It was the Saturday before the all day turkey season came in and we were getting ready to go hunting. Caleb, 12 years old and first time hunter, was going turkey hunting with us. Caleb decided to spend the night with us because we were getting up early in the morning. I went to sleep as soon as I got home because I knew it would be a long day Saturday. I was sleeping peacefully and was suddenly awaked by daddy barging through my door and yelling “Get up! Were running late!!” He scared me so bad that I jumped right out of my bed, still asleep.
As soon as I got over my scare- heart attack, I started getting dressed in my camo. We grabbed some breakfast and then drove to the property that we were going to hunt. When we arrived, it was starting to get light enough to see around the fields. We quickly grabbed our guns and walked across the fields. Dad stopped and was debating with me on where we should sit. I told him to go sit by those hey bails that were at the peak of the hill and we could see both sides of the field.
We stood by the hay bails and waited for it to get light some more. I looked over my shoulder at the sound of rustled leaves and caught a glimpse of a big coyote running across the field, right where we were going to sit. I told dad about it and then I was interrupted by the sound of a turkey gobble across the field. I then had little voice in my head telling me to look over my shoulder and when I did I was immediately shocked by what I saw! It was a black bear standing 60-70 yards away from us.
I was so excited to see the bear feeding on grass that I started slapping daddy on the chest and loudly whispering, “OMG! Dad, Look! It’s a BEAR!!!” He immediately turned and looked but saw nothing. Caleb and I watched the bear and dad was still looking, trying to find it. The bear left a minute after and went in the woods, right where we were going to sit. I was so glad I talked dad out of sitting in that spot. We waited as the sun came over the hill and lit the field for us to see.
When the sun arose and no turkeys were gobbling, we decided to go try another property. We left and was soon at the other property, dad told us to stay at the truck and to listen. We listened when daddy called but no gobbles. We watched as daddy walked to the end of the little dirt road and he immediately dropped to his knees. He turned around and gave me a look that I was familiar with; there was a turkey in the field. I grabbed Caleb, loaded his shotgun and then loaded mine. We walked and met dad half way and he told us that he didn’t know what it was but there was a turkey in the field.
We slowly crept down the little dirt road and then were interrupted by daddy stopping suddenly. Caleb ran into dad and I ran into him, not paying attention. I looked over daddy’s shoulder and two turkeys were standing in front of us, looking around. We were standing in the middle of the wide open and the turkeys never saw us. We watched as the two turkeys, a Jake and Gobbler, were standing and looking around. It felt like we stood still for two or three minutes in front of the turkeys, waiting for them to move behind the trees.
Finally, they walked behind the trees and I got my gun up to my shoulder. I explained to Caleb that he needed to get the shotgun to his shoulder and be ready if he sees the turkey. Dad was standing away from us and Caleb was in between dad and me. I was standing at the peak, right next to the open field. Dad was talking to me and then quickly got his gun up because the gobbler was 20 yards in front of him. He took his gun off safety and pulled the trigger, only to hear “Click”. He looked at me with a shocked face and I knew immediately what that sound meant. Dad’s shell didn’t go off when he pulled the trigger. The gobbler heard the click but didn’t know where it came from, so he began to walk over the knoll. I raced to the peak and saw that he was walking away, so I made a turkey yelp with my mouth and he instantly put his head up looking. I already had my gun to my shoulder and I measured 20 yards in my head and then pulled the trigger. I knew I could hit the bird at 20 because I always had a nice group pattern at 30 yards maximum.
I watched as the turkey fell to the ground and with excitement and adrenaline I reloaded my shotgun. I started walking across the field watching the other turkey and didn’t even realize that my turkey was getting up. When I realized it, in a blink of an eye, he was flying 40 yards from me. I watched where he flew and dad told me to follow him. We walked into the woods looking for the bird but no sign of him. We were talking to Caleb and the turkey clucked at us. Dad and I immediately looked around in the trees but no sign of the turkey. We figured that if he was clucking and flying then he would be ok.
We left and tried other properties and had no luck but only to find a snakeskin that was 5’ 2” long and a turkey feather. We didn’t walk away with a turkey that day but we at least had a great time and made plenty of memories.