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Quite an adventure this morning. I couldn't convince my son Mason to go yesterday, it was a chilly 35 degrees, but sunny and light winds. He chose to sleep-in and talk me into going this morning instead. Rainy, windy & 40 degrees. I found a spot on the edge of a field out of the wind. At eight all I had heard was a couple distand gobbles. Not sure if it was even on the property or not. Decision time. Check out the gobbles or leave? Well let's hike a little further... at least the rain had let up.
X is where we started.
So we walked to the north corner of woods before the river and did a little call. GOBBLE sounded off, maybe 60 yards? Throw up the blind & hen deke & dive in!
We were on a 4-wheeler trail & in a little bowel-like depression about 40 yards in diameter. After a couple of hen yelps he circled in the brush and behind us, not offering a shot.
Sounded like he was losing interest till I used the jelly-head gobble call. Coming back! Soon Mason's eyes got big as he rounded the rim on our right. I told him to draw his bow when it got behind the big tree. He poked out on the side of the tree and started to get nervous, turned to leave & Mason shot. Looked like he caught the side of the bird as it was walking away. I was already at full draw so put the 20 yard pin on him as it scooted out. Mason said, "good hit Dad!" The bird flopped & then ran, then flew low towards the river. As we got up the little bank I could see the bird hitting the far NW corner of the river bank/field edge, then lost sight of him. Didn't look like he left so I climbed a tree & could see him lying still right where I last spotted him.
So we celebrated a bit. Hugs are few & far between with a teenager.
Walked back & picked up our arrows. Blood on mine, his-clean.
The creek is only 20 yards across, but over our rubber boots. So we looked for a place to cross.
About a 100 yards up river of the bird we found your typical blow-down log jam. Lots of trunks & brancheS but just shy of our bank to keep it interesting. Mason stays behind while I retrieve the bird. I thought about taking my bow with, but it would only be for pictures now, right? Wrong. I once I'm within 10 feet of the Tom I stop & look at it. Yup, it is breathing, but it's head is down flat, one eye sizing me up. I thought about backing out & grabbing my bow, but now he's seen me. Will he stay? I opt to try continuing my seek & grab him. Wrong again. I think I must have clipped a leg & a wing because he can't fly well & he can't run, but he's still quicker than me. Then he lands IN the creek. CRAP! To make matters worse, the current is taking him further away from Mason & our bows. Now he is calmly floating down river looking like a goose, all smart.
"MASON! GRAB YOUR BOW & HURRY", I yell. With the 3rd try he hears me and says, "what?" So I repeat & add "stay on your side of the river!" But with the wind & distance it is going to be difficult. He takes what seems like way too long & I wonder if he fell in. He's kinda clumsy with a hip disorder (Legg-Perthes) and sure enough he dunked his boots & came over to MY side. Ugg.
Can't wait for the pics! I'll bet you guys won't forget this hunt!
Great story so far! I've been on one of these rodeos before. Great memories!
I run over to him & take his bow & release. I catch up with the bird, now resting in the water on the opposite bank. 1st arrow is a tad low. 2nd arrow hits him & he looks anchored. We have one arrow left. I tell Mason to stand guard & if he makes a move up the bank to shoot him again, otherwise don't spook it. I jag back to the crossing & dunk one boot, grab my bow & release and head back down to the bird. He's still there, but it's head is up. Do u you practice 10 foot shots? I have at league, but still put the 1st arrow too high. 2nd arrow (6th if we add em all up), pins him to the bank so I can twist his neck. Haul the wet, battered & dead bird back to the crossing. I cross again to take Mason's bow & hold his hand as we cross back again to the south side for the final time, but first one more mis-step over both my boots to add to the fun! He steps on my boot for a foot-hold and push his butt up the the 4 foot embankment. He extends a branch to pull myself up. Safe & sound & wet & muddy! What the best memories are made of.
Congrats! That story is priceless.
That's a great story! Sometimes it's a messy business, but you do what you have to get the job done. Way to persist and congrats on your bird!
Troubles editing on my phone
I shot a moose once, and it only took me 5 arrows!..........but they ARE a bigger target ;- Come to think of it, he died in the water too!
I'll bet you guys will get a good laugh out of it every time you think about it! Great story
You got 'em! And, they ain't always pretty.
As I'm reading this I recall a few of those "fire fights" with my son as well. Every detail is remembered for ever! Congrats and way to tie up looose ends! C
I forgot to add his 1st shot did slice the left side as it was leaving. So I missed 2 out of 5 shots & he was 1 for 1.
Sometimes good stories aren't perfect. Congratulations!
haha....nothing better than a soaking wet turkey pic! Great story...lol.
Those are the best birds! Certainly not text book, but you and your son stayed after him like a couple of bird dogs! I've had a couple memories like that over the years, one with a son and another with a brother--we laugh about them every year!
Congrats and oh have I been there!! Good times! Hunt
Chad, A big congrats to you and Mason!
What a great hunt, story and memory!!
Great read! Thanks for posting.. By next week you've of told this story 50 times. Ed
Congrats !! Good memories for sure.
Great story.....bird almost looks like a merganser in the one photo...lol
Sometimes I think turkeys are the hardest thing to bring down with a bow. Great story!!
Awesome story! Way better than "I shot and he tipped over right in the decoys"! Ha! Great memories for you and your son and the bird was recovered! A happy ending all the way around!
LOL! Way to "git er dun"! :)
As I was reading about you sneaking up on him, I got a mental picture of that cartoon where they put a turkey in the oven and he keeps blowing the match out! ;-)
Tough ol Bird! Congrats and way to stick with it.
Thanks for reading and the comments. My oldest got his bird a couple weeks ago behind the Turkey Fan and a 20 ga. Crawled up to 10 yards and shot him in the face. Same property after another slow start from the blind. He got a Jake a couple of years ago behind the HeadsUp deke. Another waterlogged bird picture if you remember that one. lol
The path to success ain't always pretty, but makes for a good story and a great memory! Thanks for sharing.