I’ve been on about five turkey hunts and I’ve never got a turkey. This last weekend, I was able to harvest two toms (male turkeys) with nice 8-9 inch beards. My wife is preparing a turkey dinner for tonight.

The men of our family have an annual hunt. This year marks the 5th Annual. We have hunted small birds, nilgai, oryx, and turkey. Last year, all four of us were skunked on turkeys (we went too late in season), and so 2017 became our comeback year against the wiles of the turkey.

Our weekend began with a wager. Each of us placed $20 in the pot. The man who shot the turkey with the longest beard wins the pot.

The First Turkey: Father Son Combo

The first morning, my father and I were hunting together. We one hundred yards from a roost before sunrise. They jumped the roost and went the other way. So my father and I tracked a group of turkeys two miles until we came to a descending slope. We split apart and I started calling in the toms with some sexy female turkey hen barking and scratching. The males were suddenly upon us. My dad was surrounded. I could only see one. After he came out the other side of a cedar bush, I shot him. Meanwhile, my father (who had his sites on my turkey) shot another tom. Here are some photos:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 10.34.38 AMMy dad with his turkey:Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 10.34.54 AMHe has a nine inch beard (winning the wager) and great color throughout:

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The Second Turkey: Tom with the High Libido that Killed Him

The second day I was alone. I started before sunrise on the edge of a caliche pit. I spent the morning calling to a few toms that never presented themselves. So I followed the sound of a turkey that kept calling back to me, but also moving out of range for a two mile chase.

I finally gave up on him. I lay down on the ground and looked up at the blue sky and was overcome with gratitude. I thanked God for my beautiful wife, and my children, my house, my career, my friends, and that I was able to be on a hunt in perfect weather (78 degrees). When I finished praying, I stood up again and began walking down the road hoping that somebody in our party on an ATV would see me and pick me up.

As I crossed a cattle guard, I saw a turkey in my peripheral vision. 100 yards on my left. I slowly walked back to a 5 foot cedar bush growing out of the cattle guard. I placed a hen decoy next to me and started calling. As soon as I did a second giant male tom strutted out from the shadows puffed up and ready to show.

I kept squawking and he ran straight at me with his head down. He covered a hundred yards in a matter of seconds. I could not believe how fast he was running. It was as if he thought that if he did not mate with that hen within the next 5 seconds, he was going to combust into flames. His libido was running toward death.

I was still squatting behind the cedar brush and by now I had my Weatherby over-and-under 12 gauge steadied on him. When he got to about 20 yards from me, he slowed a little and I shot him.

He is a beautiful bird. I placed my hands on him and thanked God and sang a Gloria Patri. My dad and our friend Ronnie heard the shot and eventually found me. Here are some pictures (you can see the Weatherby behind me):

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Here’s the wingspan:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 11.01.17 AMWe spent the rest of the weekend laughing, drinking scotch, wrestling, jack rabbit hunting, shooting AR-15s, eating amazing food (thanks Louis and Ronnie!!!), and most importantly: spending time as family.

I’m blessed that I love my father and my brother and my brother-in-law so much. The most happy of all is my father who has his two sons and now son-in-law all getting along and having fun. As a father, I hope for that in the future: To enjoy my own sons and to be satisfied w my daughters choice of husband(s). I hope to one day attend the 20th Annual Marshall Hunt.

Maccabee Society Call to Action:

  1. Go on a turkey hunt. It’s inexpensive, active, and fun. And the meat is great.
  2. Initiate a men’s hunt with your kinfolk. Call your dad, brothers, uncles, etc. and set up a hunt.

Godspeed,

Taylor Marshall