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Sean Turkey Youth Hunt Cody 2012 Apr 08
Sunday morning, we awoke to a heavy frost on the truck windshield and a crisp 28 degrees but clear and a slight breeze. I thought it would be a good day for gobbling but I was wrong. We headed to a new place but couldn’t get any gobblers fired up within ear shot on the property. We both decided to head to another spot where we had located birds while scouting. It was a good decision. When we made it to the new spot, we were too late for fly down but found some turkeys crossing the road and heading up the hill to an area we could hunt. I was conflicted on setting up in the creek bottom that I knew the turkeys liked to hang in and strut and ultimately decided to get out in front of the turkeys that we had seen already. We quickly set up the Double Bull and placed Kutter and the DSD hen and I began calling. It wasn’t long and I had hens responding and heading our direction. It ended up being a large group of hens with 2 jakes. As they were headed to us, I could see 2 mature toms strutting in the woods about 80 yards down the hill where I had initially considered setting the blind. As the hens and jakes worked to within 5 yards of the blind I asked Cody if he wanted to shoot the jakes or try to get the toms to come over. He made a gutsy decision to go for the toms! It become a test of patience as the toms ended up going back down in the creek bottom and working away from us. In the meantime, I realized I had left my cell phone and camera at the trailer we stayed the prior evening and Kyle had no way to get a hold of me. So, I decided to leave Cody in the blind and drive back to get the phone and camera since it was only about a mile down the road. As I was driving out, I saw all the turkeys that I thought were going to come up the hill to us hanging in the creek bottom where I originally considered setting up. I also noticed a tom by himself getting closer to the road and thought he looked like a candidate to being called in as he might have possibly got his butt kicked by the other 2 strutters hanging with all the hens. So I put the truck in reverse and parked and ran back to the blind and got on the calls. Sure enough, after a couple of series of calls, I got a thundering response and pretty soon every time I made a call, the tom cut me off with a booming gobble which is always a good sign they are pretty interested in what you have to say. This bird didn’t waste any time getting to us and Cody spotted him before I did. He was in full strut when I saw him and he made short work of getting to us. It was a sight to behold as the tom strutted up the hill to us with the sun backlighting his perfect fan. I let Cody decide when to take him and he made a great decision when I cut really loudly on the call and couldn’t get the tom to come out of strut, he took him just as he turned sideways at 12 yards and the gobbler’s legs dropped out from under him as Cody made a perfect head shot on him. The only disappointment I felt was not having the camera to video that kill. It was really that kind of hunt that you dream about. So one down now for Cody and still one more tag to fill. We opted to keep calling from our same position and wait out the turkeys to move up the hill to us. I really thought they eventually would come our way, but the clock was ticking. We had Easter dinner planned an hour south of us and needed to leave within the hour. After no responses, I cruised down the hill to check on the birds to see if they had made any progress our way. No such luck, they were still just loafing in the pasture near the creek. I decided this called for desperate measures and went back and grabbed the DSD hen and told Cody we were going to put the pressure on these birds and make something happen. So off we went to the turkeys. I noticed they were hanging out below a rolling hill side so we crawled to the edge of the lip and laid down prone and I stuck the hen decoy in front of us and broke out my mouth call and got after it with some aggressive calling. I was pretty excited with my rendition of the sluttiest hen I could reproduce but it had no effect on the 2 strutting tom’s who would not leave their 20+ lady friends. We were within 60 yards of the flock of turkeys and I was only asking the toms to break away 25 yards to check us out, but no luck. Then all of a sudden, a hen showed up at about 35 yards and I told Cody to get ready. The next thing that happened will go down as one of the craziest moments of turkey hunting I’ve ever experienced. All the turkeys were suddenly running single file towards us on our right side. I told Cody to get ready and pick out a red head and then there he was at 30 yards. I told Cody to shoot the tom right there and then boom, I watch the turkey continue to run with no evidence of being shot so I said shoot again and another boom and I watch the turkey fly off unscathed. I was blown away that he could miss that bird when out of the corner of my eye I saw a tom go down at the back end of the trail of turkeys. I was immediately relieved until I heard a voice yell out, “hey, do you have permission to hunt here?” WT??? I responded to the lady and gentlemen standing just below the hill that yes we certainly did and the feeling of holy crap that was a close call through no fault of ours took over. Apparently, the landowner had company show up for Easter and they decided it would be a good idea to walk out and check out the turkeys. WT??? Were they going to pet them or what? Talk about a ping pong of emotions! In retrospect, they kind of helped speed up the process of killing a turkey but it wasn’t the way we wanted it to go down. But, Cody wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth and it was a very nice tom sporting a 9” beard and 1” spurs. So they pulled it off. 4 tags filled with very nice tom’s for my 2 boys. It will be tough to top this youth season and we had a great time hunting and spending the weekend together. And we even made Easter dinner on time. What a weekend!
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