It was a beautiful early May spring morning. The light was just coming up in the woods. Eileen and I were hunting turkey up on top of a hill in our camo gear. I was perking at the edge of the field and Eileen had her shotgun, which we had painted with camo colors the night before.
We made sure to keep our eyes down and our movement low and slow. Turkeys have very keen eyesight. A hen appeared at the edge of the field heading right toward us. I hit the call again. Suddenly, four gobblers of a medium size came a gobbling out into the same field. We were stock still waiting.
The excitement of calling struck us and as the sun rose the flock came in closer. Suddenly, Eileen turned and fired a shot behind us. I was shocked the five turkeys in front ran for their lives as turkeys have great hearing too. I whirled around only to find that Eileen saw what I hadn’t. A big male had come up behind us responding to the call. This turkey was a big one and we both were happy. I enjoyed calling the birds and Eileen enjoyed shooting a very large turkey.
It used to be that turkey season was a dangerous time and this story may no longer be as relevant as it once was. I was hunting turkeys in the mountains with a friend near Port Alleghany, McKean County. There had been some shooting across a field a short distance away. After waiting a bit, I got my call out, settled myself into a nice spot and started calling. A gobbler stepped out in front of me a ways off and I got excited as I always do and hit that call again. He turned and gave a gobble as he ran toward me.
Oh boy, my brain thought. Just then, I heard a branch snap behind me. I slowly turned my head to find a shotgun barrel aimed at me. I’m no turkey, I yelled. The hunter, who really was just a kid, got truly embarrassed as I started yelling at him. And that’s why to this day, I sit up against a back stop. Yeah, I know the rules are better now wear orange into the woods and out. Still going to sit against a backstop, lesson learned the hard way.
One time I was searching through an area that had rolling hills with a lot of dips in it. I found a spot with a pretty nice view. I perked. Suddenly, a head shot up in a dip only to disappear again. I perked again and didn’t that gobbler head appear in the next closest dip. So, I set my gun at the third dip, which I could see more clearly, and perked again. Up popped the gobbler and I could see size. This time I shot him. It was like a game I once saw only where you try to hit a peek eye turkey.
I heard from my hunting gang in Scenery Hill and they really had a good season. Dave “Magoo” Magera had his daughter Morgan out and she shot her first turkey. Proud dad says the bird had a 9 ½-inch beard and 1 1/8-inch spurs. Mike and Hunter Weber each shot their birds. Hunter is Mikes’ daughter, and he was a proud father as Hunter’s bird had a 10 ½-inch beard and 1 1/8-inch spurs. Mike’s bird was big with an 11-inch beard and 1 5/8-inch spur. This will give him his fifth triple trophy a deer, bear and turkey in one season.
Johnny Vickless had both his kids out turkey hunting. His son, Mathew, and his daughter, Morgan, each got their turkey as did proud dad. Three turkeys for them. So, I’d say the Scenery Hill Gang did pretty well this year.
I’m always happy to hear the hunting news. The early report on the turkey season seems to point to a good harvest.
George Block writes a weekly Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter