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Youth turkey day success

Rusty Spinner

Active member
I have been helping mentor my buddy's son the last 3 years with pheasants over my Brittany, deer with shotgun and this year for youth turkey day. His son is about to turn 16 this year and is safe and ethical and a joy to be with in the woods. We started out just at first light by me doing my barred owl calling in hopes of finding a roosted bird(s). Nothing at the top of the mountain, so we walked in further and further, calling every few hundred yards but not a single response gobble. Undeterred, we pressed on down the mountain and by now it was legal shooting time. I set us up between the top of the ridge where we began and the swamp down below at the edge of one of my clear cuts and put out a few decoys. I got my buddy situated in among some huge boulders to watch the action from about 20 yards away while his son and I sat against a big oak tree overlooking the decoys at maybe 15 yards.

After waiting a few minutes to let the woods settle down, I began some light calling. I heard a very long distance gobble that was one of those that you aren't even 100% sure was a turkey it was so far off, but it came from well below us in the swamp. A few more minutes and I got on one of my louder calls and immediately got a response gobble, but this time a different bird that was well within 150 yards but up the hill that we had walked down a short time earlier. We quickly scrambled to the other side of the decoys to set up for this bird, but he wound up hanging up on us. I got him to gobble a second time, but not again after that and the old silent trick didn't work either. But we did get a hen come in to our decoys and begin talking up a storm while standing among the rubber decoys. When she wasn't looking, I would imitate her sounds and that got her even more talkative. After maybe 20 minutes of that, she walked slowly around us twice and slowly wandered in another direction. Trevor was getting a real show as she got as close as 20 feet from us at least twice. As she was just going over a small hill, I heard the original gobbler from the swamp sound off, but this time he was much, much closer. And because he was coming from below, we needed to make a second move back to the original oak tree on the opposite side of the decoys looking back down into the swamp. Having sneaked back quickly, I made one call and got an immediate response gobble that was closer yet and I knew it was game on. I had Trevor get his gun up and ready and told him where I thought our bird would pop out and sure enough, not only did it come in on a rope, but he had a buddy with him. We had two nice jakes headed right for us. I told Trevor he could wait if he wanted for a mature tom, but I could almost hear his heart pounding and he told me he would be thrilled to take a shot at one of these jakes. I whispered to him to choose the best one or the one that gave him the best shot, but both came right into our decoys at 15 yards before Trevor could get off a perfect shot. At the shot, his bird went right down while the other bird never spooked. I told Trevor to sit tight and that we were going to have some fun getting the surviving jake to gobble right in our faces. I hit my trough call softly and the second jake went bonkers and put on quite a show for us for a couple of minutes before I shut up and let him walk off. A great and memorable morning with two friends I have very much enjoyed hunting with the last few years. Congrats to Trevor for doing everything right and not getting busted while waiting for his clear shot.

Trevor with his 2015 turkey.jpg
Rustyspinner, I think you are the real winner here, what you are doing is a great deed for this young fellow. You are one of the reason I enjoy the out doors so much. I love taking young people as well as people out that don't have the chance to go hunting or fishing because they don't have anyone to take them. Rustyspinner, keep up the good work! Have a good one!