4:32 a.m. on 04/24/03 I stopped by and picked up Dale for our first hunt together this season. We were parked by 5:10 and started up the mountain to our listening post. I knew things sure had changed since yesterday when a bird let a gobble off a couple minutes past 6:00. The bird was a ridge west of us and a long ways up the mountain. Dale and I decided to sit and listen to see if any birds would gobble from the ridge we were on. The bird to the west must have woke up on the right side of the limb because he was gobbling and double gobbling which was a great thing for us because he woke up a gobbler on the ridge we were on. Dale and I started up toward the bird on our ridge and enjoyed the two birds gobbling back and forth when a third joined in. We started across a narrow saddle to climb the last little bit before we would set up when a tom caught us by surprise and gobbled from 100 yards to our east. Dale and I both stopped, looked at each other, and started to back step. We had a brief discussion on how we were going to set up. Dale being the great friend that he is stated that since I didn't take a bird last year I was going to shoot. I sat down in a little laurel pile with the hopes of the bird coming straight in which would make for a real close up 15 yard shot. Dale moved behind me and started to call on his "Black Magic". The first thing I heard was the heart stopping sound of a turkey drumming. Only problem was it sounded like it was coming from above me where the orignial gobbler was instead of in front of me. I started to move while Dale called and I heard the drumming again. As my heart raced and Dale called, I could hear the bird over the lip of the saddle move every now and then. I picked up "Ol' Yeller" and joined Dale by throwing in a couple of purrs. The bird seemed to enjoy it and started to move. I laid the call down and then tried to drop the striker beside it... B-O-I-N-K!!!!!! ( i really hate when i do that! ) The bird came up in a spot I really was wishing he hadn't. He stopped at 25 yards in full strut, my only problem was all I could see was body and fan, no head. There was a tree about 2" - 3" in diameter that was totally blocking the birds head. I decided to move the gun to the right and give a slight lean. P-U-T-T! Oh no!! I could now see about half of the tom's head and he sure could see my barrel and proably half of my head. This is when I realized that in my hurry I had forgotten to throw the mouth call in. As every thought in the world was going through my head, Dale let out a cluck (God Bless him) and the bird gobbled moved to my right a couple of steps and my Fire Sights found thier mark. B-O-O-M!!! I see the bird go down, put my safety on, try to put a new shell in the chamber and jam the gun. Dale is up and asking if there is a bird on the ground, with a smile from ear to ear, and I'm still fighting the jam. I fix it and Dale and I go up to find a beautiful tom. The beard was 9 1/4" long with the last inch being red. The spurs (my longest) were 1 1/8" & 1" and he weighed in at 17.3 pounds. I would like to thank Dale again for being so generous and some great calling!!!!!