son bags great "redeption bird" after youth hunt close calls
Saturday morning, before day light, we get a text that his good friend is having a birthday party/sleep over that night. My son tells me "We have to get a double early, so I can go to CJ's party." I smile and agree that is a good goal. At 7:10, we hear the first gobble and they are in the same cypress now 200 yards away. I did a soft tree yelp and got no response. A few minutes later I yelped a little louder and both immediately answered. I start second guessing myself about not putting the blind closer to them and be in between the hens and gobblers. Originally, I was concerned that they would roost with the hens and we would be too far south. At 7:15 the hens start flying down. At 7:20 I see both gobblers walking toward us following another 5-6 hens. Our hens start walking north and come through our decoys 25 yards away. I placed my son facing the decoys on his side. I told him to get his gun ready. Now come the second group of hens, but they start moving north east and away from the decoys. Gobblers are walking in and out of strut. I waited till they got 60 yards from our hen and jake decoy and purred. They both gobbled, looked at our decoys, and kept walking NE. When they got parallel to us, I ranged them at 65 yards. Every step after that, they were going to get further away. I called again, and they answered, but kept walking. Too far for my son to shoot! Some would argue that maybe too far for me as well! I leaned across my son, rested my elbow on his thigh, told him to cover his ears, and let the Mossberg 835 with 3.5” Longbeard XRs sing. Hens are flying everywhere. The bird is flopping all over the place. I grabbed my gun and take off running. I catch up to the bird and try to shoot him at 5 yards and missed, so I just grabbed him by the neck, put a boot on him and look back. My son gets there with his 20 gage. I told him I saw the other gobbler go into the pines 30 yards away to sneak up there very slowly along the tree line. He gets there and the 2nd bird is looking right at him 30 yards away. He pulls up and shoots. That bird was also flopping around. My son gets 5 yards away and shoots him in the head. We had our double and were ready for the 3 hour drive home to go to CJ’s party!
These were very mature Osceola turkeys. My son’s had a 10” beard and both spurs measured 1.25”
My bird had a 9.75” beard with 1.5” & 1.25” spurs.
This morning (Sunday) my buddy’s son shot his first turkey. An Osceola jake at 30 yards. He was part of a group of five jakes.
These are from my daughter's bird during the youth hunt, and mine & son's birds from this weekend.
We have been blessed to be able to enjoy this experince together and have this level of success on public land. Much like their dad, I think they both have the "turkey bug" now. I told both that future seasons will likely be much tougher, so really enjoy this one!!