My first, in 1973

Whether you're a 10-year-old kid or a 40-year-old kid-at-heart, bagging that first bird is a thrill. This is the place to share photos and stories of your first harvest.
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Everyday Hunter
 
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My first, in 1973

Postby Everyday Hunter » May 27th, 2009, 5:36 pm

I think it was 1973. I remember that because I had a 1970 Plymouth Duster and I had the tail fan laid out on the back window deck. The car was copper-colored, and it looked great. I guess it's time I tell the story.

I was in college in the Boston area, and I came home for the weekend just to hunt spring gobblers. It was near midnight when I got home, and it was raining. My dad had located one for me and asked if I still wanted to go in the rain, and I said, "That's what I came home for."

We got on the top of the hill at daybreak and heard a gobbler down the hill near a pipeline right-of-way. We hurried down to a bench, and set up with our backs to the root ball of a fallen black cherry tree. The only call I had was an old Penn's Woods single reed diaphragm with black tape on it. The gobbler answered and steadily closed the distance.

The shotgun I was using was my dad's old Ithaca double barrel because my Ithaca model 37 pump was broken (thanks to one of my younger brothers.) At about 50 yards he began to circle to our right, and I had to shift the stock of the gun from my right shoulder to my left in order to put the bead on him. I didn't go all the way left-handed because I still had my right hand on the grip, my left hand on the forearm, and was sighting with my right eye. Yes, awkward.

When he got to about 40 yards, and to my extreme right, I finally lit the powder. He went down in a heap. To this day that's the longest shot I've ever taken, and only one of two beyond 30 yards. His beard was shredded by some shot, but I still have it.

I carried that 20½ pound bird with 1" spurs to the top of the hill. That turkey had lice, and by the time we got to my dad's International Scout I was crawling with them. (It's the only turkey I ever got that had lice.) On the way out we met a couple of guys who were hunting that gobbler every day. They were pretty disgusted that a kid came home from college and shot it. They had the reputations of good turkey hunters, but I was the one that got the gobbler.

I was hooked.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.

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MAKEemQUIVER
 
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RE: My first, in 1973

Postby MAKEemQUIVER » June 4th, 2009, 4:16 pm

Thats a great story, thats awesome that you went in there and killed there bird.

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rsmithpa
 
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RE: My first, in 1973

Postby rsmithpa » June 5th, 2009, 7:19 am

That is a great story and thanks for sharing it!
Full Fans, Longbeards, and Sharp Spurs

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Gobblerman
 
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RE: My first, in 1973

Postby Gobblerman » June 5th, 2009, 11:54 am

Yes, Steve, great story.  It took me back to those same days, half way across the country from you.  I had a 62 Plymouth Valiant....one with the push-button transmission on the dash....two-tone copper color...those were the days!
 
Although I started spring gobbler hunting in the mid-sixties, I didn't call and kill my first one until '75, although I did bushwack one in '69.  That first called-in bird had the same result...hooked for life!  I wanted to remember just how I felt at the time, so I wrote my first full-length story on that hunt.  I think I will go find it and post it here sometime soon.
 
Thanks for bringing back some good memories!
 
Jim
 
 

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Fan Club
 
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Location: Calhoun County, Michigan

RE: My first, in 1973

Postby Fan Club » June 5th, 2009, 2:07 pm

Do you have a photo?
"The joy of living is his, who has the heart to demand it." Teddy Roosevelt

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: My first, in 1973

Postby Everyday Hunter » June 5th, 2009, 3:13 pm

I actually do, somewhere, but of course it's not digital. If (and when) I find it, I'll get it scanned and post it. As I remember it, the picture has me holding the gobbler by the neck while hanging it from a clothes pole. I was hanging it there so the lice would jump off it as the body cooled.

I'll look for it when I get some time. It's probably in an album I have around somewhere in my cluttered basement.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: My first, in 1973

Postby Everyday Hunter » July 1st, 2009, 5:17 pm

ORIGINAL: Fan Club

Do you have a photo?

Here it is:
Image

I have two others, but (believe it not) that's the best. Yes, I know, there's a lot wrong with that photo, but it is what it is. Back in 1973 there were lots of things we didn't know.

Steve
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.


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