My son took up bow hunting and loves it. My daughter came with us when she was young but had too many more important things to do:)
Every child is their own!
I was excited for opening day! I planned to hunt with both kids and Morgan would be the "first batter up". After my brother managed to shoot his first turkey just 45 minutes into his first day of turkey hunting ever, he decided to join us. I got permission to hunt at a spot I'd see a bunch of birds at and we headed there on the evening of opening day (couldn't go in the AM due to work for me and school for the kids).
Rod and I got things set up for Morgan's first ever turkey hunt.
The field in front of the blind had a lot of this!
The kids were excited to try get a turkey.
...well, for a little while they were.
Just as I was wondering if we should pull the pin, a few birds showed up about 400 yards away.
It was late for them to be out in the field this far, but they were slowly making their way towards us. Another group joined them from the North and in total, 18 birds headed our way. They headed right for us from 1/4 mile away, but in the end they stopped just short of us and flew up into the trees 50 yards to our North to roost. Dang! Still, it was a fun night and a beautiful evening.
Then she turned 16 and "bloomed". Totally lost interest except for occasional fly fishing to impress boys.
Now she's a fashion chick in San Francisco.
Looking forward to more from you and Morgan!
You've done your part as a dad in getting your kids exposed to hunting. Even if your daughter doesn't hunt, at least she'll understand what it's all about. I can relate to the pictures of them sleeping. If they aren't sleeping they're snacking!
This picture is from the pack out, but this is what I hauled out in the dark of morning on the first trip: a blind, three chairs, a pack full of snacks, drinks, clothes, etc., a bow, and two deeks. Turkey hunting is tough on my poor back! It's kinda like hauling an elk off the mountain, except without the satisfaction of having shot an elk!!!
Here's what our decoy spread ended up looking light once the sun came up enough to see it. The jake decoy was seven yards from Morgan's razor sharp Bullhead.
The kids settled in and understood this was serious business!
As the morning light started to creep into the darkness a gobble rang out. At least a dozen more immediately responded- there were birds in almost every direction from us. We heard one gobble directly behind us less than 100 yards. Several more came from the SW of us about 200 yards away. As soon as Morgan could see the decoys well enough for a shot we did a fly down cackle and some wing flapping. The birds went bonkers and clearly were interested. Ryan and I were thrilled with all of this, but Morgan had conked out! She sat in her chair, but laid her body straight forward with her head on her legs and arms. She was out like a light!
As it got lighter Ryan excitedly said, "I see three strutters over there!" It took me a while, but I eventually saw three gobblers and we assumed they were working some hens that we couldn't see. We called to them a bit and made sure they knew we were there. After about ten minutes later Ryan said, "I see another tom about 50 yards right of those birds. I can see his big ol' white head in the trees." Again, after some struggling I spotted the bird. I called to him a bit and he immediately showed interest. The second I saw him respond to the calling I thought we would call that bird in. He strutted for a bit, then ran 30 yards our way. Then he strutted for a few minutes, then sprinted our way another 30 yards. This repeated until he was about 100 yards out. I shook Morgan and got her situated. I loaded the bolt in her crossbow and oriented her to the bird. He was now 50 yards away and closing. When he got to 30 yards the stopped and strutted for a minute. He gobbled twice, then put his head down and marched right into our decoy spread.
He made his way into the decoys and spit, clucked, and purred as he made one full lap around the jake decoy. Morgan was locked in and ready to shoot. The whole time the bird walked around the decoy I was leaned in next to her and I was whispering "Just wait, take your time, he'll give you a shot eventually. Just wait..." The bird walked behind the decoy and turned next to it directly facing us and stopped.
I could hear, see, and feel Morgan breathing hard- she was excited and worked up. I smiled with satisfaction that she was excited and filled with adrenaline. I also could hear Ryan's adrenaline driven breathing. I know my heart was pounding too! I whispered, "OK, no hurry. When he lifts his head up and you feel good go ahead and take the shot when you're ready." As if it was right on cue the tom stretched his neck out and lifted up his head and held dead still for a half-second. That's all Morgan needed- the crossbow cracked out the bolt and Morgan made a perfect shot! The bird flopped and flapped all around, but there was no doubt he wasn't going anywhere.
The three other toms were only 120 yards away, so we tried very hard to not make too much noise, but I was so jacked up and excited for Morgan. She looked excited, but even more so she looked dumbfounded! I knew she was happy, but she seemed to be in shock. Ryan was thrilled for her too. I was proud of Ryan- there's no doubt he was green with envy at the opportunity Morgan had, but instead of being petty he congratulated her and told her how happy he was for her. We hugged and high fived and congratulated Morgan over and over. She had made a perfect shot on this perfect morning. I couldn't have been more proud and excited.
After the three toms eventually faded away I sneaked out and checked things out.
Definitely a perfect shot by my little girl!
We have 2 daughters and a son. My oldest daughter is 16 and has less than zero interest really in hunting. She's into music big time, plays guitar and sings at local coffee shops, is in her school concert and show choirs, etc. That's her thing. You know a lot about my middle daughter, she's a killer. If it flies, swims, crawls, or walks she wants to hunt it. That's her thing. They all find their own way in life and their mother and I encourage them to walk their own path, even if it differs from ours. My oldest daughter has expressed some interest lately in trying trad archery, she's kind of a hippie girl so go figure! Ha! This summer we'll see if we can't get her out shooting with the rest of the family.
The kids couldn't believe she had completely lopped off the head of the turkey with her shot. LOL
This picture doesn't do it justice, but the bird was beautiful. He had gorgeous colors that shined in the morning light.
What an amazing morning! I was proud as a peacock of my little girl! She was clearly excited, but I'm pretty sure I was even more thrilled about it than even she was! It was a great day to be a dad, for sure.
For the next few hours we watched deer...
Morgan got back to being a goofball (she took the pic below- it's of herself)...
...and the kids eventually played on mommy's tablet that we had sneaked along (don't tell her!)
At 10:00 AM things had been quiet for a while and we decided to call it a day. But what a day it was! Saturday, April 16th 2016 was the day my little Morgan shot her first turkey. She seemed to me to grow up a little on Saturday. I'm sure most fathers out there can appreciate the bitter sweet feeling that gives you. I got choked up thinking about it while in the blind, but I tried not to dwell too much about something I can't change or stop, so I just appreciated the wonderful event for what it was. Saturday was the day Morgan punched her first tag and we were thrilled for her and I was oh so proud of her. My little Morgan...
"Sounds lin\ke the ol wing flap fly down cackle worked!"
Oh mama did it! When we were in ND it made the birds go from luke warm to completely bonkers! For Morgan's hunt they lit up a ton, but not quite like in ND. Either way, I definitely applied some of what you taught me and I'm pretty pleased with the results! That's just one of many things we learned from you guys!
LOL Justin- I think you were hauling more than me!
Michael, they were the 125's. I've heard they don't fly well out of a crossbow, but that wasn't our experience. They hit the exact same as field points.
Congrats to Morgan
Good luck, Robb
Scott and Brotsky - Ha!! In our family, we refer to it as being "Sherpa Dad".
Congrats to Morgan.....and to many more!!!