Turkey hunt with the little ones
August 24, 2009
Brendon Keene of St. Paul, Neb., and Trevyn Keene of Grand Island, Neb., are the grandsons of Tony Morrow. They are both 4 years old and already quite experienced in a variety of outdoor activities, including Tony’s favorite pasttime, turkey hunting. Tony writes about turkey hunting with his grandsons:
The two boys had come up to go out with Papa to help celebrate my birthday. What a wonderful time we had. Brendon and me left for the turkey woods just shortly after 2:30 p.m., and set up the blind. Brendon, fully outfitted with his NWTF BB Gun and JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge Ethics and Sportsmanship) camouflaged turkey vest. We set the blind up where the wind would help to carry our calls up into a deep canyon that was outlined with cedar trees and filled with a large number of oak trees. Brendon helped me to set up the decoys with Bubba, my strutter and Henny Penny about 15 yards from the blind. My son-in-law, Mike, joined us and 4-year-old Trevyn Keene of Grand Island. Trevyn had his turkey vest on and had brought along his very own turkey call. Both boys were so excited to see each other and to help Papa call in a turkey.
I showed both boys how to hold their box calls, Brendon was borrowing mine, then they both began to call and I must admit they were sure loud and proud! Would you believe it, between calls we heard a turkey gobble from way down the canyon. He must have heard the commotion from over a 1/4 mile away. The boys upon hearing the response were so excited, (as was I) they really cranked up the volume. Needless to say I think that we scared every living creature in the near vicinity back down the canyon to escape the ruckus. Mike and I then decided to venture down the canyon with the boys to see if we could set up a little closer and get to where the turkeys wanted to be. So we set off, Mike with his bow, me with my muzzleloader shotgun and each of the boys with a stick representing their shotguns. When we got to the bottom of the canyons we split up.
Mike and Trevyn went down into the bottom of the big canyon and Brendon and I went on up the ridge between the canyons. We found a good spot where we could see down the ridge on both sides and crawled back into the cedars, cutting branches and making us a makeshift turkey blind. Brendon watched me put on my mask and gloves and pull out my turkey call. He did the same. I showed him how to call softly using his box call; he did a wonderful job! We were only there a few minutes when we heard a gobble coming from less then a 100 yards away. We both called again softly on our box calls then suddenly there he was – a beautiful Rio Grande gobbler came out of the cedars to the north of us in full strut, he was coming our way.
“Don’t call any more Brendon,” I whispered intently, “He is coming right for us!”
I lifted Brendon up so he could see the Tom in all of his glory strutting our way. I set Brendon back down behind me and turned back to the Tom strutting down the ridge. He was only 70 yards away, I raised the muzzleloader up to my knee and put the bead on the Tom’s head, the bird was at 60 yards. I could see that he was indeed another trophy, his beard appeared to be dragging on the ground and his spurs were long and hooked. Just a couple more steps and he would be ours. All of a sudden the Tom came out of strut, raised his head, gave an alarmed putt, turned tail and ran directly away from us. I was stunned.
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What had happened? I lowered my gun then turned to look at Brendon. There he was standing behind the cedar tree with his stick gun up and pointed at the turkey, who was by the way making fast tracks away from us.
“Pow, pow,” Brendon was saying, he then turned to look at me with a look of pure astonishment.
“I shot him right in the head just like you said Papa.”
“Well, that’s what you call a catch and release!” I replied.
What a wonderful way to spend my birthday, and I could not have asked for a better gift than to share an afternoon in the turkey woods with my three companions. Remember you are never too young, or too old for that matter, to share the experience of the great outdoors.