On Wednesday, March 11th I asked my 8 year old son if he would like to go turkey hunting with his dad and as a typical 8 year old boys would respond is how long and what time are we going. I replied we will be going on Saturday, March 14th opening 2009 youth day at 5:00 am. My son looked at me and said dad sure, but I can not shoot any of your guns. As a proud father I ran out on Thursday 2 days before the hunt and purchased a youth turkey gun that would fit him. As all of us know how proud we where to get our first gun, but was nerves to shoot the gun once it came down to it. So I patterned the gun with #6 shoot and told him it was his turn, but as a instructor I load the gun with #9 shoot and after about four shoots his nerves had settled and was starting to hitting the target. He replied I'm ready. Friday night rolled around and I told him it was time for bed you would have thought it was Christmas all over he could not sleep. At 4:30 am he awoke me and told me it was time to get ready. He stated dad are we going to be able to see any birds in this rain storm. I looked and grind son have faith your old dad is calling. We arrived at the a ground blind that I have on my property and it was 5:30 am, cold & down pour. My son looked at me and said again dad should we have stayed home, I smiled and said have faith son in your old dad calling. To let you know I have been watching a 5 year old tom prior days and knew how he handled his temperament, because I have hunted him in the pass years and learned what makes him talk. At 6:08 am I rolled out a sweet tree call, we heard no answer at 6:30 am I did a fly down cackle the old boss boy awake in the rain with a loud deep gobble which was in the hardwood bottom over 200 yards from the field. My son eyes got that hunter look as a first time hunter with his nerves rising and heart beat racing. I looked at my son with pride and told him to take a deep breath and get up and move over to the other side on me and sit. Which he questioned why? I replied that old boss tom I have watched grow up and knew how he thought. My son replied back dad you do not know what your talking about. I replied back to him that bird will be 30 yards from this stand by 7:00 am and it was 6:45 am. At 6:55 am I told him to get is gun up and get ready, because he was about to walk into the green about 60 yards from the blind. My son looked at me and said there is no bird, I replied do you hear that noise! He said yes, that is that old boss tom drumming. My son all at once get ready and out of the timber 60 yards away strutting toward us was that old boss tom. He strutted toward us giving us a show looking for that sweat hen that was not in the field. My son took a deep breath while the turkey strutting & gobbling at 20 yards. I told my son I was going to stop the tom and to put the green bead on the bird as we had practiced and take a deep breath and shoot the tom when he was ready! To let all know I have hunted turkey since I was 10 years old with my grandfather and Yes I was nervous for my son, but as a proud dad when I heard the gun explode and down that old boss tom went to the ground. The old boss tom was 5 years old he weighted 21 lbs 8 oz with a 11-1/2" beard and had 1-3/8" spurs on each leg. The one spur on the left leg was all most 1-1/2 but was chipped off. Attached is my proud son.
"You pay your dues for every gobbler, but do not be selfish in teaching others from your success which comes from laying down the miles of shoe leather during the pre-scout".