It didn't take Chase Kinley of Thomasville very long to kill the gobbler of a lifetime.
A 7-year-old first grader, Chase began hunting with his father, Steve, when he was three. This past Saturday, on Opening Day of North Carolina's new Youth-Only Turkey Season, Chase showed up his father big time, taking a 21-pound gobbler that sported a 10-inch beard and 1 1/8-inch spurs.
"I never killed a gobbler that big," said Steve Kinley, who started hunting turkeys in 2000.
Steve said that his son insists on hunting with him, and he's already taken two deer, including one 8-pointer. On April 6, the two set up about 20 yards from a food plot on private land in Montgomery County, looking at three decoys: two hens and a gobbler.
Just after 7 a.m., a huge gobbler invaded their space.
Steve Kinley thought the birds were still on the roost, so he called very little, just a couple of soft yelps. That was enough to incite a lusty turkey to hard violence in the woods. A rowdy tom rushed the food plot and proceeded to beat the gobbler decoy with its wings.
The assault ended with one 20-gauge shell from Chase's Remington 870 – he had upgraded from the .410 he used last season – and the big gobbler was on the ground.
Chase, who weighs around 45 pounds, lives for the outdoors and sports. That morning, he put baseball practice on hold to try for his first turkey. For this young sportsman, hunting means more than just pulling a trigger."I like to hunt because I get to be with my dad a lot," he said.