By Rich Miller
This has been a great turkey season for me so far. I haven’t gotten to go as much as I would have liked; but the days I have gotten to go, it has been good. I have been fortunate enough to take several turkeys for myself and be with some good friends when they got their birds. Of course, one of the best ones was when my son got his.
This past Saturday, my wife was out of town on Saturday and I already had plans with my buddy Greg to go chase some long-beards around. We decided that we would take the boys with us because Greg has a four year-old little boy, also. The plan was that they would hit one side of the farm and we would take the other. I was a little concerned because when Tye got his bird last week we were in a blind, and that is a huge help when hunting with a four year-old. When Saturday morning rolled around, Tye hit the floor bright and early and was ready to roll. He was really excited and had been talking about the hunt non-stop since I had mentioned it to him.
We got to the back of the pasture on top of a hill where I had planed for us to be well before daylight. He was pretty quiet getting in there. As the sun stuck its head out and the crows started their morning ritual, we had yet to hear a gobble. That was discouraging because where we were I thought we should have heard one a mile away if he had opened his mouth. We brushed up an area to sit on the edge of the pasture and settled in to do a little calling and just wait to see if anything would start gobbling.
After a while of still nothing, we get up and decided to head back to a hardwood ridge that the turkey use a lot and set up there for a little while. We hadn’t been a hundred yards on the old logging road from our last setup when we walked up on a hen. Luckily, I spotted her before she saw us and we went immediately to the ground. She must have seen us move and putted a few times. As soon as she did that we heard a gobble come from the ridge where we were headed. I called back and got an instant response. We sat back and worked the bird for about twenty minutes and he gobbled pretty much every time I called to him.
A couple of times, we thought he was headed our direction but slowly he was headed to the pasture we just left. Quietly and quickly as we could be, we moved back to our original position and put a Pretty Mama HD hen decoy up in the pasture. The big tom kept gobbling for a little while and eventually stopped. I didn’t know if he had gone out of hearing or just shut up. It was coming up on 8:30 in the morning and sitting still Tye had all he could stand and dozed off laying against me.
I guess fifteen minutes had gone by with nothing from the gobbler or me when another hen came into the pasture from the opposite direction. She fed all the way to the decoy and hung around for a while until eventually heading off. Another ten or fifteen minutes went by and out of nowhere there was a gobble from behind us again; but this time it was a lot closer! I yelped back real soft and got an immediate response. After that I just shut up and set him do his thing. I nudged Tye to wake him up and told him to be really still; there was a big gobbler coming to us.
The turkey continued to gobble and got closer each time until I saw him step in to the pasture. The way Tye and I were sitting, I didn’t want to move so I just let the turkey strut his way to us. When he stepped in front of my gun I didn’t have to move the gun at all to let him hold the load of #5’s I sent his way. As soon as I shot, I looked down at Tye and he was standing up with his eyes wide open and a smile from ear to ear. He ran out to get the turkey but it was still doing the death dance so he stood back and waited for me.
We were both super excited and it was really special to have him with me and get the chance at a bird two weeks in a row. One thing about it, he had got to see turkeys act like turkeys the few times he has gone after them. The best thing is it seems to me that he has as much fun hunting when we don’t kill anything as when we do. I know I do, and I hope we get to keep doing this for a long time. I know as he gets bigger my days behind the gun are going to get fewer and farther between.
Greg and Dillon had a great hunt that morning, also, and heard a lot of gobbling but never did get one close enough for a shot. Dillon and Tye are like two peas in a pod and are both eat up with hunting already. I just don’t know where they get it from….