Turkey season is almost here and instantly I’m taken back to memories of my first spring turkey hunt. It is something I remember like yesterday, even though it’s been about 20 years since that spring. Now the shoe is on the proverbial “other foot”, and I get to help others on their first turkey hunts.
Spring 2016 – Enter Hannah, 12 years old and going on her first hunt with her dad. Actually, her first hunt ever, no pressure here… The drive to the farm was interesting. A poodle name Oliver, my 4 year old daughter, pregnant wife, Hannah, her dad and I all crammed into my truck along with enough gear to start a sporting goods store. A few John Denver & Alabama songs, a bad gas station hot dog and a couple hours later we made it to Forsyth.
Rise & Shine – The next morning I got up early and set a ground blind while the group got organized. My goal was to fit Hannah, her dad and my wife in the blind while I stayed mobile calling and adjusting decoys as needed. Hannah’s first time hunter patience was soon wearing off, but with a little coaxing we compromised on staying another 45 minutes in the blind.
20 years ago I missed my first spring gobbler, so when two Jakes came in to check out our decoys I was cautiously optimistic. 50 yards turned to 40, then 30, and 20. At 15 yards the two young birds were directly in front of our blind and Hannah was doing her best to settle the Mossberg 20 ga.
Smiles – 45 minutes of extra perseverance paid off as Hannah made a perfect shot on her first bird. Excitement ensued for the young huntress and I got to watch a pretty special moment between a father and his daughter.