It was about 4 a.m. when I heard my dad’s footsteps outside my bedroom door, coming to wake me up. It was April 18, 2006, and only 3 days before on Junior Turkey Hunt Day, I bagged a 20-pound gobbler. It was my dad’s turn now, and I came along because I had a second turkey tag.
We dropped off the equipment at our blind and set up a flock of seven decoys. We were placing the final decoy when we heard a gobble coming from the hedgerow. Luckily, our 20-yard dash back to the blind didn’t spook the bird, and he gobbled again. The tom was on the other side of the hedgerow, just beyond our decoys.
My dad made a few raspy clucks on his mouth call, and we were surprised to hear two birds gobble. After another 15 minutes of coaxing, one bird came out of the hedgerow and headed straight for the decoys, fanning out his tail and drumming the entire time. After watching the long show, Dad gently tugged on the trigger and dropped the bird in his tracks.
The second bird went silent after the shot, but we soon saw him in the field about 150 yards away before quickly disappearing into the hedgerow. After a long wait, Dad went out to retrieve his trophy. He picked up the bird, pulled off his face mask and smiled back at me. He was nearly back to the blind when he looked up the hedgerow, and immediately dove behind the blind.
I looked down the hedgerow and saw the second bird making his way toward us. My dad, peeking out from behind the blind, could only lay still and watch. It took only a few minutes for the big tom to walk into range of my 20 gauge shotgun. I made a sharp whistle with my mouth to stop the bird, but it didn’t work. I tried a few other noises, but he still continued on his trail. Realizing he wasn’t going to stop, I squeezed the trigger and watched the bird go down.
Both my dad and I were surprised to see just how big my tom was. I named the bird ‘Gobblezilla,’ due to his double beard and huge body.
I couldn’t have been happier while looking at the bird and seeing my name on the turkey tag, but the best part of the hunt was sharing it with my best hunting buddy in the world, my dad.