I first went wild turkey hunting as a young teen, and Dad and I had never really gotten serious about it. Oh, we would go to the woods, but we were rarely out there early and we never really put in the time to scout or to even sit much in the woods. It was more of a good excuse to get away from home and relax for a day or two, and it worked well for that.
As I entered my early twenties, I got a little more serious about it. I borrowed an old Crescent Arms 16 gauge shotgun from Dad (my only scattergun was a tiny 410) along with his old Lynch World Champion box call and hit the woods. Sometimes I went alone and other times not, but Dad wasn't too interested then and he generally stayed home.
I got good at finding new ways to screw up a turkey hunt, and in a relatively short span of time what little turkey hunting spark was within me began to wane. Every time it would brighten a little and I'd wander onto another Florida WMA in search of turkey, I'd mess up somehow and that would be the end of it. When my friend obtained the hunting place in Georgia, I started learning how to mess up on private land. And so the years and the turkeys passed on by.
In 2012, when this story takes place, I headed out early while four other hunters did likewise. The gobbling began even before I had my gear together. I found a place to be and hunkered down, calling from time to time. The gobbles came a-plenty and several times I thought about moving to try to head them off, but I had learned that staying put was often the best idea, so there I stayed. A critter did show up, but it was only a raccoon.
No sweat, just another in a long line of turkey-hunting failures. I wasn't too worried about it.