This year, at the age of 51, I harvested my first turkey. Growing up, I spent many years hunting turkeys with my grandfather. He was a great outdoorsman and he taught me how to hunt, but we never had success turkey hunting.

The turkeys always outsmarted me. One would gobble on my right and show up on my left where I wasn’t watching, and escape before I could shoot. wild_turkey_eastern_us

Or, I would get too excited and just plain miss.

After more than 25 years of not hunting turkeys, my hunting buddy Sam and I decided to try.

We have always hunted deer and been very successful, so off to the woods we went under a full moon on opening weekend. It was a warm morning and the birds were chirping. What a great time to be outdoors!

As daylight broke, we sat on the edge of a field waiting to hear a gobble. At first we heard nothing and Sam suggested we move further down. By this time, it was light outside.

Just as we got to a few trees at the field’s edge, we heard a gobble. I had forgotten how fast the old heart rate could go up as we scrambled to find the best place to set up.

After a few minutes of playing musical trees, Sam began calling. Four gobblers just over the hill answered. It was not long before I saw two turkey heads headed our way. I heard hens just out of sight also calling; Sam had competition.

Sam continued to call and I could hear the two birds answer. Unfortunately, the two gobblers headed down the hill toward the real hen calls and disappeared.

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