April 25, 2008
It was Friday night and I went out to the garage to start gathering some of my belongings for my second day of Turkey season. As I was loading up the decoys into the back of my truck I noticed the wind picked up and it started to rain. It’s a very disappointing feeling to think that your next morning has a strong possibility to be a wash out.
Everything was ready for the morning. Made my last phone call for the night to my Father-in-Law to make sure his alarm was set and that he had everything ready. We’re both turkey killing virgin’s, so laying in bed trying to fall asleep isn’t the easiest task, especially when you can hear the rain hitting the side of the house. After tossing and turning, I finally fell asleep….
April 26, 2008
It’s 2:30am and I’m awake, but not from my alarm clock but from the cold/wet nose of my best buddy Jake. He didn’t need to go out, just wanted me to move over to make room for him on the bed, spoiled dog! After a few choice words with Jake, I heard a familiar noise, the RAIN! Now I can’t get back to sleep, my dog stole my pillow, the pregnant wife is snoring and my mind is racing with “Should I shut the alarm off? Should I call the old man and tell him to just sleep in?” After some more tossing, turning, getting pushed to the edge of the bed by my wife and dog I finally fall back to sleep for what felt like five minutes.
Now it’s 4:00am and I’m getting hit in the back of the head and yelled at “Turn that damn alarm clock off!!” I jump out of bed, not because of the headache my wife just gave me but because I don’t hear any rain! Thank God I didn’t go with my gut feeling of sleeping in. I eat my breakfast and now it’s just waiting for my father-in-law to show up.
Once he gets to my house, we load up his truck and were off. As were driving to our trusty spot, were running 1,000’s of scenarios past one another. What if this happens, what if that happens, what if it just doesn’t happen?
The spot we’re hunting is approximately 100 acres and has numerous fresh grown food plots and strips of timbers about 100 yards wide running between the food plots. Since I am the amateur turkey hunter and I forgot to do my homework the night before by attempting to locate some Toms, I just took a guess as where to set up the decoys.
The sun’s coming up rapidly and its 5:30, LEGAL SHOOTING TIME! I throw three Winchester 12gauge #5 shot into my grandfather’s trusty Remington 870 Wingmaster and I can hear the old man pulling back on his Parker Crossbow. My heart’s pumping with adrenalin as I grab my Primo’s The Freak friction call and Cuttin’ Striker and let out a couple real loud yelps…. Nothing! Just tweety birds. Now I’m yelping, cutting, purring, and clucking and an hour goes by with NOTHING!
I can see the frustration and disappointment in the old mans eyes so I tell him lets move down the road two hundred yards. I grab the decoys and we’re on the move. I get about 150 yards down and out of the corner of my eye I can see a hen running across the field. At that time the old mans disappointment turned into a burst of excitement and I have to say I had a grin on my face from ear to ear. I let a loud yelp loose and for the first time in my life I heard what I found out later will be the most addicting noise in the woods. It sounded like thunder when the Tom let go with his gobble.
Now the race is on, I have the old man set up on the edge of the field and I put the hen and jake decoy right out in front of him hoping the Tom will follow the same path of the hen. I set myself up about ten yards behind him and start calling and the Tom is answering. What an adrenaline rush to have that turkey talk back to you.
All of a sudden I hear “Where is he? I can’t hear him? I forgot my hearing aids!” Now remember a man who is partially def and forgot his hearing aids way of whispering is the way most people have a normal conversation. I’m trying to “whisper” to him to just hang tight and that the turkey is on his way. I start calling again and NOTHING! Did the Tom see me or hear me???
What felt like an hour, but realistically was only about 10 minutes of hearing no response from the turkey, I decide to try and relocate. I stand up and walk towards the decoys to remove them when I heard him. He let this god-awful, ground shaking gobble go. I ran back to my spot and sat tight and hear the old man giggle, “Now I hear him!”
I start calling gently at him, cutting and purring. The tom’s going nuts, making the ground shake on every gobble. We still can’t see him though. Minutes go by and there he is 50 yards out!!! He’s huge, strutting, drumming, and gobbling!!! That beard is hanging low! Guess they call it Turkey-Fever!! My heart is pumping; the bead of my 870 is right on his head as he gets closer and closer. Only problem is I want the old man to take him but the Tom doesn’t see the decoys, he’s coming straight B-Line through the woods towards us and he’s not even looking at the field…
25 yards and his head is right behind a cedar tree when I hear, “I don’t have a shot, take him!” Remember, no hearing aids!! I reply with I don’t have a shot either. The old man continues to whisper, “Shoot him damn it!” And then it happened, the tom steps out, stretches his neck and BANG!! The turkey folded over and I think my father-in-law had to pull me down from cloud 9. What an adrenalin rush and awesome feeling, I’m hooked for life! The tom weighed in at 21.36lbs, 9.5” beard and 1.25” spurs, not bad for my first turkey. Now its time to get the old man one and hopefully it will be on video. To be continued….