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  • My Buddy's First Turkey

    My life-long friend, Stack Bell, originally from Windsor, NC but now lives in Carolina Beach, has never been much on hunting or fishing. He leaned more towards skateboarding uptown or surfing at the beach rather than tracking animals in the woods or chasing tails offshore. Last summer, he came with me offshore where he caught his first White Marlin. The Outdoor Game has been full throttle since then. I have always been a addict for turkey hunting and since he now has the fever, I asked if he would join me.

    It was Easter Monday with a cool breeze and good fix on some birds. The first place we tried backed up to a swamp. I thought they would be roosted over the swamp. Sure enough, the closest gobbler was about 200 yards across the field over a little branch...where we had just walked past. We scurried back around the field underneath the dark canopy of the tall hardwoods and set out some decoys in the field maybe a hundred yards away from this bird. As soon as we were set, I caught my breathe and got ready to speak soft notes of love and temptation when 4 different hens started yelping, cutting, and cackling right underneath the bearded boss. I was optimistic but experience told me otherwise. A hen stayed in the field until 8:30 and shortly afterwards we picked up and headed to the truck.

    We ran into my father-in-law who inquired of the morning and when all was said and done, asked us if we would go dump the rain gauge at the back of the farm.

    With the rain gauge cleared and a couple other hens spooked, we had decided to check one more field before we parted ways.
    Not 30 seconds after getting back in the truck, I slammed the brakes and got the binoculars. Before I got words out of my mouth, we were in reverse and on a mission. A nice Gobbler in the road about 300 hundred yards away and ALONE.

    Luckily for us, he was using this small food plot beside the road as his strut zone. Even better, there was a small cut of trees about 20 yards wide that separated the the food plot from the field we were in.

    The wind was blowing maybe 10-15 knts which gave us some room to sneak a little closer. As I forgot to mention, Stack had this allergy thing going on which caused him to cough most of the morning. When we sat down on this bird, he only had two HALL's cough drops left, so time was of the essence.

    My first cadence was cut short by a thundering gobble. Ten minutes later, he asnwered again after just a few short yelps. After another ten minutes (and some periodic coughing), he answered once again to some louder cutting. We couldn't see the bird, but from his gobbles, we could tell he was out strutting, moving back and forth with no inclination of coming closer. I put the calls away and we waited.

    After twenty minutes, he began to gobble. Every four minutes a gobble. They got quicker and quicker and started getting closer. I sent him a few soft yelps and some scratching in the leaves. He answered and was on the way. About five minutes later, his head showed up. Hesitant but eagerly looking for his ol' lady. Stack and I both saw him and he slowly raised his gun. I couldn't wait any longer and told him to take the shot. It seemed like an hour had gone by since I told him to shoot and when I saw that bird vanish to the ground.

    Nobody said a word. We just sat there. Until we both burst with laughter. It'll be hard to top this one. One of my best friends slamming his first gobbler on his first turkey hunt. And I was there to be apart of it all!

    Congratulations to my new hunting buddy, Stack Bell!

    Best of luck to everyone this year! And if you can, take someone hunting whose never been. The reward is greater than you think!

    Stack Bell
    Bertie County (Roanoke Low-lands)
    18 lbs.
    11 1/4 beard
    1' spurs
    What a great story!! Congrats to you and your friend!! Keep it up and thanks for sharing!!