Introducing a new hunter to the sport.

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Introducing a new hunter to the sport.

Postby allaboutshooting » March 19th, 2009, 8:42 am

This time of year, as I think about the upcoming turkey season, a  lot of memories come flooding back. I can still remember the thrill of my first turkey hunt. Glynn took me after I'd expressed an interest in learning about hunting turkeys. I hope I'll never forget the feelings that I had on that first hunt.

I remember taking Roy on his first turkey hunt. I don't know who was more excited. He's become a great turkey hunter and is totally addicted now.

Chad and I went on his first hunt and I was able to watch him shoot his very first bird. When we get together, we always get around to talking about that hunt.

A couple of years ago, after hearing so much about the thrill of the hunt, Doris asked to go on her first hunt and now is as enthusiastic as anyone I know.

There have been several others over the years but probably not as many as there should have been. Schedules get tight and there never seems to be enough time for everything. Our priorities get out of whack at times.

Many years ago, when all of us were really new to turkey hunting, we were out there talking up the sport and encouraging everyone we knew to try it. We could hardly wait for the seasons to come and we were always practicing our calls. We'd call each other (this was before e-mail and the Internet.) to see how everyone had done. We spent time in turkey camp in the fall, made new friendships and cemented others.

There was the camaraderie of new hunters learning together and helping each other. I think I need to do that again, to introduce a new hunter to this sport. I need to spend some time helping someone like I was helped, not just on the "net" but actually in the field and turkey woods. It's been a while.

I look forward to the spring and fall hunts and hope that I always will and that I'll be able to hunt for many years to come. As I look back however, it's been the folks that I've introduced to the sport and hunted with on their first hunts, that give me the most pleasure.

Any stories you'd like to tell about introducing a new hunter to the sport?

"If he's out of range, it just means that he has another day and so do you."

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Cut N Run
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RE: Introducing a new hunter to the sport.

Postby Cut N Run » March 19th, 2009, 10:15 am

I took the Landowner of the property where we hunt on his second successful turkey hunt.  He'd shot a jake a few years ago that ran right up to him, so He really didn't get much of a grasp on how turkey hunting usually is.  The Landowner called me one day and said he'd heard a bird gobbling behind the house and was asking me questions about hunting it.  I offered to come call for him, and after scouting the area a couple of days prior to hunting, we set up in a small creek bottom next to some powerlines where a logging road crossed the lines that had good sign.  There was plenty of strutting sign in the sandy soil there and a few dust bowls along the powerline.  The Landowner was set up in a natural foxhole beside the creek where a tree had up-rooted and I was about 25 yards further up the creekbed, positioned to call the bird past his gun barrel.
Even though we heard a few distant gobbles early on, I knew to stay near that strut zone, call sparingly, and hope for the best.  About 9:45, I let out a few yelps and the Gobbler answered instantly from across the powerline cut.  Neither of us could see him, but he kept trying to coax that hen he was hearing to come visit. After hanging up for about 45 minutes and gobbling at least 60 times, he finally came our way to investigate. The Gobbler was good sized (21 lbs., 11 inch beard, 1 inch spurs) and he looked huge as he finally came to see what the deal was.  I kept expecting the Landowner's gun to go off at any second. From where I sat, the bird offered a clear shot and was in range of me, so it was actually closer to the Landowner, but the bird was behind some thick brush and honeysuckle which offered the Landowner no shot possibilities.  I watched in horror as the Gobbler strutted back in the direction he'd come from unscathed.  I quickly moved further up the creekbed away from the bird to make it sound like the hen had lost interest and was leaving the area.  That trick worked, and within just a couple of minutes, the bird started toward my position.  The Landowner bowled him over with a load of 3 inch #5's at about 35 yards. Then, as the bird was flopping, the landowner sprinted to the Gobbler & picked it up by the legs.  Even though the bird was dead and didn't know it yet, it spurred the fool out of the palm of the Landowner's hand, leaving a deep puncture wound.  The bird couldn't pick it's head up and clearly wasn't going anywhere, but the hunt was so long & intense, he wasn't about to let that bird get away.
I carried the Landowner's gun while he toted the bird back up to his house. After we high-fived a few dozen times and took about as many pictures, We each enjoyed a beer in victory as I cleaned the bird for him.
Now, the Landowner hunts on his own quite a bit.  He is not a great caller yet, but knows not to over-do it.  He is improving with his patience and understanding all the time.  Even though I didn't get him his first bird, I got him hooked on how exciting and unpredictable Turkey hunting can be.
Luck Counts, good or bad

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RE: Introducing a new hunter to the sport.

Postby trkynut54 » March 19th, 2009, 1:24 pm

Last year I took a friend and his daughter out for the Pa Youth Mentored hunt. He called me one evening and while we were talking he said about taking his youngest daughter out, she was 12 then and never killed a turkey. He turkey hunts but didn't have alot of experience. So I asked him if he wanted me to play guide for him and even call for him. He was all for it.

I took them to one on my honey holes that morning and as we were walking in we busted a turkey off the roost. So we stood there until daylight. Just then I heard one gobbling below us. We quickly set up and got ready and as I was calling he was answering and coming closer. I told her to get ready, and here the gobbler snuck around us through these pines and came in to our left side. When he gobbled again they looked to the left and spooked it. It alarm putted running away. When everything settled down I said we'd walk out the ridge farther.

We got out the ridge and I did some cutting then yelped. All of a sudden 2 of them gobbled down over a hill to our left and another one gobbled to our right. I'm thinking Holy Smokes. Well we got set up again and I was calling and the gobblers over the hill would gobble then the other one did. Then I tuned it down a bit and just clucked and purred. Then the 2 gobblers came up over the hill and right in front of us gobbled together. The one was a longbeard the other a jake. She got her gun up, by the way, she was hunting with her great grandfathers over & under 20 ga with a scope.

The longbeard went behind a spruce tree but the jake started walking towards us. Her dad whispered to her, take him when you're ready. It seemed like eternity when she finally shot. BOOM the gobbler went right down and I jumped up and went down to where it was. I found out later that when she turned to shoot the stock of the gun went under her arm and when she shot she got scoped. But after all the tears went away there was a big smile on her and her dads face that was priceless. I have to say I had a pretty big smile myself. Here are some pics of that hunt:

The first pic is her and I, the second and third pics are her and her dad:





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