Trip report - birds down!


Active member
Dec 10, 2001
North Dakota
Last Friday the kids didn't have school but we did have turkey tags so we headed out at Oh Dark Thirty to get set up for some turkey action.

Part I
This was my 10 year olds first time being able to do more then just watch everybody else and help with the calling. He was more then a bit nervous about not being able to hit a tom if it came in but his worry was unfounded.

Because of a last minute change of plans we were a bit later then I would have liked to get into place but the youngest decided that was where he wanted to hunt so I went as directed. ;) We got the decoys out, settled into our spot, and started calling. We immediately got responses from several toms and soon I could see them strutting and ambling our way. Our set-up was perfect and soon two toms were facing off with my homemade strutter. It was VERY cool to watch from only 12 steps away but the boy thought it was time for action and at the sound of the 20 guage only one of the two birds that came in ran away. The older boy should have had that one but do to trouble finding the safety in the heat of the moment the bird got a free pass.

My youngest boys with his first turkey:

Note the sly grin and well earned since he was the one who picked the spot:

Hiding spot except the shooter had on a face mask too. This spot was tailor made for us. The birds never knew we were there.

The rest of day one was spent trying to find birds for big brother and I. Found some birds but they weren't very cooperative except for one dandy tom who strutted right up to my young tom decoy to show him who was boss. Only trouble being the two of us with tags were off sneaking on another group of birds so the youngest just watched the big bird bully the younger one while wishing he had another tag to fill. Nothing to do but laugh.

PART 2, day 2:
Went out with some friends on Saturday to a different ranch. Morning dawned to the sounds of OODLES of rooster pheasants crowing all around us but the only turkeys we could here sounded a long ways away.

Since the prospects didn't look to good we spent the next couple of hours alternating between making a few calls and catching a few ZZZZZZ's. After sitting for nearly 3 hours I was about to tell the boy we needed to look elsewhere when a bird gobbled from the other side of the pines we were hiding in. Made some soft calls and soon we could hear him heading out way.

We were both sitting with our backs to the same tree and the bird came in from over my left shoulder which didn't allow the boy to shoot as he was on my right. As the bird came past at less then 10 yards he saw the decoys and was heading that way until the boy moved causing the bird to get the heck out of Dodge doing a nervous putt all the way.

He got to about 60 yards and paused so I called softly to him. He perked up his head and decided it was worth checking out the other birds in the field. Bad Mistake on his part as the boy dropped him with one shot at 25 yards with his mom's shortened 12 guage. His first bird with a 12 and 3rd spring bird in as many years.

Note the crossed eyes. This kid has always made taking a decent picture a chore but now that he is fast approaching the teenage years it is doubly difficult.

Where we were hiding: