We had been planning a day of turkey hunting for a while now up here in Michigan. Allen wanted to start his hunting career (at the age of 8)....hunting turkeys!! We spent a little time trying to show him how the .410 shot gun and even a light load in the 20 gauge would not hurt him but he wouldn't have anything to do with that. Just too soon for him I guess so we elected to start practicing with the crossbow. He quickly showed dad he wasn't messing around and was consistently hitting the mark out to 20 yards. So, we decided that was plenty good enough, all we had to do was get a turkey close enough. Many of you know how difficult that task can be!!
Friday evening, after Allen's Little League game where his team put a whoopin on the only undefeated team in their league, we headed up to my buddy Ed's place to spend the night. He had scouted out a couple of the farms he had access to and went ahead and set up a pop-up ground blind for us. Saturday morning we got up at 4 am and headed over to the farm, along the way Allen was studying the turkey pictures I had on my phone and showing me where he would aim for every angle and situation. He was right on and soon we arrived in that early morning darkness.
Excited was an understatement for me and I only hoped Allen got to experience some of what we all dream about for turkey season. We made our way out to the blind and Ed set the decoys up within Allen's range. Soon all 3 of us were settled in the blind waiting for daylight to come. Just before sunrise we heard our first gobble!!! Allen couldn't believe it and it seemed like he was less than 100 yards away. Soon we heard more gobbles from different birds! Allen's excitement started to grow and now it was daylight! The gobbles continued here and there, especially any time the crows would sound off. Our excited anticipation started to grow into wonder, if anything would even show for us.
Suddenly Ed motioned that he spotted 2 jakes coming our way. Thinking they were across the field I started remind Allen how to be safe, to breathe and to squeeze the trigger. Little did I know they were mere feet from the blind!! Thank goodness I didn't spook them and as they slowly worked their way around to the decoys they cam into view for Allen to see!! I could see the nervousness in his legs and hands but as the slowed down around the jake decoy I whispered 'the one on the left, wait til they stop'. Sure enough, the one on the left stopped and Allen sent the bolt on it's way....smack right where he should have been aiming!!! The turkeys took off running and soon Allen's bird tipped over along the way!! HE WAS DOWN!!! ALLEN DID IT WITH A CROSSBOW!!!
I owe it all to this man for making it happen for Allen!! Thanks again Ed!!
Here is where it get's a familiar twist to the story.
We sat for a little while before deciding it was time to go and get a bite to eat, a celebration breakfast for Allen. All morning Ed and I kept looking back at Allen, both of us with that happy grin that Allen actually got it done! Breakfast entailed us re-living the story and even Allen's Little League game from the night before. My dreams had come true and these moments are what I have only hoped for!! We had a great meal at the local diner and soon we were headed back to the farm to sit for a while and see if good ole dad could make something happen. We made our way back to the blind around noon and decided we would sit til between 3 & 4.
It didn't take long for Allen's adrenaline rush to turn into complete exhaustion. We hadn't been in the blind long before he was out cold.
A little after 2 Ed notices 2 jakes headed our way. They fed a while before noticing the decoys set up and soon they were on their way. Could this actually happen again?!?! My heart was racing and the turkeys were within range. I only needed the one to take a few more steps into the window I had open. Nope, the one decided to turn and didn't like things as it walked quickly away. The second one paused long enough for me to stand and switch windows. As he stepped out Ed hit the call and made him stop. I settled the dot on him and thwack the bolt drilled the jake where I was aiming!! Soon he was running and eventually tumbling out in the field as well!!! We did it!! Allen shot his first and I was able to complete the double!!!
Ed, I simply cannot thank you enough and I am glad you were there to enjoy the moments with Allen and I!!