Christian Cole killed his first turkey on opening youth day in Chatham County. It was a true trophy. The 14-year-old killed a triple-bearded gobbler that weighed a hefty 24 pounds, and had sharp, shiny spurs that measured 1 3/8 inches.
Cole was hunting with his granddad Paul Goins and family friend Jerrell Seawell, who did the calling. It was Cole’s first time turkey hunting, and Seawell spent a few moments Saturday morning explaining the basics. Cole proved to be a quick learner.
“When we got into the woods, we heard some gobbling on the roost way off, and one in particular caught my attention. It was coming from a different spot than the others, so we made a move to where I thought that turkey would likely go,” said Seawell.
“I did a few yelps and cuts with my mouth call, just to let him know where we were, and then I set up on a tree with Christian. I hit the box call with a few yelps, and he answered. I could tell the turkey had covered some ground quickly. It was closer to us,” said Seawell.
“After about 10 minutes, a crow flew over and let out a call. The turkey gobbled, and I could tell he was in what I refer to as the “hot zone,” about 50 to 60 yards away,” he said.
Seawell made some really soft purrs and clucks.
“That’s what I find works once they are in the hot zone. Just really subtle purrs and clucks, and he responded with a double gobble, and we finally caught sight of him. He was all blown up, strutting, but he was on the other side of a 4-tiered electric fence,” he said.
The turkey ducked low and walked right under the fence’s bottom tier.
“It was just one fluid motion. He ducked and just seemed to glide right under as smooth as silk. When he popped up on the other side, I immediately remarked at how huge he was. I was truly in awe of this turkey, and then I realized I probably shouldn’t have said anything to make Christian nervous, but Christian, he handled it like a veteran. He got the gun up, and waited until the right time,” said Seawell.
After waiting for the turkey to clear two trees that were blocking a clear shot, Cole pulled the trigger, dropping the turkey to the ground. As Seawell handled the gobbler, he reached for the beard, and that’s when he saw that it had three of them.
“I said ‘look, you’ve got a double,’ but then I saw the third beard! The first beard was 8 1/2 inches long, the second one was 9 1/2, and the main beard was 11 inches long,” Seawell said.
Although he’s been on many successful turkey hunts, Seawell said this is one that will always stand out for him.
“Getting to share this experience with a first-time youth hunter, and getting to see him take his first turkey was a true blessing. My season is made,” he said.