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Turkey Hunting Hooks Another Hunter

YerbyBy Raymond Yearby

-- It was the night before the first day of the spring turkey season in Oklahoma. My stepdad was telling me how he had hunted turkey for about 15 years or so before he got his first bird, and that I should not be disappointed if I didn't get one the first day out.

We got up at around 4:30 in the morning and talked about hunting for a little bit. Then we decided to not go hunting because we had to go to my grandparents' anniversary party later that day. We knew if we set up on a gobbler, it'd be time to head out, and we wouldn't want to leave. Mom would be really mad at us for being late.

We were about to go back to bed when my uncle started talking about how he had seen a few turkeys on some land he just bought. He asked if we wanted to go scout the property. Of course, we jumped at the chance.

As we got out of the truck, my stepdad used his crow call. The woods were silent. He tried it again. This time, I heard a gobble to the east. My stepdad did not hear the gobble and looked at me like I was crazy.

We move down the road about 100 yards. He tried it again. Again, the turkey gobbled. We move another 100 yards and we are on the west side of a high clearing and the turkey was right on top of us!

We sat down, and I got my shotgun ready. My stepdad is great with a diaphragm call, so he started with it and then I told him I saw the bird's head. He called the bird in to about 25 yards and instructed me to take the bird. I took the safety off, slowly pulled the trigger, and all we heard was a gut-wrenching click.

For some reason, luck was on our side that day because the bird began to strut, which gave me enough time to eject the bad shell and shuck another into the chamber. I pulled the trigger and the bird dropped.

My first turkey hunt lasted all of 30 minutes. The turkey weighed 17 pounds and had a 4 1/2-inch beard. I'm hooked on turkey hunting and intend on going every chance I get.

Raymond Yearby
Muskogee Oklahoma

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