M&M’S and Turkey’s
The day was warm and windless, as I headed down the highway with windows down and Willy on the tune box. I was smiling from ear to ear because I was headed to pick up my grandson Cruz to spend the night and, in the morning, take him out on his first turkey hunt. I love to hunt anything but truly love my couple weeks in the spring chasing Tom! I shut down the Tundra as I slipped it in park in the drive. He as usual was not ready, always forgetting something, wonder where he got that from?
We talked about the giant birds with foot long beards as we sat by the fire at my place and ate hotdogs and SpaghettiOs, He laughed as I harped on my mouth diaphragm call and talked of past hunts and birds that fooled the hunter. The fire slowly was dying out as we called it a night went inside and finished laying out our equipment. I said good night as I set the Alarm clock for 3am. “3AM”, he hollered “are you for real he said”, “well yes, we have to be set up in the woods before daylight “I replied he just rolled his eyes at me and pulled a pillow over his head, never heard another peep out of him the rest of the night.
The alarm blasted the stillness, I swung at it twice missing the snooze button both times, the last sending it flying across the room but still it screamed.
We loaded the truck, fed my lab Scar and headed down the road, Cruz did not have much to say but, by the time we reached the edge of the timber he was awake and full of vinegar. We slung our packs over our shoulders, grabbed a couple decoys and my gun and headed up the steep ridge face where the turkeys notoriously roosted in past years, my legs burned as I tried to keep up with my grandson, he sounded like his dad Colt, never could figure how that kid could step on every dried twig in the damn woods.
We neared the top of the ridge, I gasped for air trying to keep quiet when I spotted an old brush pile, I had sat in years past and we settled down to wait for daylight.
The first signs of mother nature was upon us, the song birds started their morning chorus, as the sun started to inch its way up. I struggled to see if there were any turkeys in the tree tops above us, these eyes are not so sharp anymore in low light. I was just about to say something to Cruz when a hen lit up right over the top of us. I looked down at my grandson and his eyes were as big as 50 cent pieces. I whispered at him “don’t move they are right above us”, about then she hit the ground only 15 yards away she raised all kind of Cain, her calls echoed down the ridge as she searched for a tom, but no boys answered, she worked down the ridge, stopping, calling, and waiting. About the time I was ready to move a gobbler lit up about 800 yards away, I called he responded but the hen was high tailing it to him so that was a lost cause. “Not going to win that one I told Cruz.” “We are Never going to beat the real thing”. We stayed on stand another half an hr. With no more gobbles. We talked about the things around us, bugs, types of trees, etc. It was a fun morning. I motioned to him it was time to go, the look on his face was priceless until I told him we were not done just relocating to another farm.
Back in the truck we headed out a little further north, to another area I had hunted for a long time, knew every stump and rock on that farm and knew exactly where to set up, Cruz moaned because I had loaded him up with the decoys “we almost there” he said “yes” I replied, “just over on the other side of the field”. I had A little brush pile hollowed out where I use to sit mornings calling turkeys and evenings watching the field with my Remington during firearms deer season. It was one of those spots, you know on the X seemed every bit of wildlife in miles crossed that field in that spot. I had seen it for years it was the honey hole.
Cruz settled into the makeshift blind while I set up a Bass Pro hen and jake decoys. We sat enjoying the morning for a bit while we let things settle down. I started softly yelping, gradually adding more volume as I went, no gobbles were heard. We sat quietly and talked before I sent out a few more calls. Still nothing, I was beginning to think my grandson would not get to see a Tom strut and drum. An hour had passed, the sun grew warm and we almost nodded off, we both sat up and stretched, looking like we just got up from a nap. Wait there was movement on the other side of the field, an old tom was headed towards our set, he made not a sound, but his forward motion told me he was about to separate my jake decoy from its stake. He paused, looking over the set, I gave him a couple low purrs. He started to move closer, I moved my Benelli off my leg ever so slowly, I did not even tell Cruz, I guess I figured he saw the bird. Well, Isn’t that a big Frickin mistake! The tom suddenly stopped and stretched his neck up bobbing his head, he turned two complete circles, each time staring at our location. WTH… I knew we were hidden well, the sun was at our backs, a little brush in front of us to break up our silhouettes, and hell we both had on matching camo, the new pattern even from Bass Pro. He stood there 80 yards out so close but yet so far. In one swift motion he lowered his head and tore a.. towards the thicket he had come from. Looked like the Road Runner from those old cartoons, nothing but a trail of dust. My jaw dropped, I looked to my left, there was nothing to spook the bird, I looked to my right half expecting to see a coyote or something. Surely it could not have been us, then I looked down. I should not have done that, there before my very eyes I saw the steady motion of my grandsons’ arms shoveling M&M’s in his mouth just as fast as he could inhale them, he had never seen the bird or anything from the intense few minutes, his face mask was pulled down and in they went. Hand over hand till the package was empty, all I could do is smile and grin. He looked up and just said “WHAT” “oh nothing” I replied, “Did you see that Turkey?” I asked “he was right in the middle of the field” all I got was a “NO WAY you are joking me” yea I was…..
SEE YA IN THE WOODS…..