If you ask Bryan Alexander of Morrisville what could make his hunting season any better, he will laugh and tell you nothing. He guided his 13-year-old daughter on a turkey hunt during the youth season, and she killed her first turkey, a gobbler with a 10-inch beard and 1 1/4-inch spurs.
It was a bit of an impromptu hunt for the father-daughter team, as other obligations kept them from arriving on their Gates County hunting property in time for the early morning hunt. By mid-morning, they were walking through the property, calling periodically while heading to a resting spot.
“We walked and called for probably 4 miles. I had a spot on the edge of a field in mind for us to sit down and rest, and I thought it would be a good place to get set up. We had heard nothing from any birds at all. Not a peep,” said Alexander.
Once they reached the resting spot, Alexander set up a blind and put out 2 hen decoys and one jake, then he took position off to the side of his daughter, Emma. The two talked quietly about what she should do if a turkey showed up, until something caught her eye.
“I had told her it might take 20 minutes, it might take much longer, and then she said ‘hey dad, I see a snake in front of me. Should I shoot it?’” Alexander said.
He asked her where the snake was headed, and she replied “to you,” so Alexander decided to shoo it away by tossing a stick at it, but the snake stood its ground. He threw another stick with the same result. As he tossed a third stick, he was surprised with the sudden rush of a gobbler running extremely fast right past him, then another just as fast. Then a third one. They all ran into the decoy area.
“I looked at Emma and she had the gun up. I whispered to shoot whenever one popped its head up. She asked me which one to shoot, and I told her it didn’t matter, and to shoot whichever one she wanted to. One of the gobblers was already beating up on the decoys, and Emma pulled the trigger on the second turkey. She killed it deader than I’ve ever killed one,” he said.
For their whole day, during the long walk and the short time sitting, they never heard a single noise from any of the turkeys.
“They made no sound at all. They just appeared. That surprised me, but that’s turkey hunting. You just never know what’s going to happen when hunting these birds,” Alexander said.
She killed the bird with the 1982 Winchester Ducks Unlimited Greenwing Special 20-gauge pump that he got at a Ducks Unlimited banquet when he was a kid. When he asked why she chose to shoot the second bird, she calmly replied “it had the longest beard.”