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Sharing the Outdoors – A Family Hunt and an Ohio Gobbler

It was Friday, April 28th.  My wife and I had just made it back from our last vacation as a family of two a couple of days prior, and the Ohio turkey season was already underway.  My wife was, at the time, 33 weeks pregnant with our first child, and I had finally talked her into coming out to turkey hunt with me.  Luckily the hunt didn’t disappoint.

I had been getting several pictures on my wireless Covert trail cameras of a few longbeards working the field on the property I hunt on a pretty consistent basis.  With that information, I knew where we had to be setup when season opened.  It was a pretty long hike to get back to the spot I wanted to be setup, so I decided it would be good to get my Xenek Apex blind setup a couple of weeks early. Not only would this reduce the amount of gear we’d have to carry in for the morning hunt, but by setting up the blind early we could get setup closer to the roost, and give the birds some time to get used to the new blind.  I set the Xenek blind off the edge of the field a few feet and staked it down well in preparation for the spring storms that typically move through Ohio.

The night before our hunt we gathered our gear in preparation for the following morning, charged up the camera batteries, and hit the sack early.  The alarm sounded off bright and early at 4:30 AM and without hesitation both of us popped out of bed.  After getting dressed we threw our gear in the truck and headed on our way; anxious for what the morning may have in store.  Since this was the first turkey hunt I had taken my wife on, I did a quick run down on what to expect during our drive.  We arrived at the farm plenty early, packed up and started our trek to our setup we had prepared weeks before.  The weather was perfect and I just had a feeling we’d be in for a good hunt.

After getting to the blind, I quickly setup the DSD decoy spread consisting of the Strutter, submissive hen, and the feeding hen with the Motion Madness kit installed while Abby situated the gear inside the blind.  I placed a few GoPro’s around the decoys in hopes of capturing some good 2nd angle footage before finally climbing in the blind.  It was still plenty dark outside as I prepared my bow and started setting up the primary camera.  I had just started getting my wireless mics setup when all of a sudden GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!  I immediately looked over at Abby and she looked at me and we both got a big grin on our faces.  The bird had fired off less than 50 yards from where we were setup.  I hastily setup the rest of my camera gear and recorded a pre-hunt interview. The gobbles of the bird in the tree near us set off a chain reaction and soon another was gobbling about 150 yards away.  It was only 6:15 at the time so we figured we had a little while before they flew down for the day.  We settled back in our blind chairs and soaked in the sights and sounds of daybreak.

Shortly after legal shooting light, Abby taps me on the leg and points off to our left…”There’s a turkey!”.  I looked out of the blind and sure enough, about 80 yards away in the neighboring field was a gobbler.  Seconds later the gobbler that was gobbling his head off behind our blind pitched down in the field to join his buddy.  Birds were everywhere it seemed.  In the distance you could hear another gobbler sounding off, hens were clucking and yelping nearby, and a third gobbler had now joined the other two in the field. My preseason preparations appeared to pay off; We were setup in the perfect spot.  They could see the white-faced DSD Strutter decoy and all it took was a few purrs on my Tom Teasers slate call and they were hooked.  The trio of gobblers bee-lined straight to our decoy setup and I reached for my bow as I worked the camera.

The lead gobbler struck first as he wing slapped the DSD Strutter.  Fighting purrs ensued as did the physical assault to the DSD.  I wasted no time and settled the top pin of my Spot Hogg double pin sight and released.  In a bright green flash (Firenock) buried into the side of the gobbler and he took off back in the direction they came from.  The other gobblers didn’t know what had happened and continued to harass the DSD Strutter decoy for a few minutes.  Not wanting to let the opportunity pass, Abby pulled out her new DSLR and started snapping off pics of the gobbler in the decoys.  After about 10 minutes or so, the gobblers finally made their way off back to our left and out of sight.  It was time to go and retrieve our bird.

Anyone that knows me, knows how passionate I am about hunting and the outdoors.  Being able to share my excitement with my beautiful wife and unborn daughter was an exhilarating experience.  The excitement in her eyes when she heard the first gobble of the morning, and getting to see the longbeards at less than 10 yards was something I’m sure she’ll remember for quite some time.  I know I will.

April 28th...a turkey hunt that I will remember forever.

Bird Stats:

  • 20.5 lbs.
  • 10-5/8″ beard
  • 3/4″ spurs

Brett’s Gear:

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