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  • Bertie County Father-Son Harvest

    I don't know about anybody else, but the beginning of my turkey season was different like I have never seen it. April along the Roanoke River has never been as quiet, or as cold, as it was the first two weeks of the 2016 Turkey Season. I've heard people say there was no change in the way the turkeys acted, and then I've seen the older gentlemen scratch their heads at the lack of activity either seen in the field or heard from the roost. I'll have to agree with the latter. With all that said, lets get onto the good part.

    On April 22nd, I had the privilege of taking my Godfather, Brick, turkey hunting. He unsuccessfully tried last year to bag a big gobbler, and after coming very close, he was sure this year would be different. A beautiful morning with no wind came and went with only hens making noise in the woods. After some walking and calling, we struck up one lone gobble from a henned-up Tom that would prove no contest against live Suzies. After a little speckled perch/rock fishing, it started blowing a gale as the front moved in, sending everyone that negative feeling that tomorrow morning would also throw a shutout.

    My Godbrother, Whit, and other friends joined us that evening for dinner. It was decided over fried perch and cold beverages that I would take Whit in the morning, and my much wiser and more experienced turkey mentor/cousin, Wayland, would take Brick.

    The front had moved through, and the woods were silent once again. After a long wait and no more sticks to play with, the 'Call of Nature' ran us out of our first spot. With new vigor, Whit and I decided to make a break towards a new cut-over at the back of the field we were hunting.

    After hearing a gobbler, we sat. We waited. Nothing doing. Walking again (now 700-800 yards from our initial setup), a serious of loud, sharp cutting with a Flextone 'Spur Collector' diaphragm roused three different gobbles from three different Toms in three very different directions. North, East, and South to be specific.

    'What do you think we should do?' he said.

    'Hell, if I know. Lets just sit right here and see what happens.'

    Fortunately, we made the right decision. The northern bird let us know every 5 or so minutes that he was on the way. Covered in wheat to his neck, his bright red head appeared in my binoculars about 150 yards away. He bobbed and weaved in and out of the wheat, looking for his soon-to-be mistress. Whit was ready with his 12 gauge just 20 yards down an old path connecting to the field, but the gobbler made us wait. With no decoys to hold his attention, the old Tom had us shaking like two little children afraid of the dark. Shaking so much that my striker accidentally hit my friction call, sending out two quick clucks. (I wouldn't be able to repeat it if I had too.....) He hammered back at my fortunate mistake with a bone-rattling gobble, and proceeded onward with his Death March until clearing the final tree that gave Whit a green light to send a hoard of #5's into his cranium.

    With the bird down, only hollering and hugging could half-way satisfy the amount of happiness and thankfulness we had for such an awesome hunt. Can it get better? It sure can. We came to find out that Brick, Whit's father, had just killed his first gobbler at age 56...with a 12' beard!!! Both birds were trophies(numbers below), but to kill one with your father, or with your son, on the same day is more than special! Thank you, Lord, for another glorious day in the woods!

    Brick's Turkey
    12' beard
    1 1/2' spurs
    15-17 lbs. (est.)

    Whit's Turkey
    10.5' beard
    1 1/4 & 1 1/2' spurs
    18-20 lbs. (est.)