a friends first turkey

A friend’s first turkey

It began with a slow morning for the both of us. So, my friend Shane and I, decided to meet up around 9.

He he had never killed a longbeard before, so I was more than happy to try to get him one.

Roadside strutter

We were driving to another spot on state game lands when I saw a strutted tom on the side of the road. I got really excited because, on the side of the road he was on, I knew there was a field behind the wood line. And, if we could beat him to it, we would get him.

So, I hurried up and got to the end of the dirt road and threw the truck in park. We grabbed our camo and turkey hunting gear and started running towards the field.

The setup

We got setup in the perfect spot. Winded and breathing heavily, I set my hen decoy about 20 yards from the wood line where there was a trail coming out so the Tom could see it plain as day.

I got Shane set up in front of me and I started to give a couple soft purrs and clucks. The gobbler stayed quiet, and I was worried he had seen us and run off.

… and then a turkey scratching

We sat tight for a while and I would call every 4-5 minutes. After about 20 minutes of this, I could finally hear a turkey scratching in the leaves. I could see Shane getting anxious and start shaking a little.

Then we saw him… a big ‘ol red head coming down the trail. The Tom came right into the field where he was supposed to. Shane got him at 25 yards. He couldn’t have been more excited! I was happy to be a part of a a friend’s first turkey… a memory that I’ll never forget!

– By Derek Faith

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10 minute tom turkey pic

The 10-minute Tom turkey hunt

10-Minute Tom Turkey Hunt

This morning we slept through our alarms, so we got a late start. Little did I know this would become my 10-minute tom turkey hunt

We had almost decided not to go out, but after driving around the block, we spotted a tom out in the field behind one of our spots and decided to go for it.

We hurried out and got to a point in our woods where we knew we could cut him off. We set up our decoys up and tucked ourselves in the brush about 20 yards from them.

The call, the answer and the kill… all N 10 minutes

I yelped with my call and he hammered back. I yelped again and no noise… but then, less than 2 minutes later, he came up over the hill and was locked in on our jake decoy.

He never even saw me and I dumped him at about 15 yards! We couldn’t believe it all unfolded so perfectly in only 10 minutes!

It was my first time calling on my own so I felt extremely proud of myself. All the work I put in over the years learning from Greg and our hunting buddies has finally started to pay off.

 

– By Brooke Saunders

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chicken on a stick turkey girl

A chicken on a stick and a first turkey

I’m from Western, NY, but my stepdad has a cousins who live in Kentucky. And, I really love turkey hunting, so we decided to make the 8-and-a-half hour trip out to Farmers, Kentucky, for the second week of the season.

Too close for comfort and too far to shoot

We woke up and got into the woods early Saturday morning. We had never been in those woods, obviously. But, my cousin had been Friday night to do some scouting. So, we sat down, waited to hear some birds gobble and then make our move.

Well, we wouldn’t have guessed we were sitting 30-40 yards away from a roosted tom. So, we waited until he got out of the tree to call or anything because we were that close. If he had called, the tom would have spotted us in a hurry.

Mr. Tom waited until 7:30 am before flying down. And, when he did fly down, he ended up going in the opposite direction of us, and we lost him. We waited a little bit more to see if we could call one in. But, it never happened. Then, we moved our way to a field and set up a blind and decoys. We stayed there for about 2.5 hours. Nothing but a hen, a coyote and 3 deer showed up.

Cows, donkeys and strutters, oh my!

My cousin and I got sick of sitting around, so we decided to go set up somewhere else, just he and I. We set up one field over. We didn’t realize that there were cows and donkeys in this field. And, they were not happy with us at all. We sat by a tree, me in the front and him in he back. I had a long couple of days so I took a little nap, and so did my cousin.

When I woke up, the cows were about 30 yards from us. Just as my cousin looked over to me to ask me what we should do next, he whispered “there’s a strutter, THERES A STRUTTER.” The tom was 160 yards away. We didn’t have any decoys or the Primos Chicken On A Stick. So, my cousin sneaked back to the other set up we had, and came back.

Somehow, he managed to do all of this running back and forth in about 15 minutes. But, the turkey had moved to a small wooded area right behind where he was earlier. I lost sight of him, so we really didn’t know where he’d be. We also didn’t know what we should do. We didn’t know if there was a hen with him or not. So we sneaked up to a stump about 75 yards from where we first sat. We tried looking for him and thought we had lost yet another turkey.

The chicken on a stick leads the way

My cousin called a couple of times to see if he’d gobble at all. Nothing. We sat there for a good 10-15 minutes just waiting. Suddenly, I saw a hen walking out of the woods. And then the big ‘ole tom came following her too. He was again strutting his stuff. We decided to make our move. We kept the chicken on a stick right in front of us. My cousin went first, and I was right behind him.

While we are crawling there were piles of cow poop that we were trying to not crawl in. We kept crawling, going a little faster each time the tom would turn his back to use. This was about a 15-minute stop and go crawl. We stopped at one smaller stump. We waited to see if he was going to come to us finally, or we to him some more. He was stubborn and didn’t want to leave his hen. He didn’t move any closer, he actually started down the hill. My cousin made the decision that when he went far enough down the hill, we would run right towards him, with the chicken on a stick still out in front.

The tom turned around just as we were coming to another stump. He was ticked when he saw how close this decoy had come. We were so close now that we could see how mad the gobbler was. I was still behind my cousin, so I made a little movement to dodge him. The turkey saw that and he stopped coming to us. Of course, he stopped right in front of this stump so I couldn’t shoot. He went right behind a stump for just a second, so I got right out behind my cousin and as soon as the turkey came around to come at us again… BANG! His head flew backwards and he dropped and started flopping! I was so proud and happy!

My cousin quickly got up, while shouting “WAHOOOO” and a bunch of other good things. He didn’t want the bird running away, like they do sometimes when you shoot them. But, this was my first turkey after a long four years of doing nothing but missing them! There were one or two tears come down because it had finally happened. I gave my cousin a high five, and started the picture taking. I called my boyfriend, who is usually my turkey hunting partner, and let him know I had finally gotten one.

The bird ended up having a 9.5 inch beard and 3/4 inch spurs! Not too bad for my first turkey. It’s a moment I’ll never forget!

 

– By Autumn Gilbert

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