By William Spears
Last May my dad, brother Parker, and I went turkey hunting to one of my favorite spots.
We set up before daylight, and once the turkeys started calling from the roost we clucked and purred back a couple of times. After a little while we watched two nice toms, a few jakes and some hens fly down. They started feeding in a newly seeded rye field about 80 to 100 yards away.
We tried to call them in, but after they finished eating they moved farther off into a horse pasture. We watched them for almost 2 hours. Every time we would gobble, they would respond but they wouldn't come back.
After about an hour and a half we started purring and clucking again, and they started closing the distance from over 200 yards away, led by the hens. The hens seemed to hang up in the rye field again, so the toms and jakes stayed with them. After 15 minutes without being able to coax them the rest of the way with the box and push-button calls, my dad decided to just try to hen-cluck with his mouth.
As soon as he started doing this the toms and jakes stood up straight and started looking our way. Dad did it again and the jakes started running up the wood line to my right. Dad had told me if I can see the turkeys, they can probably see me, so I needed to have my gun in place and ready.
I was staring at them, hoping that one of the long-beards would make its way over. My dad started whispering, "take it! Take it!"
I couldn't figure out what he was talking about, because they were still 75 yards away.
It turned out the jakes I thought had run right past us, had run to the wood line even to us, turned and came right to us. I didn't notice them because I was concentrating so hard on the toms and trying to stay still.
The first jake was only about 8 yards away, but right behind a small pine tree. When Dad started telling me to "take it!" I started looking around.
My brother Parker got pretty excited and yelled "William, take it!"
The turkey looked at him hard enough that I took the opportunity to turn my Rossi 20-gauge at the jake.
Just as he was getting ready to run, I squeezed the trigger and the jake dropped and started flopping all over the place. Parker jumped up and ran over and stepped on the turkey to make sure it wasn't going to get away. When I got over to the jake, Parker grabbed me with a giant hug, and started singing "turkey on the ground, turkey on the ground, looking pretty cool with a turkey on the ground!"
Dad came over and told me how proud he was of the good shot I made, and we all gave high-fives and lots more hugs.
My older sister Courtney has hunted turkeys for three years, and though she has had a couple chances to get one she still hasn't. This was Parker's first year and a week later he almost got his. This was my second year, and I'm the first of us kids to get a turkey. I think that's pretty cool.