Spring Break

Spring Break happened to align perfectly with the Idaho youth turkey season so off we went. This would be the last youth turkey hunt that I would get to experience with my son since his next birthday would put him over the youth age limit, so we were anxious to make the most of being able to hunt the early season.

 Utah turkey  Carson and Cooper with Utah turkey

         Back to camp with turkey from Utah hunt                  Uncle Carson with Cooper and their Utah turkey

It was early morning but quite warm for early April here in the foothills of Idaho. The mild temperature made setting up quite pleasant. Our decoy was placed close by and our location was nearly ideal. I say nearly because the waist high sagebrush obscured a couple of possible shooting lanes, but distant gobbles convinced us to stay put. Our first calling sequence brought a gobbler to within bow range. However Carson had visions of shooting a mature strutting long beard with his bow as it gazed longingly while prancing about our hen decoy, but neither was the case. This two year old tom only had a medium length beard and he did not stop to strut but instead slowly walked past 25 yards away. As soon as the turkey disappeared from sight, Carson looked over at me with an ear-to-ear grin -- his thrilling close encounter told me that he was more than satisfied with his decision to pass on the shot!

 turkey hunting ground blind  drawing bow on tom turkeys

                       Decoy set and ground blind all ready to go                                 Ready to draw bow on 2 toms

It was now late afternoon and we were set up in the same location as our morning stand. After a long period of calling we finally had a couple of distant gobblers answering. Patiently we sat in silent anticipation hoping the birds would work toward us. Sometime later the bright red heads of two toms poked up through the sage. Unfortunately for us these two turkeys came in from the side where the sage brush was thick and deep. Carson rose to his knees and sat for several minutes ready to draw his bow until finally the turkeys ducked away out of sight; close but no cigar.

 A.I.F.I deer antler shed, as I found it  non-typical deer antler shed

     Antler shed Carson found at dark             Hiking back to pack out turkeys, Carson found this unique shed

Concerned by their escape, I let out a few calls but only silence followed. Several anxious minutes passed. Supposing that this situation called for desperate measures I started calling aggressively using the ‘cutting call’ technique -- it worked! The gobblers sounded off about 80 yards away. So I kept up the aggressive calling which did draw the turkeys closer. As they began to circle up and around us, Carson changed tactics. Delicately he set his bow down, switched to his shotgun and leveled the 12 gauge in the general direction of the gobbling toms. A couple of minutes passed -- his arms were now burning with fatigue, but he waited motionless. Finally both toms stepped into a small opening and Carson lowered the boom, he had his turkey double!

 scored on turkey double 

Had so much gear needed to hike back later to retrieve gobblers and found unexpected antler!