It's been two decades now but I remember as if it were yesterday
The wild thrill of being in the dark woods before dawn; the expectancy at what the coming day would offer; the uncertainty of exactly how or even what to do when the sun did arrive.
The cardinal was the first to make a sound as the soft gray light spread across the eastern sky. Soon after, countless other birds joined the chorus that quickly swelled to a fever pitch. The woods were on fire with life! And then I heard it. At least I thought I did. The sound was faint and not distinct enough to convince me of it's source. Was it my straining imagination or an actual tom?
The time had come to see if my practice would produce any result. I lightly scraped the lid across the box of the call a friend let me borrow and hoped the sound was close enough to imitating a hen yelp to provoke a response. It was. This time the tom left no doubt; firing back from his roost high above the water produced by a flowing well to the north. I had just heard my first gobbler in the wild!
It's hard to put into words what I felt in that moment as the sun crested the horizon and the world resurrected all around me. But I suspect all who are passionate about the wild turkey have felt it too and it's that feeling that keeps us coming back to the springtime woods year after year.
Much time has passed since that first encounter. I've spent countless mornings waiting in the darkness of the pre-dawn woods; waiting for the sound that still thrills me just as much as the first time. And it's this thrill that led to the creation of Strut Buster.
Initially my intention was simply to make a handful of diaphragm calls I would feel confident carrying with me in the turkey woods. As they say, one thing led to another and now I am grateful to be able to share in the experiences and hear the stories of the many turkey hunters who are using Strut Buster diaphragms to bag tough old toms in their neck of the woods.
Most importantly, as we head to the woods this spring, may we give thanks for each moment we have been blessed to experience in God's great outdoors and for the joy and privilege of matching wits with a critter as amazing and mysterious as the wild turkey!
God bless and see you in the woods!