Hi y`all! Tug out a chair and let me tell you a story about a young lady and her turkey hunt.
Yesterday was the first day of spring gobbler here in Pennsylvania and as you all know, Mister, myself and Miss Yodeling are hunters, so Saturday morning was a very highly anticipated one! Hubby and I were up and at `em by 4 AM, Miss Yodeling got the revelries calls by 4:30 AM. Dawn of the living dead times two! But after a quick cuppa, or two, and a bagel I was more or less ready and so was my daughter. We set out while it was still dark, all three of us in our leafy camouflage and made our way to our blind. Yup, there were a few trips and stumbles but I am glad to say no pratfalls.
Since we only have one 20 gauge for we ladies it had been decided that if a gobbler came in my child would get the shot since this is her first season out, and if a young hunter can actually harvest an animal the chances are high they will stay a hunter.
So we ladies got situated in our little blind that had been set-up beneath a large pine.
Mister snuggled into the trunk of the tree to call after setting up Marge & Homer, our hen and jake decoys.
The first hour was rather slow and we girls got sillier and sillier as the time wore on. Mister would call and we could hear 3 gobbler`s behind us, but they were across the road and the creek and usually they can`t be called across.
As we giggled and made up stories about Turkzilla, the 500 ton turkey that would strut in and gobble so loudly the very trees would blow over, Mister kept talking to those three lonely gobblers so far away.
After about 90 minutes this old goatherder had to stretch her short legs and work the kinks out of her back, so we all took a kink break. While we stood outside our blind and the blood started to flow once more Mister Yodeling decided to call again, using a mouth call. Lo and behold one of those lonely old boys was coming closer!
Needless to say the three of us hurried back to our places! Miss Yodeling got situated and after another long ‘Come on big boy’ set of hen sounds we heard one loud gobble. Then…..nothing. Mister fell quiet and we did also. Miss got her gun up and steady on her shooting pole and we waited…..and listened…..and waited…trying to stay as still and as quiet as those church mice do.
Without warning, to our left, we heard a spit and drum. He was close…..very, very close. A spit and drum is a sound a gobbler makes which sounds like ‘chick’ then he vibrates his chest to emote a ‘brrrooommmmm’. It`s very distinctive and once you hear that, your bird is near. He spit and drummed another time or two. Miss Yodeling was on the left, me on the right, Mister behind us. I slipped my eyes to the opening in the front of the pop-up blind….and there he was……A huge mature gobbler in full strut and heading right to our decoys.
“Oh my god,” Miss whispered.
“Steady,” I replied softly.
“Oh my god,” she repeated keeping the gun on the gobbler as he passed the hen, his angry eye on that upstart jake decoy.
“Safety off,” I said on a rustle, my heart beating as fast as hers and my breath just as rapid.
“Oh my god,” she said shakily as he kept on an angle, giving that young jake the evil turkey eye.
“Try to wait for him to come out of strut,” I whispered, trying to remind her to aim for his head, which is hard when it`s tucked back as it is when they strut. He turned slightly so that we could now see more than his wide fanned tail.
I honestly cannot say which of the three of us was the most excited when that gobbler went down. Miss and I were screaming and hugging inside the blind and then we dashed out, still squealing and hooting. Her dad and she exchanged a bear hug and a few high fives. What an amazing experience and all three of us were able to share it, as a family, in the beauty that is Penns Woods.
And what a bird he was!! 21 pounds-TRIPLE bearded and spurs that measured well over an inch in length….what a trophy!
So please, if you can, take a kid hunting and/or fishing and build your own morning of memories.