I might try them rubber bands as I lose more strikers than I can carry.
Worst case was one morning I slipped down this powerline cut to set up on 3 big toms that I had seen go to roost the night before on this conservation area. I did a soft tree yelp and they gobbled back so I set down to wait for them to pitch down to the opening in front of me.
Well they never pitched down like they normally did, they just stayed up by the roost gobbling like crazy. After awhile they started off for a nearby field so I moved down to the creekbottom to get closer and cut them off if I had to. They would only answer this one slate and striker combo I had, nothing else. No box call, no mouth calls, nothing. About the time I got to the bottom one turned and came back toward me. I had to dive for cover under a fallen treetop.
As I lay there cursing my luck and hoping I hadn't been seen I looked up above me and there stood this big ole boy in coveralls with a brown stain leaking out from the corner of his mouth, under the same treetop. He looked just like Junior Samples from the TV show Hee Haw. Same flat top haircut, same dead pan expression. He leans down and says to me "Dang son, you're pretty good with that slate but your sneaking sure could use some work".
"You Junior Samples?" I asked looking up at my new found friend. :wave:
"Nope he says. "I'm here to kill that big tom." "I thought you was going to pull them right into me but they turned and walked up that hill." "Coyote maybe spooked them I think".
I apologize for screwing up his hunt but he just waves off the offer.
I ask him how the heck he got back so far so fast into this area as it was death march for me. He was built like a beach ball and I didn't figure him for a ridge runner.
"Ah just drove in on my buddy's farm" he said as he pointed to an old beatup Ford pickup off in a nearby private cornfield.
He asks me to crank up that slate again and see if we could'nt let the air out of one of them toms. I reach for my striker and dang, it musta flown out of shirt pocket when I dove under the tree. I searched everywere for it. By now Junior is giving me the "Hairy EyeBall". You know the look like a kid gives you when you screw up.
"You're a real mess huh?" he asks me.
"Yup" I answer back. "Been doing this for 30 something years now and it ain't getting any easier for me."
I try everything to make the slate play. My cigarette lighter, small twigs, a pen, anything. I'm here to tell you nothing will play a slate that I could find except a striker. I usually carry 2 or 3 but I had already lost those so I was down to my last one that day.
We never did kill that tom but me and Junior had a ball playing peek a boo that day with 3 wiley toms.