Waking up to the sound of the alarm clock filling our hunting cabin in Grayson County, Virginia, I was slow to dress for the opening morning of turkey season. As we got our calls and decoys together, I started to get pumped up to get in the woods. I just couldn’t wait to here the ear-splitting sound of the gobbler. I walked out on the porch. Hearing those three gobblers answer to the sound of my owl flute was my cue that it was time to get in the woods. Walking through the pasture with my dad right before daybreak, my hair stood on end to the constant gobbling.
After setting up, I started to slide the striker across my slate call. I was soon interrupted by a long tree gobble. We were right on top of them. Even though it was very tempting to get the birds to answer, we remained patient with our calling and waited until they came off the roost. Then disappointment set in as we heard the worst sound in turkey hunting. The gobbles became more and more faint. Instead of coming down towards us, the birds were walking up the ridge from us. So we knew we had to find a way to cut them off. We grabbed our gear and headed up to the next ridge.
The hike up was uneventful, but what awaited us over the top of the ridge was a huge excitement. My dad clucked a couple of times, and two gobblers quickly answered. We were once again right on top of them! With no time to set up, we made our perch on the trunks of two trees. I called slowly and the birds were fully committed to my dad’s calling. To both of our surprise the birds were trying to circle around because laps of fallen locust trees worked as a huge obstacle to the gobblers.
I just knew we had to do something, so I crawled up to the top of the ridge as my dad stayed back calling. The birds had already circled around behind us. “Don’t move”, I whispered to my dad, but it was to late. Both gobblers had seen my dad move his hand to his call and they began to run. I stood up and saw that I had a shot on the larger of the two. Time to capitalize on this opportunity. I pulled the trigger of my new twelve-gauge and it was no match for the turkey. He did his little routine of flipping and flopping on the ground and I was in a full sprint to claim my trophy with my dad close behind.
Everyone says turkeys have the best eyesight of any other animal in the woods. Now I am a believer, as I would have never thought they would see the slight movement of my dad’s hand. Observing my trophy, I was so proud of my dad’s calling and grateful for the opportunity to harvest such a beautiful bird.