An Opening Day To Remember

An Opening Day To Remember

Hunting Spring Turkeys On A Windy April Morning

Opening day of Spring turkey season in Virginia is one of my favorite days of the year. The cool mornings and screaming turkeys have made for many countless memories alongside my friends and family. This years’ opening day was nothing short of this. 

My father and I have been hunting at Goodloe Hunt Club in Central Virginia for almost 20 years. Believe it or not, but Goodloe Hunt Club is the oldest continuous Hunt club in the United States, dating back to 1870. This is where I learned to hunt and its where I shot my first turkey many years ago with my father. 

Friday morning, the day before the season, I drove up to one of our properties in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains to scout. Sure enough, at daybreak, I watched 4 strutters pitch into a clover food plot with several hens. My first phone call was to my father. 

“Dad, you better get your butt down here, I think we can double up in the morning”. 

It didn’t take much convincing for him to make the drive and later that day we were getting our vests, shotguns, and calls ready for the morning. 

Saturday, opening day, was calling for 20 mph gusts of wind throughout the day. Not the most ideal weather for turkey hunting, but that’s why I scouted the day before. Just like rainy weather, turkeys will seek open areas in the wind, and I had the perfect field setup – full of lush clover. 

As the sun came up, I finally started to hear birds gobbling. Due to the wind, they sounded far away so we decided to sit and wait. I knew birds were here, so why would I move? Around 7 am, one hour after daybreak, two birds gobbled on the ground 100 yards from us. I responded quickly with a yelp and cutting sequence, which fired these two turkeys up enough to double gobble to us. Then I shut up. As my father says, “curiosity and patience will kill more turkeys than walking”. 

Sure enough, 5 minutes later, these two birds crested a hill at 60 yards and were headed right to us. One more soft yelp would do, and they were 30 yards away in our lap. 

“Dad, you shoot the back bird and I’ll shoot the front… 3, 2, 1, BANG!” The front turkey fell, and the back flew away. Dad looked at me said, “I thought you said shoot the front bird!” 

Oh well. I’ve learned that you can’t be too greedy when it comes to hunting. We called in a double, and we got a turkey. What else could you ask for?

I haven’t shot a turkey with my father since I was 12 years old. There’s no doubt that this hunt was a special one. 

We will be laughing about that hunt at turkey camp for many years to come. It was by far, An Opening Day To Remember. 

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