West Virginia Opening Day

This about sums up my morning.

This about sums up my morning.

Last night, I drove down to my parents’ house in southern West Virginia for the opener of spring gobbler season.  I’ve lived away from home for about 11 years but I always make it back for at least the first two days of season.  This one is slightly different than years past, however.  I arrived to an empty house.  My mom is in Alabama at my sister’s until tomorrow, and my dad is in southern Missouri chasing turkeys.  The house wasn’t stirring this morning like it has every other first day of turkey season and it was almost eerie.

I went to the same place on the rim of the New River Gorge that I killed a bird the first day last year.  Three birds were gobbling in their normal places with two close and one far off.  As soon as they flew down, it was pretty clear they had hens.  They gobbled on their own and would not respond to anything I had to say.  I got between one tom and his group of ladies but they skirted the flat I was set up on and made it by unscathed.  Another 10 yards and it would have been game time but it just didn’t work out.  By 8:00 the gobbling had stopped and the rain began.  These birds tend to do the same thing every year, so I covered their return route and stood my post until the 1:00pm quitting time but they never returned.  Guaranteed, they will be back on that ridge top in the morning and so will I.  He may have won the battle, but the war is still up for grabs.