Quest for 450: Death in the Morning

Mike Pentecost and his camera crew began the day where they had started unsuccessfully on the day befor. They were confident that this time, they knew exactly which way the birds were going. They were wrong. They beat the hunters again and Mike felt as if he were starting behind the 8-ball. This hunt for Rios in Oklahoma was definitely not proceeding as planned, and Mike was beginning to feel the days tick by as the end of turkey season neared.


The group watched the turkeys fly down and go completely in the opposite direction of where they did the day before. The hunters moved to a high position to glass the group and finally made a plan to stick with them and try to get one of the gobblers interested in their calls. With a serious of yelps and cutts, Mike and television producer Mark Scroggins got the strutter of the flock to gobble. Even the hens responded and began coming their way.


Eventually, the gobbler, accompanied by two hens strolled into the open 75 yards away and slowly continued to work toward Mike and his crew. Soon he was within range.


“I had a shot, but the cameraman says ‘no.’ He can't see the gobbler in the camera,” explained Mike. “Seconds later the gobbler turns and comes back to our right, and the cameraman says shoot him. But now I don't have a clear shot!


“Soon, the gobbler continues to walk to our right. He comes up a little rise and is looking for me (that sweet little hen that's been calling him). Well, as I always say, ‘he shouldn't oughtta done that!’”


The tom cleared a big tree and was standing in the open at 35 yards when Mike got the “go-ahead” from cameraman Terry Sullivan. Down goes Number 446. Time of death was 7:50 a.m.


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