Teenagers also LOVE to eat! I'm to the point now I hide food in the house from my boys, just so it lasts longer than 24 hours. And food, particularly snacks of all kinds, have been a staple in their early years outdoors outings. Most kids are as content as their tummies are full so snacks were important for trips expected to last any length of time. It's really no different now. The snacks are just bigger and there's more of them.
So it comes as no surprise that Cody and I descended upon a Butler County river bottom armed with a big thermos of hot chocolate and a sack full of donuts last Saturday morning. I had to hide the bag in the truck so Cody wouldn't eat them all before we got there. I'm kidding but only a little.
The morning was perfect with a pleasant chill hanging in the air. The roosted turkeys started
A nice tom followed two hens into our field and my hopes soared. If the gobbler won't come, oftentimes you can call to the hens and get them to come in. But they really had no rhyme or reason to anything they did before finally wandering off into the timber. It was still a thrill as Cody would watch the strutting tom with binoculars and gaze at a half-dozen deer coming and going, too.
An occasional gobble would keep our spirits high over the next hour. A pair of jakes came to investigate our calling but they approached from behind and made a good shot difficult before finally making an escape. Another hour passed with no turkeys sighted or sounded.
After just the first few yelps we heard a gobble WAY off in the timber on the other end of the field. Encouraged, I told Cody we may not be done yet. I called again and another gobbling reply was immediate. A couple minutes later three toms entered the field in single file, two of them in full strut. I liked our chances.
The three gobblers SLOWLY made their way towards our location. Unfortunately for Cody he couldn't watch the procession as they came from the right on my side and there was only a sliver of window open that way. But he didn't have any trouble hearing them gobbling each time I called.
The birds finally got close enough I knew it was going to get good. Cody was in position with his 12 gauge pointed out the front window towards the decoys. It was now up to at least one of the gobblers to seal his own fate and turn towards the decoy to strut his stuff.
But for whatever reason, and turkeys often don't have any, they walked right to the edge of the timber and up to our blind. They were all in full strut now and gobbling like crazy as I tried to coax them on out into the field and in front of Cody's gun. Every soft purr from my slate call elicited thunderous gobbles that rattled the blind as they were less than 10 feet away.
Just when I thought we were going to close the deal I heard heavy wing beats. I looked out just in time to see the lead gobbler fly across the creek behind us. The remaining two were poised to do the same so we would have to scramble if Cody was going to get a shot. Cody jumped up and I grabbed his seat to get it out of the way. I told him to spin around and stick the gun out the back through an opening in the window about the size of a softball. More wing beats and the second and third turkey flew across the creek but were still well within shotgun range.
I yelped with my mouth call to try and delay their exit while Cody got lined up. I told him to shoot the last one if he could get on him and his gun barked and the big gobbler went down.
"There's another one!" Cody whispered as another gobbler turned to see why his buddy was flopping on the creek bank.
"Shoot him!" I told him since he had two tags.
I couldn't see this one from my vantage point so I wasn't sure what happened next after Cody shot again.
"Did you get him?" I asked
"Yep!" he squealed.
It was 10:30 a.m.
"Good thing we had a couple donuts left, huh?" I asked Cody as we loaded up to head back to town.
"No doubt!" he said. "Are we going to stop somewhere to eat on the way home?"
I just laughed.