USA: Took My Kids For The First Turkey Hunt

Mike B

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I took my kids up to the mountains if New Mexico to go turkey hunting for the first time. It's my 2 oldest kids, ages 7 and 9. I figure I'll start working on my story telling for when I goto Africa later this year!

Day 1:
Go out in the morning with my 7 year old and figure we won't see much because he's 7 and he wanted to wear heavy winter boots. Needless to say, he was a loud walker. We got about a quarter mile up the canyon and he has to stop, so i figure it's a good time to give a few quick calls. I was surprised when a Tom actually gobbled back at me! We quickly put out the decoy and backed into some cover, but we never did get that old Tom to come out and play! We then walked up and over the ridge looking for anything and back to the cabin for lunch.

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That afternoon is when the real fun happens. I went out with my 9 year old (my Dad took him in the morning and was now taking the 7 year old out). We head up the same canyon with the intent to walk the 1.5ish miles to a water hole at the head of the canyon. As we get to the first bend, I see about 6-8 turkeys in the valley floor. They haven't seen us yet, so we back up and drop all the gear (backpack, decoys, etc) because they don't seem interested in my calls. We decide to try to cut them off going up the hill and hustle as fast and quietly as we can. As we are moving through the trees I see them at about 80-100 yards (need to get to 60 or less). I decide they are heading to a clearing on the top of the ridge about 500 yards ahead of them. We cut that way and just never did find them again. They gave us the slip!

We head back to our gear, pick everything up and then start towards the water hole again. About a quarter mile later a hen goes running out in front of us crossing the valley, no more than 20 yards ahead, but spring turkey is Tom only! We stop and are looking for any of her friends when I notice what looks to be a few elk butts up ahead through the trees. Get the binos out and sure enough it's 2 elk. As we sneak up on them a bit more and can see more of the valley it turns out to be about 25-35 elk all just eating and milling about. At this point we are about 200 yards out .
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We hide behind a tree for a few min and I ask my 9 year old if he wants to watch or bust them and keep walking. He's excited to just watch (and I am too!). Another 5 or so minutes and I tell him to sneak up as close as he can. He gets to within about 45 yards or so and this one cow just won't quit staring at him. She can't quite figure out what he is and it takes another 10 min before she just isn't happy and they whole herd wanders up the hill.
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You can see my son, middle right side laying down in the grass.

This whole experience gets us pretty close to dark and he's excited to get back to camp and share the story, So we head back in.

Day 2:
The 4 of us (me, My Dad, 9 year old and 7 year old) head out to another valley. We decide I'll take the older and head up the hill (the harder hike) and he will walk the valley. If we see / hear anything plan is to try to sit and call them in. We plan to meat up at a dry waterhole about halfway up the valley. Long hike short, we didn't see or hear anything!

That afternoon I take the 2 kids and head up to where we saw the turkey the day before. We go out early enough to setup and hope to catch them crossing. We end up hearing a couple of gobbles, but nothing would come out of the woods.
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All in all it was a great little trip and we had tons of fun. I would have loved to have gotten something but I'm sure you all would agree, time with kids and family is so much more than getting something! Maybe this fall!
 
@Mike B what a great time to spend with the kids. He got real close to the elk.
 
That right there is good times and what so many more kids need to get to do. Great job getting them out and great job telling the story. Your Africa story should be a good one by the looks of how you wrote this one.
 
Very nice, great experience!
 
Starting them out young and going as frequently as possible will keep the boys eager for more. It is a family thing, sometimes with dad and sometimes with grandpa. I'll wager that it was your dad that had the biggest smile on his face. If you are anywhere near where there are wild hogs take the kids there and hunt them. Probably not as hard a hunt, but with a good chance of success.
 
Great job taking your kids out. I'll bet they had a great time. Probably bragged it up to their friends too. Spending time with your kids is very important. Well done. Bruce
 
Starting them out young and going as frequently as possible will keep the boys eager for more. It is a family thing, sometimes with dad and sometimes with grandpa. I'll wager that it was your dad that had the biggest smile on his face. If you are anywhere near where there are wild hogs take the kids there and hunt them. Probably not as hard a hunt, but with a good chance of success.

I took the oldest deer hunting last season. Had a pig walk out and wander around a couple min. He never could pull the trigger on it! He said he had buck fever, I think he was waiting for the perfect shot. Still another great memory! He did 4H precision .22 the last couple months and is about to start the skeet / trap with 4h as well. Hoping that helps him get fast on the trigger. I've got a video of it, I'll have to upload it.
 
You are a good dad sir! Teach them early and they will be hunters for life!
 
Nothing like teaching kids about the outdoors.
Thanks for the report!
 
There isn't much better than turkey hunting, other than turkey hunting with your kids, I'd imagine (my little guy is 2.5, but he sits still better than me, so maybe he's almost ready). Great story telling, by the way.
 

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