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My Son Ricky's First Wild Turkey

by Rick Philippi

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Hi everyone, hope ya'll had a great Christmas.  My son and I loaded up the bows and headed down to the bow lease on Thursday.  We arrived in a little over two hours and unloaded our gear in Robert's house and within ten minutes were on our way to my River Stand to hunt wild turkey's.  My son has never taken a wild turkey with a bow and as good as the river stand is right now, what a prime time to take advantage of a good opportunity.   Ricky and I both got in the Double Bull Blind and  I coached him on what to do if turkey's came in.

After sitting for three hours, nothing showed.  My son asked if I thought any turkeys would come by.  I told him if they were they better hurry because there was only 30 minutes of daylight remaining.  With 15 minutes left of daylight I could hear some turkey's purring off to my left.  I told Ricky to get ready because  they were coming fast. 

There must have been 150 birds on a quick trot to get to their roost.  They were 100 yards from us when they all started to fly up to roost.  What a sight it was. 

Ricky looked at me and said in amazement, "that is an awesome sight." 

Darkness hovered all around us and we snuck out and headed back to the truck.  Driving back I told Ricky that I was about 100% positive the birds would make their way by the double bull in the morning on their way to feed for the day. 

At Robert's we cooked up some venison stew and visited until about 10:00.  Then we all got some shut eye.  Morning came quick.  We were on our way back to the River Stand well before sunrise.

As it was getting light we could hear some hens doing their soft tree yelps as they were waking up.  In a matter of no time there were turkeys talking and gobbling all over their roost,  IT WAS AWESOME!! 

Finally as the darkness gave way to light the birds started flying down from their roost.  The cool morning air thundered with nothing but wings beating as the turkeys used a big open field as their run way.  At this time we were feeling Incredible and excited, to see 150 birds fly off their roost is simply a sight to see.  The birds were not on the ground for five minutes when approximately 50 birds came by with in 10 yards of our location.  In the group were three bearded hens (which are legal) that provided Ricky with a good shooting opportunity.

He decided to pass because he wanted a Goobler. About 30 minutes elapsed when another 50 bird joined the first group.  There was not one big tom in the bunch.  The birds started to leave slowly and head down the river to feed.  I told Ricky he may want to try for a bearded hen but he insisted on hanging in there and waiting for a long beard or a Jake.  In minutes all the birds were gone.  He looked at me after about 10 minutes and said may be he should have tried for a bearded hen.  He was really doubting his decision to wait.  All of a sudden I noticed some movement off to my right.

Three Jake's were making their way to our location.  I told Ricky to get ready.  The birds walked by the blind at eight yards, Ricky already had his High Country to full draw.  He released and his shot was right on. 

The bird dropped in his tracks.  We looked at each other and high fived.  I will tell you, that kid had a smile the size of Texas.  What a great father/son experience. 

It just don't get any better than that. It will be a memory that I will never forget and I know Ricky won't either.  Make sure that all of you reading this, take your kids out hunting.  If your kid is out hunting, he or she isn't getting in trouble.  Have a great new year. 

Happy Hunting ...............................  Rick 

Ricky Philippi and his dad Rick with Ricky's 2002 Fall gobbler.

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