|Me, Dylan and Busch Pilot with Fingers|
Passinthru Outdoors is all about sharing the passion for the outdoors with others and this past weekend Busch Pilot and I had the opportunity to take a youngster out for only his second turkey hunt ever. Earlier this week Bubba was telling us about Dylan, whose father had just been deployed and his serving his country as a member of the Air Force and that Dylan had no one to take him Turkey hunting. Bubba was going to be out of town with his family so we didn't hesitate to say yes when asked if Busch Pilot and I would take him out for youth day here in CT. The chance to take a youngster out for a hunt is always top on our list, but to take a youngster who's father is currently serving our great country and protecting our freedoms is definitely number one on the list.
|Turkey we named Fingers who was on our hit list.|
Dylan had completed his hunter safety course last spring and got his license just in time to hunt the last day of the 2011spring turkey season. Dylan was fortunate enough to tag his first deer last fall and was really looking forward to trying his luck at spring turkey and we were excited to be part of it. Any time we take a new hunter out to the woods, especially a youngster, it always adds a little bit of extra pressure as you always take the opportunity to teach and you want that person to see game and have a positive experience and if possible to fill a tag. Well this hunt offered up everything we had hoped for.
Busch pilot and I spent time doing our scouting and getting an idea for what was going on and it was interesting how things changed in just one week. The birds were broke up even more and were much more quiet. Even their roosting habits changed. There are hens on nests and we are catching them returning to roost very late in the day. This is why scouting on a regular basis is important to successful turkey hunts. Friday evening before the hunt we had 6 jakes work through the farm and head off to roost on the adjoining property, the good news was we felt they would work right back on to the farm or at least we could get them to do so as they would be well within range to hear us calling.
I picked Dylan up at his house at 4:30am and we made the short drive to the farm where we parked and waited for Busch pilot to show up because stopped down the street to talk with fisherman waiting for the 6:00am start time for Connecticut's opening day of fishing season. We got our gear loaded up and headed off to the lower part of the farm which would put us close to where those jakes headed off to roost. The first signs of light were greeted with a long distance gobble, which perked all 3 of us up. It wasn't long after that when the next gobbler sounded off and others responded. We had gobblers close enough that we knew we could work one and it wasn't long before Busch Pilot was working his magic and talking turkey. We had been talking and teaching Dylan about what was going on and what we thought might happen and he was very attentive and asked some questions. The best question was when he asked us if we should load the gun! We got caught up in listening for birds and explaining things to Dylan that it was almost 15 minutes into legal shooting and we still hadn't loaded the shotgun. We all had a good laugh about that one.
|Check Fingers off the hit list|
We had gobbles not far from us and knew they had crossed the property and were in the lower pasture of the farm we were hunting and now all we needed was a visual. I caught the first bird moving up the field and put the binos on him and could see it was a good tom so Busch Pilot gave him a few calls and he stopped and looked right into our setup. As he stopped to look, we noticed more birds coming in the field below him and it was the 6 jakes from the night before. All we needed now was for one of them to get interested in the sweet sounds coming from Busch Pilot's slate call. When that tom took two steps towards us, we knew that this was going to happen. That tom worked our way while the jakes continued up the field and out of sight.
I had the camera running, BP was calling and we couldn't forget about coaching Dylan who was extremely calm and ready to go. At one point when the tom was in range BP and I had a discussion and we decided to let him keep coming to the decoy to offer up a closer shot and the Tom obliged. When he got to the jake decoy Dylan had the gun up and a bead on him and when we gave Dylan the okay to take the safety off and take his shot. When the Remington 870 20 gauge barked that tom flipped over and Dylan had his first turkey on the ground. I think Busch Pilot and I were way more excited at first but it didn't take long for Dylan to join in the celebration. We exchanged high fives and hugs and let our adrenaline calm down and then sent Dylan out to retrieve his longbeard.
Dylan brought the bird back over to the blind and we looked it over, filled out his tag and took some pictures before breaking down the blind and packing up the decoys. Dylan's first bird was a two year bird weighing 20lbs and had a 9" beard and had just incredible color. His bird was also one of the birds on our hit list known as Fingers and there were plenty of folks in our crew hoping to claim his as their own, but not a one was disappointed in the news that Dylan shot fingers. Matter of fact, everyone was extremely happy and excited for him, even my daughter who held out last weekend in hopes of getting a poke at Fingers.
|Dylan with his first turkey - 20lbs 9" beard|