Indiana turkey hunt

Brandons redemption.18 yr. Old on turkey hunt misses turkey at 20 ft. Then redeems himself an hour later

May 14 2017

Doug Ely

First posted Jun 19 2017 Last updated Jun 22 2017

I had just returned from a successful turkey hunt in Michigan. I had made the promise to take my great Nephew Brandon on a turkey hunt when I returned. He was a senior in high school. He and I have turkey hunted together since he was 11 years old. He has experienced success and failure over the years but for some reason he has been very lucky. He has killed four mature long beards in his seven years of hunting. The morning came for us to hunt. We were extremely anxious to get out because seven days prior we had called a mature bird to within sixty yards without getting a shot. We were shot down when we arrived to find that the land we were going to hunt had been sold. A friend of mine offered to let us go to his land that we had never hunted. So we gladly took him up on his offer. We got in early and walked back to where we had decided to start at for the morning. After a thirty minute wait we were greeted by birds gobbling in several directions. We found an old logging trail and sit down to try and call em in. Brandon set up in position to shoot out to the road, while I sit back ten yards to call for him. After a few loud cuts from my handmade slate call and some very excited gobbles the birds were closing the distance fast. I was filming the whole show. As the bird came closer we were treated to the sounds of loud drumming and spitting. When he stepped out he was only Ten yards from Brandon. He seen Brandon move and began to cluck loudly in alarm. Brandon shot and missed him clean. Stood up and shot desperately again after him running away. Mind you I got this whole show on film. After a thorough roughing up verbally we decided to move up the road, reset and hope for the best. It's the last day what do you do? About that time the bird that had been shot at twice began to gobble again. We actually moved away about a hundred yards up the road opposite of where he went and re- set for him. After a few calls from the slate we had three different birds gobbling in three different directions. All of them were closing on us. The one that he shot at was the loudest and closing the fastest. About the time we thought we should be able to see him we got a surprise from a bird that had snuck up behind us through the woods and not on the road. He let out a gobble that raised the hair on the back of my neck. When I turned to look back he was looking rite at me at ten feet. He began to cluck and back out quickly while I tried to mask his warning clucks with cutting on the slate. The bird that we had shot at earlier was still gobbling and headed our way. Brandon was disgusted that we had spooked the other bird. I said look, turn around here and kill this bird. I made some very aggressive cuts and he gobbled then ran to us at a full trot he came right down the road rite into our setup. Brandon made one shot and the bird folded up rite in front of us. We celebrated and hugged. I said well young man I got your redemption on film. I had the camera rolling for the whole thing. All of this happened before eight a.m. We walked out with a first for both of us. He shot the same bird he had missed an hour earlier. I got it all on film for us to remember for the rest of our lives......

22 lbs 9.5' beard. 21 mm spurs....