Brynlee found out that perseverance pays off. Just the morning before, her younger 10 year old sister Olivia came very close to harvesting this Tom. It had been Olivia's 3rd morning hunting turkeys, but just when we thought we had it all figured out, the turkeys would outsmart us again. When it was Brynlee's turn again, (her third morning also) it all finally came together. By setting up very quietly, picking the right spot, and showing patience as the turkeys closed the distance, Brynlee was able to slowly raise her shotgun and harvest this big tom at 20 yards. She hopes that her younger sister Olivia and her older brother Staten will get their chance also, as they drew the same permits as well. - Eric, a proud father.
Last year my dad took me to Scooters Youth Hunting Camp for the first time. The camp is held in Emmett at Gem State Rod and Gun Club. The camp has six different stations. They allow you to shoot shotguns, 22's muzzleloaders, archery, show you the proper techniques for knife sharpening and gun cleaning and have a station for survival. The camp also has mini-seminars. One was with Larry Lansdowne who is known for his turkey calling. He demonstrated three different types of calls: the yelp, cluck and purr. After hearing Larry's demonstration I know I wanted to go turkey hunting.
The past winter I took hunters safety with my mom. Being 10, I can't hunt big game for another two years. So now was my time to hunt turkeys. Unfortunately my dad has never hunted turkey before. We talked to Paul Waldon. He said "I will take Abbi out. Put her in for a controlled hunt and if she gets drawn, I'll take her." My mom and dad bought my hunting licene and put me in for the draw. A few weeks had past and finally I got a postcard in the mail saying I was drawn for the contolled turkey hunt. I was jumping off the walls with excitement.
My dad called Paul to let him know I had drawn. A couple of weeks into the season Paul called and said, "I found a great spot." On Sunday, April 28th, we met Paul at 5:00am. Paul had us put all our gear in his truck in order to get to the property we were hunting in Notus. After we parked we walked on a dirt road along the river to the blind. We got all set up and Paul told us the plan.
We waited and waited listening to Paul call to the turkeys. Soon we heard gobblers all around us. After about an hour of calling, Paul saw a tom and hen come around the corner. As soon as the tom saw the decoys he ran over and started jumping on them. I got a good eye on him and Paul said, "SHOOT!" so I did. "You got it," Paul and my dad said.
After we celebrated Paul said "let's sit quietly and see if we can get some more to come in." Paul started calling again and in a little bit, two more big toms and two hens came in. We heard tons of weird noises from the turkeys. Paul explained all the noises and why they make the noises while strutting. We took tons of pictures and videos of the turkeys. When the turkeys walked off we went to gather up the turkey I shot. We tagged my turkey and took lots of pictures of me, my dad and my turkey.
On our way home, we stopped at a great cafe for breakfast and talked and enjoyed the time together. After breakfast we went back to get our car. Paul showed us how to preserve the spurs and pluck the beard and feathers. My dad and I took the turkey back to our house to show my mom and sisters and to clean it. We took somse feathers to keep, skinned it and washed all the meat to clear it really well.
I grew up hunting and fishing in Idaho with my Dad and Grandfather. It has always been a dream of mine to share the experience with my sons. This year both boys (12 and 15 years old) drew youth turkey tags and soon the bird hunt was on. Both harvested the biggest birds of their young lives, 9" beard for the youngest and a 10" for the oldest. As excited as we all were, I think their Grandfather was the most pleased with their success because he knows, better than most, how precious these days are. - Jeff Streeter
As all good hunting stories start, "It was a crisp cool morning"...well not really, it was damn cold!! Twenty three degrees to be exact ! However, the cold didn't chill 11-year old Abby Asker's enthusiasm to get out on her first hunt. Abby was bundled up and ready to go as her Dad, Mike and I scrambled to our turkey blind. It was a rush to beat the fast approaching day. The turkeys were fired up and gobbling up a storm from the moment we got out of the truck. Soon after settling in, a big tom flew in from his roost and strutted just out of range. He soon lost interest in my calls and strutted off into the sunrise. Next a Jake became enamored with our sweet hen calls and gobbled in for a closer look. That is all Abby needed. I could feel Abby's heart beating through her shoulder as I helped her mount her gun. I went back over with her to aim at the head and be smooth on the trigger. The safety clicked off...Kaboom!!! Abby collected a fine feast for the Asker family. I thought her face was going to crack from her well earned grin. After tagging up and a quick photo session it was off to school. Awesome way to start a day! - George Fischer, IDFG District Conservation Officer