By: Trevor Simmons
David and Taylor Rather invited my father and I out a couple weeks back to go turkey hunting on some of their properties. After a whole week of rain and storms, it finally dried up long enough to head their way. We had no idea where we were going or what to expect but we had faith that the Rather family would know exactly what to do. After an hour and half drive, and driving by their driveway three or four times we finally got there. We all packed into David’s truck and headed into the pitch black for another mystical morning.
After a short curvy drive, we pulled into a wooded parking spot and unloaded all our gear. We did a check of all our gear and got all our camera gear in order then we began our silent walk down a well-packed dirt road. We veered off that quiet dirt road to some crackling pine needles and leaves about 150 yards from the truck. I ran into a few limbs and small trees in this weird almost completely pitch black darkness. About fifty yards from the field, right above our heads a loan turkey flew out and everyone but David heard it.
We sat out some decoys and looked for a place that four people could hide. Myself being crazy forgot to look before I sat down, man those briers hurt. My father having never worked my video camera could not figure out how to turn it on so I had to give my new brier free seat to go help him. Then about daybreak, the bugs began to take flight making me wish I had packed my Termacell. David got out his calls and then the magic began to unfold with the first gobble of the morning on the other end of the field.
About five minutes after the first gobble we heard four more, one was close, one just a bit farther, and two just inside of hearing range, five birds altogether the morning was beginning to look promising. David started some soft calling and was immediately answered by the closest gobbler. Taylor and I traded some promising looks and settled in to see what would happen.
That gobbler kept gobbling on into the morning and sounded just on the other side of the tall grass across the field. We all decided he had hens and made a plan to move across the field. After a short sneak across the field, nothing, so we started looking for somewhere to set up. We found some big Oak trees right on the edge of the field. This time I looked before I sat down because the base of the tree was surrounded by poison oak. So I quickly moved to the other side were there was no poison oak.
Dad filmed a little of Taylor sleeping while we sat there and David took some pictures. Then, a gobble right where we were just sitting, we all scrambled to get ready. Taylor and I barreled down on our guns waiting on the gobbler. The bird never showed up, so we all relaxed and talked while Dad ate a cookie and planned our next attack.
After Dad finished his cookie, we worked our way on around the field, checked a dusting bowl, and set up again. This time it was my turn to check the back of my eyelids for cracks. Then with all cameras on me David made some calls that startled me and made sure, I kept my eyes open for the rest of the hunt. We sat there until about 10 o’clock then decided to give it up for the day. We packed up our decoys, laughed about my sleeping, and headed back to the truck.
My father and I had a great time hunting with the Rather’s and still want to say “Thank You” for allowing us to come out and hunt with them. We also look forward to them coming out this fall to hunt deer on our family farm. This hunt will be one for the memory books for years to come.