14, 1991 my wife, Shirley, and I were visiting our old friend Luther Graham
at his Honey Creek Ranch in Hunt, Texas. We had hunted with him many times
and taken many record class exotics. This trip we weren't hunting, just
visiting and seeing if he had any new animals that I might want to hunt
He mentioned that he had been seeing quite a few Turkey on his place.
He hadn't seen many birds in past years. He offered to take us for a look
see, just for fun. Even though no hunting had been planned, we did have
a couple of guns along, because you never know what might come up. We
had Shirleys Remington model 700 in .243 caliber, loaded with 100 grain
Remington soft point ammo, and a Tasco 3 - 9 scope on top. Also in the
truck was my Remington model 1100, 12-gauge shotgun. I had Remington #4
shotshells for it.
As we drove around the edge of a pasture we spotted a gobbler thru the
binoculars at 200 plus yards. We pulled over and I got a rest on a stump.
I missed twice with the.243 and Shirley told me," it shoots a little high
and to the right". "Thanks dear". My next shot miraculously, got him.
This was my first turkey ever and it had a 4 3/4 inch beard. By the way,
did I mention that we were hunting during the Texas spring turkey season?
We decided that turkey hunting was fun, so we figured to come back the
next weekend to try for more. The next weekend we were back in full camouflage,
same two guns, and perched in the fork, a big one, about 15 feet off the
ground under the canopy of an oak tree whose circumference would cover
two or three pickup trucks. Our host told us he had seen lots of turkey
in the area.we was hunting in. Right after daylight we had nine turkey
hens pecking the ground around the base of our tree. About an hour of
barely breathing passed agonizingly slowly. We saw a nice turkey tom strutting
his stuff about 120 yards away, but for some reason wouldn't come any
closer to us. Shirley decided to take a crack at him. Think about trying
to position yourself for a long rifle shot at a gobbler with nine usually
vigilant, spooky hens not five yards away. She got him though and now
Shirley had her first ever turkey. He had a 9 1/2 inch beard. We decided
to let the area rest and try again that evening.
Late that day I was back in that same tree hoping for a big gobbler. Shirley
had decided to pass on hunting that evening, so I had both guns with me.
I beat all the odds and at about 80 yards creased the top of the big bronzed
back of a gobbler. Remember it shoots a little high!! It flew about 50
yards and down into a creek bottom. Shirley, who had been watching through
her binoculars from a ways off drove up to see what I had. I explained
to her that the bird was down, and I was going after it with the shotgun.
As I descended the rocky bank of the dry creek bed I saw it laying, not
moving on the ground. I turned back to Shirley and yelled to her, "I've
got him, he's on the ground". Yes you guessed it, as soon as I said it,
there was a loud flutter of wings and off he went. Talk about miracles,
I experienced two of them that day. Number one was seeing a dead turkey
coming to life and flying away. Number two was I swung around and made
an instant killing shot from the hip with a shotgun at 30 yards. Talk
about beginners luck!
Written by Steve Mahurin on April 22, 1999.