Growing up, turkey hunting was something that we saw on TV but not something that we did or thought about. In fact, it wasn't even a hunting show that we'd watch unless there was nothing else on. Fast forward about twenty years and turkey hunting has become one of my favorite hunts and one that I love sharing with my boys.
This year the turkeys seemed to be a little more scarce than in years past, but then Caden and I went out to scout one evening and the birds were everywhere. We saw hens, jakes, and toms in spots that we could access. Our confidence was almost as high as our excitement and the youth opener couldn't arrive soon enough.
I've been talking to the boys about turkey hunting all winter, including pop quizzes on where they should aim, how to identify jakes/toms, and all the little decisions they would have to make in the moment. Trying to get them as prepared as possible to be successful, ethical hunters is always my goal so we went out to practice shooting. Time with the guns helps young hunters gain confidence and stay safe (and it's fun to shoot!).
Headed up the hill just a little later than we were hoping to get there, but made it to the spot, got the decoy out and just barely got set up before some turkeys appeared on the hill across from us. One hen spooked and flew so we knew we didn't have much time before the others followed suit. Atley had the best angle on them so I said if you can see the one with the blue head go ahead and shoot it. He checked for a beard (because that's what we had been talking about doing in preparation for the hunt. Training!) and made a great shot!
After looking at his bird and taking some quick pictures, Caden and I moved in the direction that the birds ran and caught up to them. Caden could've gotten a shot at the other tom, but couldn't figure out which one that was before they all took off. With a lot of morning left, we decided to move in the direction of a bird that was gobbling and try for a double before heading home. Despite our efforts, the birds continued to move away from us so we headed home to take care of Atley's bird.
Despite what you might've heard, turkeys are delicious. We breasted out the bird to make some amazing nuggets and saved the legs/thighs for another meal. I honestly think this is the reason that the boys like turkey hunting so much! I just wish they were bigger...
It always makes me happy when my boys take me outdoors! With lots of time left to hunt, we were confident that Caden and I would be filling our tags soon.
Hope you're as lucky,