Spent yesterday with my brother Darryl, his son-in-law Scott, and Scotts son Caleb hunting turkey in Bronson. Caleb is 7 years old and hunting under the “youth mentor program.” Darryl (Papa) wanted to get him a bird, and so did his dad.
Early in the morning they (Darryl, Scott, Caleb) had turkeys all around them. Three were huge “longbeards” that put on a show for them they will never forget. Darryl and Scott were able to capture the “strutting, gobbling, and dancing display” on some incredible film footage. What they really wanted was the sound of Caleb’s little 410 lighting up the air, and turkey feathers flying! It wasn’t to be, as those wise old birds would not come closer than 35 yards, which is just out of range of Caleb’s 410. Actually Darryl whispered to Scott to take one of the big brutes, but Scott wanted Caleb to get a chance, so he passed on a sure kill. Don’t know if I could of done the same!
Meanwhile I’m surprised by three Jakes following a hen about 65 yards to my right. They cross thru the thick hedgerow I’m in and walk into the next cut cornfield. I tried everything to lure them away from their “love interest”, but they would not be deterred! At one point they were at 50 yards, but out of range for my 20 gauge. Throughout the day I tried decoys, multiple decoys, frenzied calling, no calling, stalking, and running and gunning, but nothing worked. I did have three very young Jakes sneak up on me in the hedgerow while leaning against a tree. I could not swing around on them without totally spooking them, and that’s just what happened! All toll I saw 10 birds with 9 of them being Toms.
The afternoon/evening hunt for Darryl and his crew was much the same. The plan was to catch them returning to their roost area, but they evidently didn’t read the plans themselves! They saw a few birds off in the distance, but we all went home with only some real cool memories. And when you think about it that’s a wonderful thing. We saw sights and sounds that others only read about as we were in pursuit of a turkey dinner. There is always hope for next year-gobble, gobble!