My First Turkey
You could say it all started in 2013 when Scott Wolfe asked me to get tags for the Spring Turkey season. Having never hunted turkey before I was very hesitant to say the least. The draw was never there for me. They were always considered a dumb bird and not much of a challenge to hunt. My family never hunted them while I was growing up so it was all new and uncharted territory for me.
So enter the 2013 season......Scott's Opening morning was on a Saturday I believe. And like any other morning of hunting I was all worked up and ready to do this!!!! I got up early and head to Scott's and on my arrival he meets me outside. "Let's go to breakfast." What? I’m all worked up and ready to chase these birds down and he wants to go eat breakfast. So we have breakfast and head to the woods about 9:30 am. We head down a path in the woods, stopping every now and then to cluck trying to get an answer back. Then we do, Scott searches to find an ambush spot for our blind. After setting it up I settle in and pick up the filming where I left off. Scott calls, the turkey answers, and then...... MY HEART STARTS POUNDING! What the heck, this stupid bird has got my adrenaline going through the roof. Needless to say, I was hooked!
Fast forward to spring 2014, Ralph offers up a spot for me to hunt by his place. I knew the area, I knew the population of birds there and once again, like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, I was pumped to try this "new" hunt. So like my father and grandfather before me I bring my oldest daughter Katelyn out with me to share in the fun. Though we did not bag a bird, Scott, Katelyn and myself had a great morning watching and listening and just enjoying nature. The next morning Katelyn was unable to join us so Scotty and I met at Ralph's and proceeded to the property. The plan was to "Run and Gun" as Scotty put it. We got to our first spot and called, immediately an answering gobble was given from two fields away. Scotty said, "Let's get set up here." So I set up our H.S. Strut Jake and Hen, and headed back to the tree line. Now, remember this is all new to me. The night before I annoyed my lovely wife to near insanity with the chirps and clucks and purrs of the great inspiring and most of the time, near death sounds that I could make with my friction and box calls, We'll call it "practice" at best. So now I am set up on this tree line, gobbler on his way, Coach Scotty behind me with the camera, my H.S. Double hook call and TC 20gauge in hand..... I am in the prime moment where every hunter wonders, "Have I bitten off more than I can chew?" A Chirp/yelp from me and a gobble from the other end of the field. Then after what seemed an hour (it was 15 minutes) I see movement coming into the field 200 long yards away. And once again like the year before, the adrenaline starts mixing into my bloodstream making it very difficult to keep my composure. Telling myself, "It's just a dumb bird", was no longer working as I fought my un-cooperating body to just sit still as the gobbler was now on a B-line for the decoys I had placed with great precision. It would have made the greatest turkey hunters proud, but Scott placed them better after I sat down. When the gobbler finally made it to the decoys, in my mind I thought "We have touchdown Huston", I had the bead steadily on the neck of the bird waiting for the right moment. After bumping the Jake decoy and parading like, well, a turkey for the hen for a while, he suddenly realized the game. His head went up, feathers dropped out of strut and like a billboard announcing the game was over, and I pulled the trigger before our guest could dart back into the woods. "Yeah Buddy" I was so pumped! Over a bird!!!!! After Scott and I had finished the recovery and some pictures he asked me what I thought about turkey hunting now. "I'm hooked!" was all I could say. After all these years of passing the season by, I am truly hooked thanks to the coaching from Ralph and Scott, and the patience deplored by my wife through the agonizing ear bleeding from my night of practicing!