|Bunch of Turkey-Hunting Weirdos|
I spent a beautiful day with my family turkey hunting this past Monday. We accessed a place that I've run into a few turkeys while hiking. My Brother Shawn and 12-year old Nephew Parker and myself rode up up on a trailer (hay-ride style) pulled by my dad on his 4-wheeler. We looked ridiculous but it was a good way to get us all up the mountain along with all our gear.
The spot I planned on hunting was already occupied by other hunters so we had to improvise and headed to another spot I had seen birds recently. As we were hiking to the spot my dad's breathing really started to become labored. We were all concerned and once again had to change our plans to make sure his health wasn't compromised. It really sucks to see your parents grow old to the point they can't participate in the things that they once loved so much. He road hunted (napped) the rest of the morning.
Shawn, Parker and I went to another spot and finally got set up about 7 a.m. We set out the decoys in a likely looking spot and made a few calls. About 10 minutes later we had a gobbler start gobbling from the top of the hill behind us. We made another call and the tom was sprinting down the mountain to us. We had to reposition ourselves a couple times because he was working back and forth behind us trying to locate our position. Soon he was right on top of us. We were all pumped and hoping that we would get 12 year old Parker an opportunity to get his first bird ever. This was his first actual hunt where he was able to carry a gun and shoot. I was closest to the Tom as he approached us. I put my bead on his beautiful, bald, blue head and held it. He was in full-strut, big and gorgeous. I waited for my nephew to take the shot. Nothing happened. !? "Please Parker shoot!" I thought. I still had my bead on him but was waiting on Parker thinking he should be plenty close enough. Finally, I gave up on Parker and was about to shoot when this Tom suddenly dropped out of his strut and took a step back. The gig was up, something had spooked him, I had one last second to take a shot but I hesitated because of some brush was sort of in the way. He was gone. Damnit! I should of shot. Crazy!
My nephew never had a shot. A 4 foot tall pine tree was blocking his view. From where I was sitting I couldn't tell and none of us dared move to tell each other to shoot. Hopefully that wasn't my only chance of the hunt. My brother told me thanks and he appreciated what I was trying to do but told me in no uncertain terms, "If you got a shot, take it, don't worry about Parker getting his." We hunted hard the rest of the morning and afternoon. We had a real cool experience where a Mother moose and her year old calf walked right through our hiding spot. They were right on us before we knew they were there and I didn't dare move to reach into my pack to get my camera out for a photo. Very cool. That and the missed opportunity was pretty much the excitement for the day. It was so much fun though. I love turkey hunting. Hopefully we will get another opportunity in the coming weeks.