Kelsey

Hi John, Just thought I would drop you a note and let you know how this year's youth turkey season went. This was Kelsey's second year turkey hunting and she was going for another big bird during the youth turkey hunting season. It was a beautiful morning and the birds were gobbling their heads off, the habitat great. We worked a few birds early, but could not convince any of them to leave the company of their ladies....so we went to them. Sometime around 10am we called in one lonely gobbler, but he came in farther to our left than expected. He spit and drummed for us at about 30 yards before deciding to head back into the brush. I told Kelsey that if she was going to take a shot...now was the time. Well, it was a tough shot, a hard left angle and it was a clean miss (such is turkey hunting and a great learning experience for her). Another member, Randy Schmidt, went along to film the event....so at least we have that to look back on. The next day was more of the same, a ton of gobbling, but I could never convince one of those lovelorn birds to come close enough for a shot. On the bright side, we saw a ton of deer (looking forward to bow hunting the area next year) and got some great footage of turkeys strutting (right by the truck....just on the wrong side of the fence)... Good hunting, Shawn

John, I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how my daughter, Kelsey did on the Youth turkey hunt. This is Kelsey's first time behind the gun for turkey season. She went with me last year on some of MAHA's properties and I was fortunate enough to bag a bird with her there. Well, this year it was her turn to bag a bird with me there.

We set up well before dawn on an extremely foggy morning. The turkeys were late in waking up, but when they did, there was no doubt that the property held a good number of birds. We sat in one area trying to convince a bird to come our way for the first couple of hours, but they were not convinced. So we made a move about 8:45 to try and get closer to a good strutting area. Once we made our move, I set out the decoys and started to call with a soft yelp. One mature gobbler and three (I think) jakes all gobbled about 150 yards away directly below us. I continued to call to them, they continued to gobble and work our way, and Kelsey was steady and ready for action. As we were focused on the birds below us heading our way, two more gobblers moved silently in to our left. The first thing we both heard was the drumming of a strutting gobbler at 40 yards. We both looked over and there were two mature, strutting gobblers looking for that lonesome hen. I suspect they came in quite, so they wouldn't get their rear ends kicked by the vocal bird at the bottom of the hill. As turkey hunting usually goes, it still wasn't easy. The birds wouldn't work in any closer and I didn't want Kelsey to take a shot that far and in that much brush and risk the chance of just injuring the bird. So, we waited....

They strutted around for about 10 minutes, eyeing my jake decoy the whole time. While all this was going on, the gobbler and jakes at the bottom of the hill continued to gobble. For some reason, the birds started to spook. I am sure almost all turkey hunters have heard that soft, sharp putt build up slowly to a very loud putt, putt, putt. Well that was us....Fortunately, the two gobblers started to work their way back down the hill toward the gobbling bird. This brought them within 35 yards of us and into a good opening for a shot. When she got the opportunity, she took it and made a great shot. 9:50 am bird down, one hooked for life turkey hunter, and one extremely happy dad.

Let me first say, that you are doing a great job with the website! I visit it frequently just to keep myself updated and to see the great new pictures that have been added.

I have attached a couple of pictures from this year's [location deleted] turkey season.

I took my 10 year old daughter along to watch. She had a great time and although the weather was rainy and windy....she was quite the trooper. The turkeys were very cooperative both days, they were plentiful and very vocal. I could not have asked for a better scenario for her to experience on the second day of our hunt. I think she will become quite the youth turkey hunting partner I dream of.

We arrived about an hour before daylight and took a position close to where we felt the turkeys would be roosted. Just like "clockwork" at about a half hour before sunrise the first bird of the day let out a gobble about 300 yards away. We decided to wait a bit before moving toward him, but he continued to gobble enough to convince us to make our move. We had to cross a big open field to get to him, so I decided to stay on the low side to keep from being skylined.

We put out the decoys in the middle of the field and picked an ambush point about halfway between the roosted turkeys and the decoys. Well, he flew down and put on quite the show at about 80 yards out for the first 30 minutes (he was just out of eyesight of my decoys) He gobbled no less than 100 times and was in and out of strut the whole time. He was continually answering my yelps, but I couldn't seem to coax him on in and could see plenty more turkeys in the background.

I decided to use a turkey hunting tactic that has worked well in the past for me. I yelped like a gobbler and then proceeded to purr continuously like a hen. Well, that old turkey hunting trick worked, he just couldn't stand it. He came in "on a string" and when he caught sight of my turkey decoys it was all over. I had a clean shot at a mere 20 yards and my 10 year old daughter got to see the whole thing. I think that was the most exciting part of the turkey hunt...knowing that she got to experience it with me.

I have attached a couple of pictures from that turkey hunt. One is my daughter, Kelsey, with the bird that I harvested that morning (21lbs, 11" and 5" beard, 1" spurs) and the other is of a turkey nest that we found right by the highway on the farm we were hunting.

I also had another exceptional deer season (I would send a photo, but unfortunately they did not turn out as I had hoped) with a couple of my friends that joined the club last fall. We all saw quality bucks and I took a relatively nice deer during the firearms season, but the big bucks stayed just out of range during the archery season. After seeing some of the bucks that we "let walk" last year, I am looking forward to getting a crack at them this year.

Again, thank you for the fine job that you do with the website and pass on my heartfelt thanks to both Jon Nee and his staff for the great job that they are doing not just for our turkey hunting, but also for all else.
Sincerely, Shawn

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