Turkey Hunting Debut

05.15.11:  Today is the last day for the Indiana Spring Turkey hunting season.  It has been a great season for our area of the state and so far our total check-in count is at 89.  And, to make it even greater this year, John and I were able to contribute to the check-in count.  Neither one of us has ever turkey hunted before but with the help and calling expertise of our son Charlie, both of us were successful in our respective debut.

One thing I DID NOT know about turkey hunting is the part of having to get up at 4 a.m. in the danged morning!  It’s never been a problem getting up for deer hunting but unless it’s opening weekend, we usually don’t have to get up quite as early.  But when the alarm went off at 4 a.m., my feet hit the floor and by the time Charlie got to the house at 4:15 a.m., I was ready to get to the woods.

In John’s usual style, he had to only go twice before he harvested a beautiful 21 lb. longbeard.  I call him the man with the golden trigger finger.  However, in my usual style, Charlie and I had to work for the bird that I was finally able to harvest.  Turkey hunting can be a lot like deer hunting – the longer the season progresses, the harder it can be to get the opportunity to harvest the the mature whitetail or longbeard that you’ve got your “sights” set on.

I got my turkey on Friday the 13th…..hum……Anyway, Charlie and I had enjoyed an early morning hike to where we were going to set up and when we stepped off the ridge to go down into a clearing, the mosquitoes were deafening and sounded like an army of buzz saws.  Fortunately, Charlie had the fore-site to bring along his thermo-cell mosquito repellent which was a dog gone good thing!  Without that battery operated gizmo, I doubt that we would have been able to stand the mosquitoes.  When we finally got settled to where we would be hunting, there was not a mosquito buzzing around us anywere.

Just as it was beginning to get lighter, Charlie whispered that there was a turkey roosted in the tree 25 yards in front of us.  And wouldn’t you know it, it ended up being a really nice longbeard that never presented himself for a shot opportunity.  Oh no, he was way too interested in some female turkey – typical, I say!  So when he and another longbeard went to chasing after the hen, I figured my chances were once again slipping away.

By this time, my backside was getting pretty darned sore – almost numb – and it was becoming more difficult to not move very much.  I’d already heard Charlie complain that his Dad moved way too much so I wasn’t about to have him complain about me!  The next thing I know, Charlie is telling me to get my gun up and do it sloooooowly……..try holding a heavy Mossberg 835 in a shooting position for what seems like an eternity and see if you don’t get tired!  UGH!!

We had two (2) birds coming up from my left side, obviously looking for the “Charlie hen”.  Charlie does a really good job of calling and I’m sure they were on the prowl.  The scene played out in front of us and just like they were following a script, they came off the ridge and headed up towards us.  Charlie was whispering my instructions, telling me to just relax and line up the bead sights on the barrel with the turkey’s head.  He whispered “When you are ready, put the beads on the head and pull the trigger.”  I did just that and pulled the trigger.  “Is he down?” I asked and Charlie shouted “Hell ya!”

It was an absolutely awesome hunt and I’d do it again, even if I do have to get up at 4 a.m.!  Pictured below are John & I with our respective birds.  Thanks again, Charlie.

Me and Charlie with my bird

John with his 21 lb. longbeard

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