Hunt Smart, Fish Hard

I used to live off Route 727. I had good hunting opportunities for deer and turkeys where we lived. As a matter of fact, when we were moving in, we had nine turkeys cut across the dirt road in front of us. I knew right then and there this was going to be a good place to hunt.

I remember the land owner telling me to just pick a spot and wait. He said I will have deer and turkeys walk by. I put up five tree stands around the property.

I picked up my nephew in town and drove back to my place. Travis was very young at that time. We go to the big field and walk to the cemetery in the field. The outside of the cemetery had a lot of grown up weeds around it.

From scouting it out we knew it was 24 steps to get to the inside of the weeds. This paid off from walking in the dark. We didn’t wait for the gobbler to yell and then try to set up on him. We just went to the natural blind. This was perfect camouflage for us. I even had two shooting lanes.

Travis and I got set up. Travis didn’t hunt turkeys back then but he loved to go turkey hunting with me. We are set up just waiting for Ole Tom to give his morning call out. It’s starting to get a little bright out it won’t be long now. Way off in a distance we heard one turkey gobble. We knew now we would hear one close to us.

Gobble-Gobble-Gobble! Right there in the far right hand of the field. I looked at Travis and his eyes where wide open. I reached into my pocket and got the mouth call out and got ready to give a few yelps.

Out of nowhere about 20 yards to my left, a gobbler belts out. I don’t know who was more excited me or Travis. I whispered to Travis to be quiet and don’t move. About two minutes pass and he gobbled again. This time I gave a few soft yelps and he answered.

I moved my head up and down and gave Travis the thumbs up. We are watching to my left and another gobbler yells down in the middle of the field. I watch him fly down into the field, but he is way too far away.

All of a sudden I get a poke in my side from Travis and he points to my left. There is Ole Tom standing at the edge of the woods and just inside the cornfield. He is not 15 yards away. He is in full strut. I don’t see any hens, and then Travis pokes me again and points to the middle of the field.

There are two gobblers in full strut with a bunch of hens. I don’t know where they came from nor did I ever hear them fly down from their roost. I was watching this gobbler right next to me. I slowly lift my 3-1/2-inch Ultra Mag Mossberg to my knee. The gobbler appears to be going to join his other turkeys.

I look at the one shooting lane I have and got ready. Travis got his eyes peeled to the bird. I whispered to Travis get ready. The gobbler is in my sight. One more step is all I need. Ka-Bam! The turkey drops right there. Now all the other turkeys take off running and some took to the air. I told Travis to get the bird. Travis jumps up and runs for the bird.

I think Travis got into a fist fight with the turkey. All I could see was the turkey flopping around as Travis tried to pick it up. Travis tried two or three times to pick it up. He would pick it up then drop it. Travis has it up and then drops it’s again. Travis circles the bird and then moves in to try and pick it up one more time. This time he did good.

Travis brings the bird back and sets it at my feet. Travis said, “Look at my arms!” He had scratch marks from the turkeys spurs. He had a little blood showing but he was OK. 

Travis carried the turkey all the way back to the house. I told Travis he did a good job and one day he could tell his kids this story. Travis said yea, the day I had a fist fight with a turkey.

Until next week-H.S.F.H.-L.M.

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