Saturday, May 9, 2015

End Of the Season Turkey Hunt

"It's fun going hunting with them because they actually know what they're doing!"- Jesse (Alex's girlfriend)

"Well, at least we pretend to!"- Me

My grandfather taught my dad how to hunt, he taught my older brother, and they both taught me. Over the past few months I have had the honor of sharing what I know with my hunting buddies Andrew and Nick. They both took the hunter's safety course and got their licenses quite recently. Over the years my brother and I have hounded our good buddy Alex to get his license. The other day, inspired by one of the rabbit hunting posts where I mentioned Andrew's completion of the course, Alex got certified as well. I was overjoyed when he sent me an image of his hunters safety certificate!
Two weeks ago, Alex and his girlfriend Jesse had a few free days and made it out our way. Lucky for Alex, their visit overlapped with a very productive wild turkey season! A few days before, my brother Justin had called to let me know he had taken a sizable bird and was once again hooked on turkey hunting (see our wild turkey and Eurasian dove post). I invited him along for the weekend hunt as well and soon we were stalking the brush, fields, and forest of our local gobbler spot. Jesse came along for the first evening where we scouted the area finding ample turkey scratches, fresh scat, feathers, and finally two birds that my brother spied with the naked eye over 500 yards away! The next day became a hunt to remember...and I could not tell the story better than our good friend, and brother from another mother, Alex. So in his words, the turkey hunt went like this...

"Just about the only good thing about waking up at four in the morning is knowing you are about to embark on a great adventure. My good friends Kevin and Justin, two brothers who have been hunting with their father since they were kids, took me on my first turkey hunt a few weeks back. The night before, Justin made three wild turkey pot pies from a turkey he shot a week before. 

Kevin brewed his famous and much needed coffee which provided us with the energy necessary to at least get us through to the point of delirium. We piled all our gear into the van and drove to our turkey spot. We geared up and sallied forth down the path where Justin spotted a group of turkeys from 500 yards away the day before. We walked as quietly as possible making sure each step didn't crush a leaf or snap a twig. About five minutes in, a Tom reared its wild and distinct mating call from less than 100 yards away. We were all smiles as we stepped off the path. Justin set up a blind for us, set up the decoy, and Kevin masterfully used a wooden turkey call to “play hard to get” with the Tom.

After several calls, his gobble kept getting more distant and we decided to set up somewhere else. This Tom was also playing hard to get. The next spot was the same story, only this time we started to eat our wild turkey pot pies which was a real life saver.

About five hours after we first arrived, and at our third spot, without a blind but concealed in the edge of the woods, Kevin's calls were starting to attract a Tom who was eager to display his courting techniques. With each call, he came closer and called louder. I had been laying on my stomach because I found this to be the most comfortable position to stay motionless for such a long time, and eventually I started to fall asleep. Then Kevin tapped my leg, and when I looked up about twenty feet in front of me on top of a ten foot high berm, there was the turkey checking out where the “Hen” was calling from. My view of him was between two brushy little trees that were very close together. Still every time Kevin called out, the turkey called back enthusiastically. After trying to decide when would be a good time to shoot, I heard Justin whisper “shoot it Alex.” I shimmied over a few inches to get the turkey halfway between the two trees, drew the bead up to just below his head and pulled the trigger. 

The bird stumbled off, leaving my sight and before I knew if the shot was good, Justin sprinted up the berm... “C'mon Alex, I got him here!” I ran up and saw Justin had tackled the bird down and proceeded to dispatch it with his bare hands. After working as hard as we did, being immaculately careful for as long as we were, the reward was much better than I expected. I thank Kevin and Justin dearly for one of the best adventures of my life." - Alex Izzarelli
You are most welcome buddy! Thanks for sharing the good food!

Until next time,

Keep the old ways alive!

1 comment:

  1. That was a fun trip. Kevin, you would be surprised how much about hunting I have learned from you.