SRB Field Rests ProStaff, Troy Flager, shares his story of a youth hunt that started off a great season.
It was April in Kansas, spring was finally here. That only meant one thing…Turkey Season! Turkey season in Kansas runs April 1st- May 31st. Youth season opens the first weekend.
A friend who has an agricultural field south of town wanted to help get the boys a bird, so he invited us to come out and hunt on his property. We scouted every afternoon for a week planning our attack. At 4:00 p.m. on April 4th, Graham, Eli, and I loaded up and headed out for our first turkey hunt of the season. With the scouting in place, we knew we had a good chance. All we had to do was make it in without getting busted by the birds.
We arrived at the property and scoped the landscape to see if any birds were out in the open; we didn’t see any. We gathered our gear and trekked cautiously to the spot we had picked out during our prior scouting. We found a nice group of trees and set up the pop up blind placing decoys directly in front of the blind at about 30 yards. We settled in and patiently waited.
The boys played rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to shoot first; Graham won. Eli took the lookout. Using our SRB Field Rests Turkey Rest, I was able to successfully place Graham in the perfect shooting position. Once we were comfortable with our setup, I struck the Insane Custom Calls pot call and immediately had a gobbler respond. The gobbler was close! I estimated less than 100 yards away and just on the other side of a tree row.
I struck the call and each time the gobbler responded. We could tell it was closing the distance and rather quickly. Within minutes, he was there, 60 yards in front of us! It wasn’t hard to spot his white head in the tree row in front of us. When he stepped out of the tree row, we could instantly tell it was a mature Tom. I instructed Graham to get ready; he leaned into position, eye in the sight. I called one more time and this Tom went into full strut. The Tom saw the decoys and it was evident that we now had his full attention to our set-up. All we need him to do is close the 30-yard gap to make the perfect shot.
Instead of coming right in, the Tom danced around spittin’ and drummin’, doing anything it could to get the hen decoys to come to him and away from the Jake decoy. After ten minutes, with no success at bringing the hens to him, the gobbler decided to come toward the decoys, trying to win the hens over while parading in full strut. I was sitting directly behind Graham so I could have a bird’s eye view of what was going on. Finally, the bird was within 30 yards, perfectly set up in the shooting lane for a shot.
I whispered to Graham, “Shoot him when you are ready. Aim for the head.” I could hear my heartbeat in my ears and my adrenaline was coursing through my veins as I watched the Tom and coached Graham. With one shot, this bird dropped dead in its tracks! Joy and excitement erupted in the blind. “Great shot Graham! Great shot!” I exclaimed! Eli, Graham, and I popped out of the blind quickly walking out to see our trophy.
Graham excitedly asked, “Is it safe to go stomp on its head?” I gave the go-ahead as Graham ran for the Tom. We joined him seconds later to see a nice two-year-old bird, with an 8-inch beard, 3/4-inch spurs, weighing in at 18.75 lbs. As we filled out the tag we realize it was only 5:25 pm; this hunt didn’t even last an hour from the time we arrived at the property. This textbook perfect hunt of this mature bird, taken with one perfect shot, was an awesome way to get the season kicked off. We picked up our gear and called it a day.
Great products such as SRB Field Rests that aid youth hunters with keeping weapons steady and on target and quality game calls like the Insane Custom Call we used to serenade this Tom into our setup, make mentoring youth hunters a great experience. Not only is the SRB Field Rests perfect for youth hunters, but they are also ideal for any turkey hunter who wants the convenience of having their weapon at the ready and the convenience of using your hands to use turkey calls, binoculars, rangefinders, or for any other reason
As a father and mentor, this was one of the best hunts we could have shared. Both boys excitedly share their hunting expedition with their teachers and /friends at school and continue to share with family and friends any time we talk hunting, which is quite often in our house. There are sure to be many more stories to share and we can’t wait to make the memories.