William’s First Wild Turkey
For two years, I have been trying to get my Son a decent shot on a gobbler. On the opening weekend of the 2013 Junior Season, all our efforts finally paid off, and my Son William was able to kill his first turkey!
First I would like to explain the situation. My cousin Kenn Warren is one of the best turkey hunters and callers I have ever known, with many longbeards to his name, both with shotgun and archery. It was Kenn who originally got me fired up about Turkey Hunting over 25 years ago, after setting up with me and calling a spring flock right into our laps. It was full blown gobbler fever right in my face, the birds were drumming, strutting, and spitting just feet away from me.
His Wife Karen passed away recently; she was a beautiful lady who loved my Son dearly.
Kenn invited us to hunt with him on some private ranch land, where he knew the habits of the birds, and was confident we could get William in range of a gobbler. He had been scouting the ranch several days the week prior, and kept a log sheet showing where the birds were roosting, which direction they were moving off the roost, and how vocal they were.
The evening before the hunt, we watched several potential roost trees on a ridge line, and nothing showed. On the drive out, we finally spotted birds on the roost down in a creek bottom, in a live oak tree where they had roosted a couple nights before. We had a plan for the morning!
We set up early, with William using the gun rest on top of the SLIP System with the Open Country Camo Cover on it. Kenn and I used Moo Cow Covers, and I had my camera mounted on top of my SLIP System. A fourth System with a Turkey Slipcover and a real tail fan, was set up about 10 yards to one side of William.
As you saw in the video, the setup was nearly perfect. My Son made his mistake by not shouldering the gun early enough when the birds first started coming for the decoys…they caught his motion, and even though they were in good range, he got a little too excited and shot high.
After the miss, we went mobile to try and get in another ambush position on the birds. But they were now educated, and even though we did get a visual on them, we couldn’t get them to come all the way in for a decent shot.
I am completely convinced that it was my Cousin Karen that was pulling the strings from Heaven that day. Turns out, the missed shot was a blessing, it all worked out perfectly!
Around 10 AM, we located the flock, milling around in a clearing on the far side of a group of mature valley oaks. Using the SLIP System Turkey Decoy as a shield, with William close behind me, and moving a little at a time, I was able to get us behind a large valley oak, just 30 yards from the birds. Instructing my Son shoulder his gun, I gave a couple of soft yelps with my mouth call, and two big gobblers came striding around the tree, looking for the “new action”. William was ready, and rocked the biggest gobbler’s World!
This was a big, heavy Rio Grande Gobbler……9 inch beard, and a single one inch spur on the right leg. An awesome Trophy bird!
My Son tends to be surrounded by what we think are “angels” in many of his pictures….strange halos or auras always surround him. When I saw the “angel” near his heart in this picture, I knew it was Karen.
I cannot begin to express the love and gratitude I have for Kenn, he has always been a big influence on me as a hunter. He made this great day possible for us, and we will be forever grateful.
Filed under: Hunting
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