Taking a young one turkey hunting for the first time has to be one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have. This is true not only for you the mentor, but also for the newbie hunter.
I recently had the pleasure of introducing turkey hunting to a very excited 14 year old young lady. Her Dad joined us to video the entire hunt and assured me that his daughter had already patterned her shotgun and was confident.
After placing my decoys in the field, I sat in the blind with the others and readied my calls. As we waited for sunrise, I thought it would be a good time to explain how well the turkeys can see movement and color as well as their impeccable hearing. I also took the time to explain the different calls I was about to do and why.
As soon as the young hunter was able to see her shotgun bead, I did a few soft tree calls to simulate the hens just waking up. I followed that with very soft yelps. GOBBLE, GOBBLE was the response and we all smiled! My next move caused some smiles as well when I took my hat off and slapped it against my leg to simulate a bird flying down.
It was not long after that when I noticed a nice tom and a jake in the field. GOBBLE, GOBBLE again just before they made a bee line toward my hen decoys. I calmly told her to get ready; make sure your safety remains on until you are ready to shoot.
Closer and closer the birds came and it seemed like an eternity before they finally stood at 20 yards from our hiding spot. As I heard the safety click off, I made one last cluck to make sure the tom lifted his head. BOOM… a miss! Dad told her to try for the Jake. BOOM… another miss and we watched as the birds disappear back in the woodlot. She did not bring home the turkey, but she did bring home the prize; the memory of an exciting hunt with her Dad by her side. And she learned a valuable lesson to have fun and to hunt safe.