Quest for 450: Number 442 in Tennessee

The week began ominously for hunter Mike Pentecost when one of his sons, 4-year-old Jacob, wound up in the hospital with pneumonia, forcing him to cancel plans to hunt in South Georgia on the way back from his successful Florida hunt. Mike now only needs nine more birds to achieve his goal of 450 turkeys before he hits the age of 50 at the end of May.

Fortunately, Jacob got better quickly, only to see, Mike’s wife, Robin, head to the hospital for some scheduled surgery. Robin’s surgery went smoothly and she was soon home recuperating. With everyone back on the mend, Mike headed up to Tennessee to meet up with outdoor television personality Spook Spann to hunt one of Spook’s properties for some big Volunteer State longbeards.

Mike Pentecost Wild Turkey Number 442Mike and Spook began their first morning together set up on a large food plot. There was lots of gobbling, but hens and jakes were the first to arrive. The men were working two longbeards closer to their setup with the hope of pulling off a double, but the gobblers were less than compliant when they approached from below the hunters and kept well out of range. 

With that hunt foiled, the group, being taped by two cameramen—Thomas Southerland for Spook’s show and Terry Sullivan, who is capturing Mike’s Quest for 450 on tape—hit the beautiful Tennessee hardwoods, where they had heard gobbling earlier in the morning. 

“We hit a call and GOBBLE! Birds sounded off just 200 yards out in front of us,” said Mike. “In hindsight, we probably should’ve used a crow call as the yelps could have brought the turkeys in faster than we could get set up.”

Luckily, the sun was already to the hunters’ backs and there was sufficient cover to set up right where they stood.

Initially, it sounded as if the gobblers were going to swing wide around where the decoys were set, but with some soft, coaxing calls, Mike and Spook, pulled the turkeys right in.

“As they got to us, one jumped up on a large blown down log and the main strutter actually strutted right under the log. It was way cool,” said Mike. 

Spook whispered, “3…2…1…” and BOOM, both hunters’ guns went off. Like that, two Tennessee gobblers were down and Mike was another bird closer to 450 with 442 wild turkeys to his credit.

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