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My Second Turkey

Nate Grossman
Eastern turkey
Madison County, IA

Dad and I had a really cool hunt 2 weeks ago (on the 26th of April). We set up in a fairly open river bottom around noon and did some calling. We heard a bird a ways off, so we decided to leave our setup and go after him. We ended up getting to the top of the hill without spooking anything, but as we were standing at the top admiring a beautiful wetland, two toms flew up not fifteen yards from us.


Dad and I both thought the hunt was over when we heard another bird sound off 100 yards off. We set up for him in a small clearing, but next time he gobbled he was down hill going away. This is where the story gets interesting. The hill we're on kind of stair steps it's way into the river bottom. Dad and I are on the top step, and the turkey is two below us. We set up on a rocky outcropping overlooking the next step, and after a few seconds of calling that bird came in. We both thought he was in the bag, but he wouldn't come any closer than fifty yards. Dad was lucky and was in a position so that he could slide backward without being seen, and I whispered to him to walk away, make the bird think we're leaving. All this did was draw some gobbles out of him. When dad slipped back up he whispered, "What do you wanna do?". My response was, "Does this level go all the way around the hill?" I quickly expxained what I had in mind. We were at a spot where the entire hillside hooks to the north, making a corner. We both agreed that if we could slip out of our current position, we could walk past the corner and slip down to the same level as the tom. We pulled this off without a hitch, and set up so that dad was behind and to my my right, and the turkey should approach from in front and to my left. He did come in that way almost immediately, but stopped 35 yards away behind some cedars. He gobbled a couple times, then stopped moving. After a while we weren't sure if he was there or not. Dad got lucky again. He was once more in a position where, if he got half of a roll past that turkey, he was out of sight. When I first heard the leaves rustle, I thought dad was giving up. Then, as he started calling as he walked away, a grinned. That did it. The bird started walking towards dad, and I had my gun trained on a clear spot where he should walk. He paused right before that and turned around. He walked about twenty feet to a little high spot and started spitting and drumming. I hadn't moved my gun yet, and wasn't sure if I would get a shot. Then he stuck his head up into an opening the size of a grapefruit, I swung smoothly and let him have it. He didn't go anywhere, and as I was walking to him I could hear dad running up behind me laughing and screaming. Dad and I have done some cool things together, and this ranks pretty high. We had worked that bird for almost two hours, and he was hot the whole time.

Measurements were:

Beard- 9 1/2

Spurs- 3/4

Weight- right around 20 lbs.

The cool thing is we've only been hunting 3 years! So far I'm 2 for 3, my brother shot a monster 12 incher his first year, and dad shot one bigger than both of mine earlier this year.