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1st Turkey

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The youth turkey season is always a great chance to get an early jump on one of my favorite pass times and a cherished opportunity for some father/son bonding time. Sam has been hunting with me chasing the elusive gobbler for several years now. We have had many close encounters, but something has always precluded getting the perfect shot. Well things changed opening morning of the 2019 youth turkey season, when we struck up a conversation with an old tom. We had tried a couple of spots unsuccessfully that morning when we moved to another area and started walking down a dim logging road, stopping to call every 100 yards or so. We had walked half a mile when it all started. We heard a thunderous reply to our yelping pleas from deep in the creek bottom. We immediately found a good hide and started the game of cat and mouse with the gobbler. It was the classic chess match as we called, he called, we moved, he moved. The bird seemed to be content strutting back and forth through bottom and was reluctant to rush up the hill, so we kept getting closer as he would strut away. We finally made it to within 100 yards or so and set up again. My soft yelp garnered an immediate reply quickly cutting me off - O Boy! The bird drifted closer, hammering it seemed with every step. We could now hear the pop of the wings as he went into strut and the classic spitting and the low rumble of the drumming seemed to vibrate the ground where we were sitting. I could hear Sam's heart pounding right next to me as the bird was within 50 yards now, but not yet visible. Minutes slowly passed as we were intently scouring the area looking for the gobbler. He was too close to call and I did not want to give up our position so we waited. Finally Sam said, 'I see him through the brush'! He got in good position, gun pointed toward the brush and was ready. The old tom eased up 5 feet and stuck his head out to peek around a bush about 30 yards away. His blue head was magnificent and his waddles were beet red and there were no obstructions between us. I asked Sam if he was on him, he said yes and the boom happened. The bird dropped in his tracks without a flop. We immediately jumped up and rushed over to the trophy. It had finally happened, Sam had harvested his first turkey. I can't say that I have ever had a more rewarding turkey hunting experience! We got the bird tagged, back to the truck and back to the camp. The bird weighed 22 lbs, sported a 10.5 inch beard and had 1 1/4 inch hooked spurs. It was a true limb hanger as it sat outside the camp hanging from the limb of a sweetgum tree as we relived the moment over and over sitting on the porch swing. One of the best hunts of my life! Take a kid hunting or fishing as the memories you create are lasting.

Captain Jeff J. Dauzat
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Re: 1st Turkey
Congrats man! Still remember our hunt - looks like you are creating a lot more memories there!
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Re: 1st Turkey
Congrats, welcome to the brotherhood!
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Re: 1st Turkey
That is so cool and an awesome story, congrats to Sam as he is hooked now!
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Re: 1st Turkey
Good job getting that mature bird. Congratulations on your hunt and making those memories with young hunters. I remember all of my turkey firsts like they were yesterday, especially my two children's first turkeys. Good times.
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Re: 1st Turkey
Congrats to you and Sam, nothing like watching our hunting buddies score on a good hunt. Hopefully the memories for them mean as much as they do for us.
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