Quick story, or not..........
My twins(boy and girl) were 8 years old at the start of season last year and had each sighted in their new youth model mossberg 500 and were ready to go hunting with dad....
Took my son opening morning of the youth turkey season.(they work out who goes first for each season) Had a good idea where a couple Toms were because I had roosted them the night before.
In the dark, he very anxiously and quietly followed me up a long ridge to a perch I thought might produce us a good vantage point to start some calls to these birds.
As the early morning spring sun began to rise, the two birds that were roosted close together began to wake up and stretch. Just before they had a chance to let out the first gobble of the day, I began a very quiet tree yelping sequence of calls. I continued into a real good fly down series that absolutely set the birds on their toes.
Well, as we worked a few calls and waited, eventually the boss Tom started to work his way to us. This is very easily detected as they are very loud when the gobble close to you. He was moving in slowly.
I had my son sitting on my left, with his gun positioned on his knee in a semi-comfortable position. (I have told my kids that I would help to verbally coach them, but they would have to be able to do all the aiming and shooting themselves, it will be their
trophy of a lifetime)
As the bird patiently worked to us we waited....I was almost hyperventilating
because I felt confident that he was going to get his first longbeard. I was almost too excited. Well this was my first turkey hunt with a child having a tag to harvest game, this makes me a rookie in that respect. So needless to say I was more excited for him than I have ever been with any bird I have ever taken.
Just before the bird was to appear in a clearing in front of us(where I have harvested a bird as well) he gobbled to our right at about 20 or 30 yards. Now mind you, the crest of the hill to our right was only about 6 yards away. Way too close........not what I was wanting to happen....
As I frantically grabbed my son and put him between my legs facing directly towards the last gobble, the big boy strutted just into our view.
I could hear the birds heart beating, at least thats what I thought it was. It was my heart pounding in my throat.....
I couldn't breath, and was wanting to tell him to squeeze when ready, but we were pinned down and couldn't move. He tried to move just a little to get a shot, but the bird spotted us and ran over the hill and out of view. We could hear him drumming and gobbling for several minutes while on the other side, but could not convince him to come back.
There is alot more little details to this story, but I didn't want to put you completely to sleep. And I hope you aren't dissapointed in the outcome, and I hope I have slightly conveyed the excitment this hunt was for me. My son and I had some of the most wonderful bonding time being able to talk about the one that got away. Cause it isn't just all about the harvest. Its about the passion of the pursuit, the enjoyment of Gods' wonderful creation, and the thrill of the hunt.
Of all the longbeards, single, double, and even triple that I have harvested, this hunt was one of my two most favorite hunts so far. The other favorite hunt involves my daughter, and I'll tell that story another day.