Before the hunt...

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This Saturday sees the opening of Pennsylvania's Spring Gobbler Season. I've had success in the past. When I returned home from Iraq in the Spring of 2005, my brother-in-law and I decided to hunt together in my little blind. To be honest, we were catching up after a year away. We went to our hunting club in Pike County PA and folks chided us a bit about sharing a blind. Jokingly I said "They said doubles couldn't be done, but these boys are doing it." I was hunting with a modern arm, but that morning was less about the hunt and more about just being out. I wanted that break. My family slept at the club house and we went out.
That morning was magic. We called in hens and gobblers but settled on 2 Jake's because we had simultaneous shots. Doubles were taken.
Fast forward two years and my brother-in-law and I are out together again. Sharing a blind again, in the same spot again. This time 2 long beards dropped with simultaneous shots.
Fast forward a few years and my son is on his first turkey hunt. Unfortunately, I was gone again with the Army. My brother-in-law took him. At the chow hall I get a text that my son scored. Pics of the smiling boy with his great grandfather's side by side 20 gauge, and only 400 yards from our last successful turkey hunts.
The year he turned 14 we trippled in that same area. We called in 4 birds, counted down and rolled three of them. If doubles couldn't be done, we scored triples.
For his 16th birthday he said he wanted trout on the fly line and a turkey. He had the Saturday of the youth season to hunt, because he turned 16 on Monday. We connected on both. My brother-in-law, son, and I sharing a hunt to get the boy a bird and he closed the deal with that side by side.
Last year my boy only got the first day to hunt. I retired from the Army and now he's in, stationed in VA. We scouted, set up, and called a gobbler in, almost exactly where I shot mine in 2005.
He missed, but 40 minutes later and he shot one that came in to our decoys. Our hunt was done! I wanted a bird for him and we got it.
He got a pass for this weekend and we're heading north together again. My smoothbore 20g is going with me and he'll use my modern arm.
I think on these previous hunts as I'm getting gear around. My success doesn't matter to me like it once did, but getting to talk to those gobblers fires me up. The chance to get my son on a bird motivates me to find them and talk sweet to them.
I'd venture that many of us think about those old hunts before going out. I bet a lot of us take as much or more joy in other's success than we care about our own.
A busted up old CSM will sit in the blind with a 20g smoothbore flintlock next to a young SGT with a modern arm. Here's hoping that young man connects! Maybe afterwards my fusil will sound off in the woods of PA again.
 

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Skychief

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Great post Daryl.
Thanks very much to you and your son for your service!
Best of luck. I gathered my stuff for our Wednesday opener this rainy morning. Like you, I found myself reliving past hunts, solo and with others. Great memories are made in the warmth of the Spring time turkey woods and fields!

Thanks for this good thread, Skychief.
 
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Good luck on the turkeys. Like you said I now find a great joy in taking others especially younger folk hunting, I have hunted with my grandaughter for deer and get more excited when she connects than if I done the shooting, And she gets pretty excited.
 
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Envious! Vietnam left me a bit too messed up to go hunting anymore. Did take a nice deer in OK a few years back, and a Spring gobbler one or twice. But now it's almost too difficult to even go grocery shopping, or work at one of my 4 benches for more than 15 min at a time.

Still, hearing of hunting successes - and failures - is good for my heart.
 
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Envious! Vietnam left me a bit too messed up to go hunting anymore. Did take a nice deer in OK a few years back, and a Spring gobbler one or twice. But now it's almost too difficult to even go grocery shopping, or work at one of my 4 benches for more than 15 min at a time.

Still, hearing of hunting successes - and failures - is good for my heart.
Craig, I hunt with my Marine buddy we knew each other since 18 years old served the same tours, and as age creeps up on us we share the same problems, and monitor each other as we go afield, if one looks like he looks like he is struggling, we stop no questions ask until we we ready to go on sometimes we talk sometimes not, it is a mutual understanding.
 
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Oh, if I had to do it over, I'd do so in a heart beat, especially if it were minus the bone rot and heart problems. And Dale, you probably know where Weleetka is - my home from '08 to '18. Enjoyed it there - the town my Dad grew up in. And GREAT hunting in that area.
 
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