Spring Turkey Birthday Hunt

Thanks to the generosity from some new friends, I was able to join them this past spring for a special hunt with my oldest daughter, Abbey.  It was my birthday present for her as she’s always asking to go hunting with me.  She turned 8 in February.

In a word, it was fantastic and I can’t thank Matthews, Matt, and Cameron enough for a very memorable weekend for my daughter and me.

We were on birds all three days but things just didn’t pan out until Matthews made arrangements to get us on a new property for our final Sunday morning hunt. We were up early and exited the trucks to the repeated thundering of gobbling up on the ridge. These three guys repeatedly helped carry the yard-sale of stuff needed to facilitate an 8-year old.

We had my blind & decoys up around 5:30 or so and I soon joined in with the calling to hopefully pull the flock out of the trees down our way. We were set-up a bit further than I’d have liked but it was getting light fast and I didn’t want to push it too hard.

Abbey was pretty into it but very tired so I pulled her boots off and tucked her into a sleeping bag where she rested for the better part of an hour, despite the onslaught of gobbling.  I kept an eye out and eventually we had a lone hen clucking/purring around the blind, followed by four whitetail bucks sporting velvet nubs.

A couple more hours past and after a short exchange about “luck” (and our lack thereof) Abbey decided that she should put a tail feather she’d found out the opening of the blind to attract turkeys.  About five minutes later – “BOOM!” – Cameron nailed his bird up on the hillside above us. I immediately started cutting and yelping to pull the scattering birds our way to regroup.  Moments later I spotted a bunch of heads bobbing around in confusion so I let out a few soft clucks and purrs while pointing them out to Abbey. They started coming our way so I handed her the hearing protection muffs and whispered, “Put these on – quick!” I turned around to see them on a dead run into the decoys 8 yards out…hen, hen, hen, jake, hen, jake, hen, “BOOM!”

I was elated! Abbey was right there watching over my shoulder as I squeezed off the shot.  By the time Abbey and I were done hugging and celebrating, I could see Matthews running down the hill toward us, followed by Cameron with his bird over his shoulder.

What a morning – my daughter later told me it was the best weekend of her life.  I couldn’t agree more!

There are a lot of great guys out there and I just want to say that Matthews, Matt, and Cameron are up near the top of that list. These guys went out of their way to help make this a special weekend for me and Abbey. For example, we were on a tight schedule on Sunday (school night, six hours from home) so while I was trying to pack and get all the loose ends tied up (little girls pack a lot of stuff!) they cleaned my bird, removed the fan and prepped it for drying, made Abbey a breakfast of wild boar sausage, potatoes and French toast!  Unreal hospitality and generosity.

Thanks guys! – we’ll get some plans set up so I can return the favor on elk this fall!

Abbey and her lucky feather!

Cameron and Matthews with Cameron's bird

Me, Abbey, and Cameron with our double on the hill

About the Author

Tom Ryle

Tom Ryle

Tom Ryle's passion for bowhunting has fueled adventures spanning the United States, Canada, and South Africa. He is an official measurer for the Pope and Young Club, NMLRA, NW Big Game Inc., and Oregon Shed Hunters.