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First Turkeys

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I had the opportunity to hunt season E in area 412. I was a part of a group of four, none of us having hunted turkeys before. Fortunately we had some great property with unpressured birds to get a taste of what the hunt is all about.

The first day excitement starting with us listen to three different birds gobbling from the roost. After 4 hours of waiting we were up stretching our legs scouting out some of the far reaches of our property. While doing this we heard a gobbler respond to some nearby crows. Of course we were unprepared, only two of us had guns and we left all of our calls in the blinds. In a moment of desperation we hunkered down along the nearest cover and I started serenading the gobbler with just my voice. I certainly didn't think my strained yelps sounded very good but it didn't even take 10 minutes and we had three male turkeys working the fence row we were on. They came as close as 20 yards before they retreated, but we never once made out a beard on their bright red, white, and blue faces so we never took a shot. This close call certainly made us more determined than ever to try and get a bird.

Day two was rather uneventful. Saw two hens and a tom briefly in the morning. And went out again in the evening to witness several birds working our field but being unable to coax them into gun range.

Day three started with the roosting birds gobbling extremely close to us. After hearing all of their calls fade into the distance, two of our guys headed for home around 9:00. My father and I stayed behind. We walked quietly for a while in the woods looking for set-up spots for the afternoon. After approaching the site of the encounter from two days before we decided to let out a few calls. It only took one series of yelps to get a thunderous gobble in return and it was close. A second yelp and another response followed by a second gobble. This time we took a few extra seconds to get into a position that put myself (who was calling) behind my father who would take the first shot. I also had a great view in the event a turkey made it up to me. A few more yelps and a few more gobbles, definitely getting louder. As I was watching my dad I could see he was readying for a shot so I looked 15 yards to his left and saw two mature toms working along the fenceline. His shot dropped one of the birds and startled the other one which jumped about 10 feet into the air. When he came down he was confused and started to run right into my field of view where I took my shot. Just like that our hunt was over. It was awesome.

My bird:

21 lbs

9.5 inch beard

1 inch spurs

Dad's bird:

18 lbs

9.5 inch beard

1.125 inch spurs


That evening I went back with a third member of our party and we made a successful stalk to the edge of the field where we were that morning. We had seen one hen and a little bit of calling drew her in along with a tom in full strut. When the tom passed between openings in the trees my friend took his shot. Calling this bird in for him was almost more satisfying than taking my own bird. Seeing that tom in full strut, with the setting sun shining through his fan is something I will never forget.

Friend's bird:

23 lbs

9.5 inch bear

.875 inch spurs

We contribute our success to being able to hunt unpressured birds who were very willing to respond to calls. The fourth person in our party only got out one time in the last two days of the season and startled seven more birds from our field when he arrived. 3 out of 4 tags filled was a great accomplishment, and we all learned a great deal about turkey hunting and hope to make this an annual tradition.

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Great job!

For you and your dad to share in each other's first birds at the same time is an accomplishment few can lay claim to. I agree calling in birds for a buddy is almost better than calling one in for yourself!

Good Luck!


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Great memories last a lifetime. Nice job

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That'll be tough to top in your future hunts!


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Congrats on the great birds! I'd also like to say Welcome, to the addiction of turkey hunting.

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