I have never had a hunting license in my life (i'm 39) but something bit me this winter to go turkey hunting. I was warned by many to wait for deer season to begin my hunting career but this affliction, that is turkey hunting, was not fully explained to me.
I got my license, borrowed a shotgun, borrowed some shells, got some cheap cammo and a few calls. I was lucky enough to have a vet turkey hunter (my uncle) take me under his wing and teach me some sounds NOT to make. I really put a lot of time into mouth calling as i shake a bit to begin with and new i would never be able to hold a pot still if a turkey did present itself.
I don't have any private land to hunt so I had to wait an extra 2 weeks for the public lands to open which was fine as it allowed me to get some extra scouting in with my uncle. I took a week off work to dedicate some time to hunting.
The week was interesting I learned a lot. I heard some gobbles, got some responses, busted an...orgy...had an alligator growl at me, a few deer snuck in on me, and some buzzards made me think i busted some more!!!
I was excited for Saturday my uncle was off and another friend was in town and they were both going to call for me. As we were leaving the house my uncle slipped on the steps and threw his back out but went anyway. He was miserable and we called it aftere an hour. On Easter Sunday he was still out of commission and i set out alone on the Savannah Wildlife Refuge.
I set up at first light near a pond across from where i had busted the group earlier in the week. As the sun came up behind me, I could see a clearer area in front of me and was debating moving up so I could see better. The morning had been quiet and I was getting a bit bored and restless.
I finally dropped my mask, put the gun and my slate down, and took care of a little business a few feet from my position. I came back and simply knelt down, had a smoke and contemplated moving again. I decided to call a little more. I put my camo back on and just stayed kneeling (w/o my gun in my hand) and made a few yelps with the slade and cutts with the mouth call. Then I saw a head about 30 yards in front of me coming from right to left with the palmettos behind. My heart stopped, I had not even heard a rustle in the leaves never mind a gobble.
I then saw 2 more heads as the first came into my shooting lane. The first had a beard just a jake but it had a beard. My heart started again then almost exploded with panic because the gun was on the ground to my right and i knew i couldn't move!! I could now see beards on the other two (jakes) and could see 3 more birds following them. As the third bird got into my lane I decided to move on the gun. I don't think i was even breathing. I moved fast (bad, I know) as i brought the gun up the bird heard the safety "click"...he stopped in the middle of my lane, stuck his head up just in time to get a face full of #6s!!! The swamp was filled of the sounds of flapping wings and putts and a broke neck flop. The last few birds flew over head and the first couple ran off only to come clucking back to see where their friend was.
I spoke their sounds and got them to come in and out a few times but I never go to see their beards again so I didn't take another. My uncle said it would be ok to take a jake the 1st time and he was in my head telling me not to shoot again I had to the job.
It was only a 14lb jake with a 5" beard but I did it alone on my first hunting season ever. Now I have your disease.