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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Youth Season Success!

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Well folks, the youth weekend for spring turkey season has now come and gone. It was quite a challenge due to some crazy weather events, but we managed to overcome Mother Nature’s stumbling blocks and wrap up the weekend with a pair of turkeys. Both of the tiny turkey huntresses I had the pleasure of guiding this weekend are vowing to stick with the sport. And that makes me mighty happy.

Saturday morning greeted us with roaring winds and heavy overcast. We sat out as long as we could, but by eight o’clock that morning, lightning was beginning to crack and sizzle nearby. I looked at my guests for the morning and suggested we go get some breakfast and let the torrential storm pass. Well, my tiny turkey hunter Jayden’s daddy, Bob Ernstes, had to work in the afternoon, so after breakfast, we called it off.

Sunday morning dawned with a remarkable low of 29 degrees at our turkey blind, further proof to me that Mother Nature is menopausal! But the cold didn’t deter my tiny turkey hunting guest Emma Moats and her daddy Kris. Now folks, I don’t hunt from the tent-style ground blinds very often, but you can bet I crawled right in amongst them. Taking advantage of the blind heater Kris had brought, it was a lifesaver. But, cold weather shuts down turkeys and we sat until noon with no luck.

We decided to go for lunch and a potential nap (I went and scouted other properties) and made a game plan for the afternoon hunt. That plan was to set up along the edge of a shallow cypress swamp, where I’d been finding a fair amount of turkey sign and trying to call one over before he’d attempt to fly up to roost. Well. I’m proud to admit that it worked!
In a short amount of time, we’d seen a handful of birds. The first one I called in, was a hen who buddied up to our decoy and refused to leave. Much later on, I spotted movement along the water’s edge and alerted Kris, “There’s a tom!”
Except, it turned out to be two toms, both jakes. They followed the swamp’s edge all the way around to where the decoy and live hen were standing. At one point, the two toms were only six steps away from me, outside of the blind. Pretty intense! But, once the jakes positioned themselves in front of Miss Emma’s gun, it roared and both birds dropped and did the floppy dance!

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The callers I used on this hunt were a pair of friction calls; a SpringKing Aluminum pot and a Cypress Creek red slated trough call. I want to thank Messers Kevin Vaughn and Rick Ferlita, for building me such quality calls, that I might use them to make such memories as I did with my friend Kris and his daughter, Emma!

As always, if you have any comments, questions or just want to share your success from the woods, give me a shout out at [email protected]. God Bless, Good Hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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