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Illinois hunting and fishing

Turkey Tales:  A first turkey

May 12, 2009 at 04:18 PM

Win CamoFlex

Prairie State Outdoors readers still have time to win one of two CamoFlex systems we will be giving away in the next week. To enter the drawing, submit a turkey hunting story and picture via e-mail to: Turkey Tales Stories can be about this season's hunt or any previous season. Our first two winners were Chad Mayfield of Brownstown and Brad Crisco of Elmwood. Our third winner was Eldon LiaBraaten of Eureka.

The fourth turkey season started out disappointing for Phil and Teresa Belcher of Pekin.

Rising water forced both of them and the birds to relocate.

After moving to a new Tazewell County property, they spent the morning listening to a few gobblers on Sunday. Then they heard nothing on Monday and saw just one small buck and a few coyotes.

But Tuesday morning was a different story. The birds were gobbling everywhere. That included one gobbler that answered Phil’s calls at around 7:30 a.m.

After the gobbler moved closer, he hung up on the top of a hill in a corn field. There he proceeded to strut and gobble for 20 minutes.

“My husband started purring and coaxed him down close enough for the tom to see the Pretty Boy and Pretty Girl decoys we’d set out,” said Teresa Belcher. “That was all it took to bring him in the rest of the way, wings dragging, tail fanned and looking for a fight.”

The gobbler got to within 25 yards and Teresa did the rest, bagging her first bird, a 21-pounder with an 11.5-inch beard and 1-inch spurs.

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