Adventures Outdoor Show in Feb.
For the last 3 years, we have been chasing one particular gobbler that Joanie dubbed "Sneaky Pete." The name is self-explanatory.
We have had such unbelievable adventures with this one bird, we have each had multiple opportunities to bag him, each missed shots at him and still he lives. And laughs at us each night from his roost, we are absolutely convinced.
This gobbler has the proverbial 9 lives; but after meeting us he is down to only three remaining. Perhaps this spring will be the one that one of us will bag him. More likely he will just expire from old age.
Joanie and I will be presenting such wisdom as we have fooling old gobblers and Joanie will be demonstrating her terrific calling skills at the show, and you will get to see her unique calls for yourself. Details about what days and times will be forthcoming shortly.
The unique thing here is that Joanie and I are both independent, capable hunters. We can alone or with each other. For the past two spring seasons Joanie and I have each bagged gobblers but not while we were hunting together. In fact, Joanie bagged her gobbler on the very last day of season last year. One thing we have learned about turkey hunting is persistence.
So mark your calendars for this upcoming show. We both look forward to meeting our fellow hunters. And by the way, both of us are personally acquainted with Alex Rutledge, the big star of the show this year. He's a hoot and mighty skilled at all kinds of hunting and you will not want to miss his presentations.