Shana and I headed down to Cole County, MO last weekend to hunt with our good friend Seth Trinklein on some of his properties. Shana has been out turkey hunting a couple times in past and even though we've been close, we haven't closed the deal yet.
Seth had been scouting birds most of the week and had a group of four hens, four jakes, and big tom patterned. They had been crossing a creek into a cut corn field every morning he'd been scouting, so that was going to be our jumping off point for the morning hunt.
We arrived at the farm early and packed in two blinds to the area Seth thought the birds were crossing the creek; we'd later realize he'd done too good of job scouting and we literally setup on the path the birds were using.
Within minutes of getting settled in the blinds our tom fired up gobbling on the roost and he continued his shenanigans until well after 7:30am, before pitching down. He probably gobbled close to 100 times on the roost, which was awesome to listen to. In the mean time we were kept entertained by a coyote, several hens; two of which pitched from across the creek right over our blinds into the decoys and other various wildlife. Around 8am Shana laid her head down to take a little break and within minutes we heard a "putt" directly across the creek behind us. I heard the birds walking in the creek water and I told Shana to get the gun up "now". As soon as she had the Nelli shoulder I saw the first red head pop up out of the creek about 4 yards to our left and he was followed in short order by three more jakes between 4-7 yards away. Because we were so close to their crossing path we think they got a little spooked about the decoys being right in their face when they topped the creek bank. The birds where acting a little nervous and started angling out around the decoys in a bunched up group. I could tell Shana was getting pretty wound up because her breathing had changed significantly and I could see the gun barrel doing little circles as she tracked the group. Shana did an awesome job staying on the birds and not taking an unethical shot when they were bunched up together. At what I thought was about 35yrds out Seth and my hen calls finally got one of the little buggers to stop and look the decoys over and Shana capitalized on his mistake. In short order she fired off a shot and the jake took a load of lead to the face and chest; rolling him over in a hurry!!!
Both of the blinds exploded with excitement, high fives, and war cries as Seth and I bailed out to make sure the bird was down for good; which he was. After we calmed down a bit Seth ranged the blinds and we were standing 46.5 yards away. Not only did Shana lay the wood to here first turkey, but she did it at almost 50 yards!
After some hero photos we packed up and headed back to the Trinklein's house to clean up and get ready for an all day fish fry. I got back on the horse and cleaned the bird (with boots on this time) and I'm pleased to announce no bodily injury was inflicted.
Seth and I headed out on Sunday morning for a while and saw a lot of action right off the bat, but the birds worked off towards the middle of big field. Shortly after 8am some severe storms rolled in and once the lightening started we called it quits. Regardless we had accomplished what we set out to do...get Shana on her first turkey. I can't thank the Trinklein's enough for inviting us out to hunt...it's a weekend neither of us will soon forget!
I'm headed back down to hunt with Seth this weekend and hopefully fill at least one of my MO tags...although Shana's bird was more than enough to make this an awesome spring turkey season!!!