So my deer hunting buddy (Steve) has this cherry place to hunt turkeys. I have been up there with him before, but it has been quite a while. It is just stupid think with turkeys (great for keeping a kids interest), and the set up is perfect.
Well, his kids are now too old to participate in the Iowa youth season, so he asked if the girls wanted to go. Even though it was forecast as super cold this morning, Shea was an immediate yes! It ended up being 14 degrees when we got out of the truck.
We got up at 3:40 and was at his place by 4:20. Then just under an hour drive to this farm (legal shooting time was 6:07). The setup is on top of a ridge looking down and across an old 20 or so acre pasture which is surrounded by timber. As we were setting the blind up at 5:45'ish birds started sounding off everywhere! We were surrounded by them. It sounded like there was a bird in every tree, but our honest estimate was 20 to 30 gobblers around the field. The birds hit the ground just after legal light, and within about 10 minutes we had two toms coming from the timber behind us. They hung up at about 20 yards behind the blind and gobbled like crazy. After about 10 minutes they decided to come on out into the field. They passed about 8 or so yards to the left side of the blind while heading for the decoys. Now let me mention the blind..... My buddy just picked up one of the new see-through 270 Double Bulls, and that thing is the cat's meow. Check them out if you can, I've been in nothing that compares. So back to the turkeys.... They got out to the deeks but stayed just a bit off to the left and didn't want to fully commit, probably just 2 year olds. So with a bit of jockeying around we go Shea set up to shoot. They had gone past the deeks by this time and she took about a 30 yard shot. Clean miss, and they still stood there and kept gobbling. Cycled another cell, followed by another miss. They got out of dodge that time. She was kinda bummed but Steve said no worries, there will be more.
Birds were still sounding off everywhere, and about 15 minutes later one starting gobbling and coming down the ridge through the timber behind us and to the left. That was my side of the blind and I soon saw him behind us in the timber, silhouetted on the ridge-top at about 70 yards. Right then Steve said 'strutter right here, 20 yards, coming straight at us'. It was also behind us, but was on the right side and was not gobbling. I wish I would have had my phone out to take a video as what followed was the coolest thing. This bird never gobbled or broke strut. He was fully committed to the deeks and came right in. He passed on the right side of the blind at not even 5 yards. Since the ground was frozen, his wings were making the loudest/coolest scraping sound as he strutted. And being in the 270, you could just watch the whole thing! He got out to one of the hen deeks at about 12 yards then directly faced us. We had told Shea to shoot when he picks his head up, but he wouldn't. Not even when we started to call loudly. So we just told her to let it rip, and she rolled him right over!! Great feeling to see her get her first bird! She is one happy little girl, and is already asking if she can get another tag!!!
Bird stats are 22.6 pounds, 9.5 beard, spurs are 1 1/8 and 1 1/4.