The alarm buzzed in a most irritating way in the the pre-dawn darkness, rousing me from deep confusion trying to determine the source as I woke up, then realizing it was the signal for the beginning of the morning hunt. It was my son's first turkey hunt of the season and excitement began to overtake me as I began to hurriedly began to don my gear.
Dressed now, and the aroma of coffee beginning to blend with the sound of the brewing, I called my son to get him moving! Sometimes it takes him awhile to get going, but this morning he surprised me with the excitement showing on his face. This was his second year of hunting turkeys, the previous year I don't think he had been fully prepared for the sight of turkeys up close and personal, and had frozen up on the best opportunity that had presented itself. When asked later what had happened, he had replied, "Dad, I never realized how beautiful they are, and I made the mistake of looking him in the eye!" He thought I was disappointed, but I was pleased that he was experiencing the same reverence for wild animals as I have.
Finally all preparations were made and we headed down to the location we had scouted out before, and I set him up and moved back behind him about twenty yards, that way if a bird got hung up it should be in range for him. After things had settled down a bit, we could hear the turkeys begin to gobble from their roosts, and I made a few soft clucks, and was immediately answered by thunderous gobbles! Now, I was beginning to get excited! I waited a few minutes and yelped with the caller, throwing in a few excited clucks and cutts, again the gobbles erupted, and I knew they would be coming soon. I hunkered down against the big pine I was backed up to and waited. I reached down and scratched the leaves a little and the birds gobbled even closer, still coming our way. Soon, I could hear footsteps in the leaves, I clucked and gobbles thundered! Breathing became more difficult and my heart was pounding!!
Soon I spotted movement, and saw the white head and red neck of a huge Tom, and then saw he was followed by four other Toms, all very impressive! There were coming right at my son and the distance was closing rapidly, for moments they would stop and look all around,and I clucked again,and they all gobbled. I could see one with a long beard dragging on the ground, and I remember thinking "Is he going to shoot?" Suddenly I was startled by the loud boom of the shotgun, and I saw one of the Toms roll over and heard the flapping of wings, then was aware of my son, jumping to his feet and running towards the Tom that was still on the ground. I then realized I hadn't warned him of the spurs, but he was on him! Soon the ruckus stopped and I was on my feet headed towards him and what I saw was his face, grin from ear to ear, covered in camouflage paint, and I began to laugh!
He wanted to know why I was laughing, and I told him it was the adrenalin, I congratulated him on a fine turkey, expounding upon him what a trophy it truly was! It had an eleven inch beard and hooks close to an inch, probably a three year old bird, but a fine trophy indeed, and a very exciting morning !!