Last spring, my friend Logan Hinners and I set up one morning at 4:30 for toms in a spot where we had been given the slip a time or two previously.
Our strategy was to keep things simple and avoid repeating ploys that might have cost us a gobbler in years past.
Setting a lone hen decoy on a field edge to the west of a little brush pile, we hunkered down, waiting for the woods to wake up.
The first gobbler sounded off around 5:15, not too far to the southwest of us. Then another four toms announced themselves scattered throughout the nearby 6-acre woods.
Logan gave a few cuts on his box call. That's when a tom told us to hang on, because he was on his way.
Down the big bird flew, but presented no shot. For a long while he stared at our decoy, then nonchalantly walked away.
Befuddled, we sat another 20 minutes listening to toms that were still roosted.
Then I noticed our big friend had strutted back silently.
I waited for him to commit to coming into our decoy. When he did, he presented a shot at 7 yards.
This was a big bird: 25.4 pounds, with ¾-inch spurs and a 9 ½-inch beard.
Goes to show you that sometimes you're best off just sitting still, being quiet and letting nature take its course.
Andrew Ness (above)