Kristin Hillwig - Pennsylvania

 

I've been looking forward to taking my girlfriend, Kristin turkey hunting since fall when she asked if I would take her along come spring.  So the day finally arrived & I hoped I could put her on a bird.  We started out blind on a familiar ridge where birds typically like to roost.  But as luck would have it, we didn't hear a single gobble at daybreak!  So we headed back in a little deeper & I did some calling, trying to locate a gobbler.  Sure enough, I got a hit on some of my young, excited hen yelps!  It sounded like a big bird with maybe a few jakes.  But they were across the hollow from us on another ridge.  So we decided to head over there & see if we could do something with them.  It took us a while to get over there.  But once we got there, we couldn't find them again.  So we just sat down at the head of a small cut & listened for a little while.  Pretty soon, a couple birds gobbled on their own just below us!  So I jumped up, ran out on the opposite side of the cut & called to them from there, hoping to draw them across the small ravine at a better spot near the bottom.  They hit my calls & I ran back to get ready.  It wasn't long & Kristin told me she could see them crossing the ravine near the bottom!  Once I was able to get an eyeball on one of them, I hit the record button & zoomed in on the lead bird.  A beautiful longbeard strutting in the sunlight on a backdrop of vibrant green foliage.  I could tell Kristin was getting extremely excited, so I told her to take a couple deep breaths & be patient.  The bird was heading right for the spot I called from until it eventually spotted our decoys.  Then I saw two more longbeards bringing up the rear!  They strutted side-by-side through the center of the cut, past the lead bird & directly to our setup.  As they displayed & spun in circles around our jake decoy, I told Kristin to put the red dot on the dominant bird's face & pull the trigger.  Once the bird in the rear cleared her line of sight, she let the Winchester SXP 20 gauge bark & dropped her very first longbeard at no more than twelve yards!  By the time the sound of the shotgun blast had echoed through the hills, the other two gobblers were standing around like they didn't know what had just happened.  They hung around for a while in bewilderment until eventually walking off.  Kristin was then able to get up & put her hands on her turkey.  As she ran her hands across the bird's feathers & admired the beauty of her first turkey, I couldn't help but think how special days like this really are!  Introducing someone (especially someone who has never turkey hunted) to this great sport is truly what it's all about!  Although Kristin thanked me many times, she didn't have to say a word.  I could see the gratitude in her face & that makes it all worthwhile!  By the way, there's not too many people that can say they killed a bird the very first day they ever hunted.  Congratulations Kristin on your first turkey!

 

Sunrise:  6:29 a.m

 

Temperature:  50 degrees (clear & foggy)

 

Wind:  calm

 

Barometer:  29.97 & steady

 

Location:  southwest Pennsylvania

 

# of gobbles heard:  maybe 10

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