Here are a couple of very happy young men (Allen and Bradley) I mentored on their first ever turkey hunt. We took the first bird at 6:30 Saturday morning after setting up on them near their roost. We had several hens come to my calling while the gobbler stayed out about 150 yards strutting the entire time. As the third bunch of hens came in with the gobbler in tow we watched the hens fight while the gobbler remained at 50 yards strutting. The hens finally moved on by, the gobbler following the hens came within 30 yards and I instructed Allen to shoot, the bird went down and Allen had harvested his first ever turkey at 6:30am. His turkey sported a very nice 9" beard the spurs measured 15/16 inches the other 7/8"and the bird weighed 20 pounds. Even more impressive was the fact the two boys and their dad having never hunted turkey sat as still as could be for an entire 45 minutes while the whole episode took place. I've always said turkey hunting with two people is almost too many we had a crowd of four.
After taking pictures of Allen's bird and walking back to the jeep it was 7:30 and time to find a bird for Bradley. We traveled to two different set-ups calling in a Jake and hen on one and a single hen on the other. I then decided we would go to the same area I had called in a nice gobbler the previous evening. When we first arrived my calling produced a couple of gobbles down the hill about 1/2 mile. After sitting for 30 minutes and not hearing any more gobbles due to the wind picking up, I decided we would go after the gobble we had heard. After covering 600 yards I yelped on my Albert Paul box call and heard a hen in the distance. After waiting a couple of minutes I yelped again and the hen answered back, closer this time, they were coming to us, it was time to set-up I put the decoys on an old logging road we found some large Ponderosa pines to sit up against up hill from the decoys. A couple minutes after we settled in I let out some cutts on my box call and immediately got a gobbler and a hen to answer, in less then a minute I could see the hens running to the decoys with the gobbler strutting far behind as the dozen or so hens showed up at the decoys they started feeding and purring while the gobbler was strutting and taking his time catching up with the girls. When the gobbler finally arrived and lifted his head toward the decoys I instructed Bradley to shoot, the bird was dead when he hit the ground without a flop, Bradley had nearly decapitated the bird with his shot and had harvested his first ever turkey. It was 10:20am we had our second and final turkey this one even bigger it had a 9 1/2" beard two 15/16" inch spurs and weighed in at hefty 22 pounds.
I had two very proud turkey hunters as we arrived back at camp they were the talk of the camp the entire day. We now have two new turkey hunters HOOKED on turkey hunting. This was my first experience as a mentor of young hunters, as we exchanged email addresses and parted the young men thanked me, this was just as rewarding to me and I thanked them back for letting me take them, I hope to mentor many more in the years to come.