BIG TIME Youth Turkey Weekend Success

sneaky_pete000

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Wow, what a weekend. Youth weekend is the best weekend.

We roosted on Friday night without any success, but Duke was so pumped up for turkey season he didn't care.
Emma was excited to go because she loves it when the woods start to wake up and she can hear the birds singing and turkeys gobbling off in the distance, but she said she didn't think she wanted to be a shooter. So I didn't buy her a tag.

Saturday morning was beautiful and started out cloudy, which I remember appreciating as I tried to get 3 kids and myself into the woods and set up. (Duke was my shooter, Emma was along for the experience, and Ethan was there for moral support) We headed to a reliable spot despite not hearing anything on the roost there the night before. There were birds lighting up the hillside across the valley, but we did hear one within a couple hundred yards that I thought we had a chance at. I thought he was still in the tree the last time I heard him gobble, but it didn't take long before we heard a shotgun ring out down the ridge. During the regular season that can take some life out of the party, but during youth weekend it usually starts a lot of curious questions - sure enough, it was my cousin and his nephew knocking down a big tom on his last youth weekend. We were all genuinely excited for him, but there was silence for another 2hrs....

Emma had seen enough and was satisfied that she got what she came for. She walked down to the house for breakfast, while the boys and I decided to make a move all the way to the other side of the farm. Turkey hunters know what happens next right? Upon arriving to the other side, we immediately heard the gobbles firing up near our original location. However, on our way out of that spot, Ethan picked up an awesome shed. I lived on that farm and spent thousands of days in those woods, and never found a single shed. He was pretty pumped.

 

sneaky_pete000

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Duke and I headed back toward the gobbles...he sounded red hot. We snuck to where I thought we were in the bubble, set up and called. He would gobble right on top of me, but wouldn't come any closer. We crossed the top of the elevation, and I got aggressive/creative. I called soft and gentle with my mouth call, then gave some angry cuts with the slate at the same time. Would you believe it worked? The next thing we knew he was standing in a single patch of sun 50yrds away, spit/drum/gobble/strut, the full show. It was awesome and Duke got to watch it all. He was sitting next to me, shaking to a level that I didn't think he'd even be able to make a shot. I scratched in the leaves behind me and the tom collected himself and headed our way. There was an opening 35yrds away, and I told Duke I'd get him to stop in that opening. I clucked, the tom stopped and put up the periscope, and Duke put it back down. The tom didn't even twitch. We used some TSS out of his 20ga and a Carlsons choke, and it was a quick clean kill.
22lbs
8" beard
1" spurs
20200425-105334.jpg
 

sneaky_pete000

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We headed home for lunch. I thought I was in line for a celebratory beer and hot dog, but Emma was pretty interested in Duke's bird. She decided she wanted to go back out. I didn't mind delaying my beverage for that....

Walking back up on the hill, we could see 3 jakes at the farthest point in the fields. Probably 400yards away. Sneaking back behind the fencerow, we snuck into the exact spot we started in that morning, again. I called at the jakes without a response. Experience told me to sit still and be patient because the jakes aren't going to make any noise...

Emma was starting to get itchy, but she spotted a bird cross a stone wall 60yards away. I wasn't sure it wasn't a hen because it spent 30 minutes just scratching in the leaves, out of sight. It seemed like an eternity, but eventually we say the red head on the way in. He was in half strut, so I couldn't see a beard with the naked eye. Emma had the gun up and ready, we just had to confirm the beard. As the jake went behind a tree I tried to pull up my binocs...but he spotted me and froze. Lucky for us, another jake came in to see what all the commotion was, which of course made the first jake compete to get closer. I could see the beard, and whispered to emma "shoot....shoot....shoot......"When the jakes were about to beat it, the same 20ga went off and the 2nd bird of the day hit the ground without twitching. We rushed over as the 2nd jake was beating on the dead one and Emma had her first turkey. She was more excited than I think I've ever seen her. (Thanks to Longbow for the motivation to get her into hunter safety course)

 

SportsmanNH

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Pete , as the saying goes , " It Just Doesn't Get Any Better Than That ! "
And even that is an understatement !

Congrats to everyone in your family ! (y)(y)(y)
 

Mountain Hunter

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I've been waiting for your youth report. It did not disappoint! I'm happy for you and your family. They will always remember these moments!
 




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