In the movie "Groundhog Day," weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is doomed to repeat Groundhog Day again and again until he learns that his actions can affect the outcome.

Anyone addicted to turkey hunting can easily understand the frustration experienced by Connors of having to live out the same frustrating scenario day after day. And such was the case for me during the 1992 spring turkey season.

For almost two weeks into the season, each morning would be a repeat of the one the day before. Each morning as dawn broke, I would be set up near roosting birds. The turkeys would fly down, a tom would gobble a couple of times, I would make a few seductive calls, but no gobbler would respond.

I had become more than a little frustrated at the strange behavior of the gobblers.

Following yet another unsuccessful morning hunt, I finally gave in and decided to give my good friend and turkey hunting mentor Bruce Brady a call. If anyone knew how to deal with these troublesome toms, it would be Brady. I told him everything I could remember about each hunt, recalling as many specific details as possible. He listened intently, quizzing me when I failed to make some point clear.

After plotting for almost an hour on various ways to outsmart these gobblers, he finally had a suggestion.

"Why don't I just come over there and show you how to handle those wise old toms?"

"Sounds like a plan," I responded, knowing that my luck was about to change for the better with a master turkey hunter like Bruce Brady at the helm. "When do you want to give them a try?"

"I can be there in about an hour," Brady replied.

"You mean you want to hunt them in the middle of the day?" I asked, unsure if I had heard my friend correctly.

"Yep, we can have a high-noon showdown with those gobblers," he laughed.

The sun beamed straight down from a 12 o'clock position as Brady's familiar green Bronco turned into my driveway. Minutes later, we were set up in a neck of woods that formed a narrow funnel between two open fields the gobblers used with clockwork regularity as their strut zones.

Glassing the open pasture to our right, we quickly located a pair of strutting toms amid the tall grass. With their fans in full display, the longbeards were making every effort to attract the attention of a trio of disinterested hens feeding nearby.

Making as little noise as possible, we raked away the ground litter from the base of a big red oak where we would sit side by side. I watched as Brady dug deep into his turkey vest, and pulled out his ancient Lynch box, a small slate and a variety of other callers.

Brady began with a series of loud yelps to get the pair's attention. Immediately, the longbeards answered in unison with a booming gobble that echoed across the open field. He cackled in response, and the boss gobbler of the pair double-gobbled. Brady cut his eyes over at me and winked. His midday plan was starting to come together.

The pair of gobblers quickly cut the distance between us in half, but then hung up at the end of the lane only 100 yards away. It was as if they were trying to decide whether to return to the hens they had left in the field or check out the invisible hens that sounded so enticing. Brady then made a series of soft purrs and yelps, but received no reply. Just as I was beginning to doubt my friend's midday tactics, he gave his old box call a hard shake that produced a perfect gobble.

Brady's gobble did the trick. The pair of toms rattled the trees with a thunderous warning, and then began a footrace toward our position. I was chuckling to myself at the comical sight of the two red heads bobbing through the tall grass as they jockeyed to be the first to confront the perceived intruder.

In a matter of seconds, their defiant mad dash had placed the two gobblers only 20 yards or so away from the end of our gun barrels. With a whispered count - "1-2-3" - Brady's old Parker side-by-side and my Remington 870 roared in unison as the pair of old toms tumbled with feathers flying. We sprang to our feet, and ran to the downed birds, letting out a rebel yell that could be heard in the next county.

We congratulated each other on our success, and then proceeded to relive the events as they had just unfolded. After admiring their thick rope-like beards and keen hooked spurs, we picked up our trophies, slung them over our shoulders and headed back to the Bronco.

As we made our way across the open field, I glanced over at my hunting buddy.

"This midday turkey hunting sure is fun," I said. "I can't wait to try it again."

"Just don't expect these results every time," my friend laughed. "Every high-noon showdown doesn't always turn into a shootout at the O.K. Corral!"

My friend had once again taught me a new turkey hunting tactic for hard-to-kill gobblers. While that particular hunt would be my first high-noon showdown with a longbeard, it certainly wouldn't be my last.

Turkey hunters in Mississippi, or anywhere in the Deep South for that matter, will attest to the fact that Eastern gobblers are the toughest subspecies of turkey out there to hunt. That's not to say the other subspecies aren't challenging; they simply don't receive the hunting pressure our Eastern birds experience as a result of liberal bag limits, extremely long seasons and huge numbers of turkey hunters.

In order to bag one of these high-pressure gobblers, a turkey hunter must be willing to put in the extra effort and dig deep into his bag of tricks.

"Cuz" Strickland of Mossy Oak fame and a legend in the Mississippi turkey woods once described these high-pressured gobblers as politicians: "They will promise you a lot and give you very little!"

Once the hordes of hunters take to the woods in mid-March, owling and calling at first light, the old gobblers that were so talkative only a few weeks earlier become hush-mouthed and extremely hard to locate. The few birds that remain vocal survive by flying off the roost in the opposite direction of the early morning callers, causing great frustration for the hunters.

For most turkey hunters, the ideal Southern turkey hunt consists of setting up near a roosted bird, making a few seductive calls at daybreak and having a logger-headed longbeard come strutting, drumming and gobbling into gun range. The problem is that this scenario is a rare occurrence in the Mississippi turkey woods. Instead, most turkey hunts end shortly after they begin, with a dejected hunter heading back to his truck having been outwitted once again by a wily old longbeard.

But for those few die-hard hunters who have learned the ways of the wild turkey, they know that the best hunting can be found later in the day - at midday in particular.