Saturday, April 19, 2014

Parker Colburn's First Gobbler

By Darr Colburn

I picked my boys up early from school on Thursday after a long week of AIMS testing.  We headed up for the opener of the AZ Juniors turkey hunt.  We drove 3 hours to camp and unloaded the Ranger to go try and roost a bird for the next morning.  Just before dark a bird started gobbling across the canyon from us and we headed over to try and pinpoint him.  We roosted the bird and marked the spot with the gps.  We got within 150 yards of the bird the next morning.  The bird started to gobble on his own and then I heard two different UTVs driving the roads.  Just before the bird flew down I gave a soft tree call on my slate and the bird never made another sound.  We saw the bird fly down and he seemed to be all alone.  I was baffled.  We started hiking up the ridge and worked our way over to a big canyon.  I called and a few minutes later some jakes answered.  We moved over towards them and got set up.  I told Parker I thought they sounded like jakes.  Three jakes came into to 20 yards and looked around.  I hit the call and they gobbled.  Both boys smiled from ear to ear.  Paul asked Parker why he did not shoot and Parker told him he shot a jake last year and really wanted a gobbler.  We headed back to camp to eat lunch and take a nap.  That evening we headed back out and roosted another bird right before dark.  I crept out to the edge of a point and spotted the gobbler up in a tree about 60 yards from the lip of the point.  I marked the spot and headed back to the ranger.  The bird was roosted in a great spot and I knew we had a really good chance in the morning.  We woke up a 2:40 am the next morning in order to get back to where the gobbler was roosted.  We got the Dave Smith jake and hen decoys set up and waited for it to get light.  The bird started to gobble and we could hear him spitting and drumming on the branch in the dark.  It started to get light and a hen started calling to the left of the gobbler.  I reached for my slate just as the gobbler pitched out of the tree.  I was not ready and he caught me off guard.  I quickly hit the slate and the bird gobbled as he hit the ground.  A few seconds later he popped out right in front of Parker and he shot him at 25 yards.  I really enjoyed the hunt and camping with my boys.  They are growing up so fast.  Paul will be ten next year and is already talking about turkey hunting next year!



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