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  • Cumberland County, NC: This past weekend I was reminded of the undervalued and usually neglected importance of the three S's. Three simple rules that I was taught we I started hunting years ago when chasing the eastern turkey. STILL, SOFT & STAY. About 8 month prior we had 50+- acres cleared on the edge of a swamp. We had been seeing a large # of birds hanging out in the cut over through out the winter. Friday night we sat around talking about the plan for Saturday and everyone agreed. Be an easy hunt. Go set up in the cut over, couple cuts and they would coming running be home in time for breakfast. Saturday morning comes and we head to the woods before sunrise around 5:15am. By 6:30 my uncle is itching to move. 'I have seen these birds over here and over there.' You know the type cant sit still always thinking the bird is just around the next corner. Anyhow, I gave in and we we tried a second spot, and then a third, and then drove over to the other farms to try and stalk one. Well 9:00am rolls around and my uncle and cousin are ready to call it quits and they are in a hurry to make a tee time at 10:00am. I showed them to the truck and encouraged a good round. Meanwhile, I thought it was early and a beautiful morning to boot. Not to mention this was one of my only opportunities to get in the woods all season. I was thinking about that cut over we hunted earlier and with the heavy rain the night figured these birds might just be getting a late start. As I pulled back up to the farm with the cut over 4 birds took off running in the same area we were set up earlier that morning. It was discouraging to say the least. Made me think back to when I first started hunting and a wise man once told me about the 3 S's. Be still, call soft, and stay...and right when you are about to leave STAY another 20 minutes. I grab my gear and eased my way back to the cut over. Set up two hen decoys and found a nice natural cover tree along the wood line. 10 o'clock came and went, 11 o' clock came and went and all the while I was softly calling every 15-20 minutes. Around lunch was ready to pack it in and told myself 'hang in there for 20 more mins and if I don't see anything ill roll.' Not 5 mins later 2 birds came creeping out into the cut about 250 yards away, hardly recognizable without specs. I got comfortable and still with my knee up and gun resting on it. I softly clucked with the diaphragm and without making a sound both started inching towards me. 25 mins later they closed the distance and had both sitting at 18 yards. Pulled the trigger and was thankful to harvest my first turkey of the year. STILL, SOFT & STAY is great advice to put you in a good position for a great morning in the woods.

    April 22, 2019 at 3:07pm
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