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The alarm stirred me from a light sleep as anticipation of opening morning was embedded deep within me. I quickly got dressed and loaded everything up in the pickup as Sondra slowly began to stir. The kids were still sound asleep in their bed and stayed that way while I dressed them from head to toe in their turkey hunting clothing that they picked out the night before. Sondra and I tucked them into the back seat of the pickup and they stayed asleep as we began our drive to our turkey hunting location.
Opening day of the 2016 spring turkey season found us setting up our ground blind in the cool dark morning. It is amazing the amount of stuff you need to take on a turkey hunt. Especially with two youngsters along and blankets to keep them warm during the cool morning hours in the blind. Without the kids along there is plenty to carry with the blind, chairs, decoys and bows but now add a 5 and 6 year old, asleep, into the mix! Lot to carry a few hundred yards from the truck to where we were setting up! Both kids were still very much asleep as the sound of the first gobble broke into the sky that was now becoming lighter. This was all it took to wake the kids up and fill them with excitement. The thunder had begun!
It didn’t take long as the first few hens and jakes strolled into our setup to have a look for themselves. And of course in came three strutters bringing up the rear! The plan was for Sondra to have the first shot but the opportunity and location of the birds wasn’t best for her. She gave me the nod and I picked out one of the big strutters and steadied my pin as he was oblivious to what was about to happen 25 yards away. A zip of the arrow and we watched as he ran a short distance before tipping over! The other birds scattered and ran off the ridge.
We got out of the blind and the kids tracked down the tom. Excitement was on high as we snapped a few pictures before the kids noticed another group of birds coming into our setup. Sondra and the kids busted for the blind as I gathered up my camera, turkey and bow. They came in fast and I didn’t have enough time to get back to the blind before they could see everything. I heard the blind zip shut and I knew I would have to take a backseat to watch the action unfold from behind a large ponderosa 80 yards away!
It is hard to watch from a distant location and not be there in the blind. But seeing the events unfold was really neat. The birds came into the setup again with one lone strutter. I was behind the blind about 80 yards and to the side. I kept thinking, “What is she waiting for?” The strutter was only 10 yards from the blind! Just then a streak shot out from the blind and the big tom did a backflip and flapped his wings a few times and lay motionless. Sondra had her bird too! It was a really cool sight to see!
Cheers and excitement erupted from us all as they got out from the blind and we walked up to the second tom. Hugs and high fives were in order as we replayed the events and talking about what just transpired. It was a great opening morning indeed!