4-year-old hunter kills 24-pound turkey

Robert (left) and Cayden Clark pose with the youth hunter's first gobbler.

Gobbler had double beards, long spurs

Four-year-old Cayden Clark from Laurinburg, N.C. killed his first turkey on May 3. The young sportsman was hunting with his dad Robert Clark in Scotland County. It was a first to remember for both. But the turkey hunting season didn’t start out so well for Cayden.

“He missed two birds earlier this year. He missed one on opening youth day, and another a few days later. But never once did he get discouraged or want to give up. All he’s wanted to do is kill a turkey, and after missing both birds, he’s wanted to go hunting every free morning and afternoon we’ve had,” said Robert Clark.

Cayden finally got his turkey, and it was a good one. The bird weighed 24-pounds, had two beards, and 1 3/8-inch spurs.

“Everything finally came together on May 3, and it’s a memory that I will never forget. That day will always hold a special place in my heart. He’s been tagging along with me hunting since he was 2-years-old,” said Cayden’s dad.

Big bird came straight to decoy spread

It was an afternoon hunt, and Robert Cayden was calling to the bird on his Hank’s glass call. They had two decoys out — a jake decoy and a lay-down hen. It was too much for the gobbler to resist.

“He came strutting in to our decoys spitting and drumming. As he started getting closer, I started getting Cayden ready and getting his tripod turned to give him a clear shot at around 10 yards. When the bird got to 15 yards away, I told Cayden to put the red dot on his head and squeeze the trigger when I said shoot,” he said.

Look at that smile! Cayden Clark shows off his 24-pound, double-bearded gobbler.

The young hunter was eager, but patiently waited for his dad’s signal.

“The whole time, he was whispering ‘daddy can I shoot.’ When the bird got to the decoy, Cayden pulled the trigger and knocked the bird down. After shooting it, he latched on to me and said ‘daddy, I just shot my first turkey in the face.’ It was hard to hold back the tears. The lord really blessed us and I’m so thankful,” said Robert Clark.

The gobbler’s longest beard was 11 1/2-inches long, and the shortest was 4 inches long. Caden shot the bird with his .410 shotgun.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1336 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.