So, just to head everything off at the pass. I had my 8 year old out with me this morning, playing hooky from school to be in the turkey woods with Dear old Dad. Had him set up in a chair blind with his DS, in camo, but no firearm or call, just observing with a pair of those video glasses in case we could video our hunt.
So, after listening to his Mom tell me and warn me, that he would "ruin" the hunt and that I'd be so upset when we got back, we decided to go anyway. He was up like a trooper at 3:30 with Dad and was listening and doing everything he was asked just perfectly.
We get into the Jeep and take off for the 1/2 hour drive to get to our spot where I've taken birds consistently for years. Me thinks he had a snooze on route, he was that quiet. But that's ok.
We carry all our gear, the decoys, the blind, the snacks, oh yeah, the gun, still fully encased, well before daybreak into the spot I though we'd have a chance at.
We get all set up and wait, and wait, for all of 20 minutes, then he asks, when the turkeys would start. All I could think of was of what his Mom told me. I asked him to wait and be patient, turn his DS down and go ahead and play, I'd tell him when something was up.
Well, about 5:15, we get the first gobble, then another, then another, every 5 minutes or so, they were going off. A ways off, but at least we knew we were in the game.
Then, as soon as it had started it got quieter and quieter, the gobbling less constant until you'd only hear one every 15 minutes or so. Well, you know what happened, are we done yet, can we go, it all started. I asked again for patience explaining the birds were just hitting the ground and we may now be in the game all the way. Mind you, the last gobbles we heard sounded like they were moving away.
Around 7:45 we see a hen pop out of the woods across the field from us. I tell the boy to keep an eye on her to see if she has company. Sure enough, out comes Mr. Jake in full strut, middle feathers higher than the rest so that's for sure anyway and a little beard. Well, they move along the field and I'm thinking crap, they're not turning our way and I can't see where they're headed. So, I slide up out of my spot and move to a pine tree beside me to stand and see what's up. They had moved but closer to us. I had forgotten about a bend in the field and they were working along the edge, him strutting the whole way. I squat back down and wait.........
At around 8, the Mrs. is 12 feet from me and he's about 10 feet farther back. I'm not sure if she saw me, the boy says he stuck his head out of the blind and it was him she saw. Well, anyway, she lets out a Putt, the Jake jumps over her farther into the field, worked better for the shot anyway. But, the 2 of them were lined up and I had to wait for her to vacate to have a clean shot at him. I had decided beforehand that if a legal bird came out while I had my son with me, we'd try to harvest and not wait for another.
So, I shoot the Jake and my boy and I have one of those great moments together. He's claiming he helped by spooking her, so I'm letting him share the credit.
Noot real big, but my son thinks he's pretty cool. He weighed 14 and 1/2 pounds, little 1/4 inch spurs and a 4 and 1/2 inch beard. No monster, but legal.
Looking back, I had been using a strutter decoy and I think he worked to lure the hen in who was looking for someone more worthy than the Jake chasing her. Had one of the new spinner motors on it and have to admit, it looked pretty good with the feeding hen and alert hen I had with him.
Here's the proud boy,
I do hope everyone else was able to have as good a morning,
Hobby.....Is there anything other than turkey hunting??