Turkey Hunting Articles

Spring Awakening

by Victoria Jackson

It's the last weekend of May and I have had only one thing on my mind for months, can you guess? Yes, wild turkey and more wild turkey. My dad has been talking about this day for months. He is finally taking his seventeen year old daughter turkey hunting. Every time I walk into my house I see “Tom” the trophy banded turkey from Colombia County, New York that my dad harvested in spring of 2005. I have wanted to know what it’s like to harvest a game bird such as “ Tom “ and now I hopefully will find out.

Let's hit the road Tori Lee! Anxious and Nervous at the same time I hop in the passenger seat of my dad's Avalanche. Columbia County which is upstate New York consists of acres and acres of beautiful farmland, welcoming country folks and great turkey hunting.

Around 3:55 a.m. we arrive to the blind. Our blind is on the edge of a corn field. Behind us is a small patch of woods, and above us is where my dad saw turkeys roosting the other night. “Cluck, cluck”. My heart started beating; this was the first time I heard a hen talk! So excited I sat as still as I could and waited to hear something else. Out of the blue I hear “Gobble gobble gobble!” My dad softly gripped my shoulder and said “Did you hear that!” Quietly of course, I couldn’t verbally respond I just sat there and smiled, as if I was posing for pictures at the Oscars.

At around seven a.m. after minutes of excitement and anxiety, a small object makes its way up the hill. My dad puts his hand over his mouth implying to hush and points below the window to where the small object is. That small object was a hen, followed by three more hens a hundred and fifty yards away. At this point my hands began to shake and since this was all so new and exciting I didn’t exactly know what to do. I signaled, should I get my gun? If there’s a hen, maybe there’s a tom? My mind raced so fast and my hands continued to shake

Ten minutes later behind the hungry hens I spot a turkey with its feathers fully flared and it seemed to tower over all the rest. “Oh my Gosh…Tori T-H-A-T I-S A B-I-G G-O-B-B-L-E-R” inside my dad was yelling for excitement, but he said it as if we were in a library. Luckily the hens were just fifty yards away with the male just sixty away. By then my dad pointed to my gun, and I silently, slowly moved my gun through the center hole. This huge turkey was right in front of me and getting closer! My heart was beating so fast, I thought it was going to jump out and hit the turkey in the head. The rush is like no other. The adrenaline pumping through my blood was more intense than riding the scariest roller coaster in the world.

I was so new at this, such an amateur and yet so ready to harvest my first turkey. I had doubt, that I would choke and not be able to pull the trigger, or that I would miss and never want to hunt again. As those thoughts came to my mind I looked to my left and saw such emotion and such excitement in my dad’s eyes that those thoughts quickly dissipated. The hens were just twenty yards away and quickly moving to the right to a small path in between this field leading into another. The path was on my far right and two of the hens disappeared in the brush. As my heart pounding, my breathing increased and the gobbler was now within shooting range. He was forty yards away and I had a perfect shot. I looked and focused and tried to line the two red dots with the turkey’s neck. He began to move. I looked up slowly, and my dad said “You got it tori, shoot the turkey.” Refocusing I looked and my hands were shaking so bad I just couldn’t do it. I put the gun down, and the gobbler very slowly and alert walked towards that little brush filled path forty yards away to my right. My dad looked at me and said he’s leaving, this is your only chance, kill the turkey.” I wanted to so bad; I moved my gun beneath the window and crept it up slowly to the right open window. By now the gobbler was following the hens into the other field. I focused once more, took a deep breath aligned the red dots up with his neck and pulled the trigger. BOOM!

All that was running through my mind was did I shoot it? I unzipped the blind and my dad walked out and we both saw feathers flying in the air. Still shaking I ran over and saw not one but two gobblers just feet apart! I was so ecstatic, I couldn’t stop smiling and I had hit the turkey dead on. Where did the other gobbler come from? I killed two awesome huge gobblers in one shot! The other tom must have been making his way from the other field and he came just in the line of fire.

I jumped into my dad's arms and he gave me a hug I'd never forget.

This was one of the proudest moments my dad and I have ever had. My dad took one of the turkeys and I grabbed the other and we laid them out in front of our blind and decoy. I was so happy, and we of course took a zillion pictures. That day was the best father daughter trip we have ever had, and it sure will be hard to beat!

About the Author:

Victoria Jackson majored in creative writing as a college student.