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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Comments (5)

  • Ron


    Proud step dad. Special thanks to Bobby and Darren


  • Bobby Deitz


    Great Hunt and story!


  • Tina


    Awesome job and fabulous story! So proud to call this country girl my daughter.


  • Autumn


    Can’t thank you guys enough! And thank you N1 for submitting my story about my first gobbler. I look forward to writing more N1 moments in the future, hopefully near future!!


  • Tracy Lynn Garfield


    That’s an awesome turkey hunting story. Congratulations on being successful in your hunt!! It will be my first ever turkey season hunt this weekend, so looking forward to it.


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