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April 18: Jimmy Scheidter

Well, it is finally turkey season and Gregg and I were excited to be taking young 15 year old Jimmy Scheidter from Pittsburgh, PA on his first ever turkey hunt during Ohio’s youth season. We were being hosted by Ed Presley, owner of Twisted Arrow Outfitters (www.twistedarrowoutfitters.com ). Jimmy came in and stayed with Ed at the lodge and got ready for the hunt. The first thing Ed did was to take Jimmy out and pattern his gun. Jimmy did a great job on the range and was excited about putting the hammer down on the real thing. The evening before the hunt, Ed had roosted a bunch of birds just off a bean field. Roosted isn’t always roasted, but we were excited for the morning hunt. That morning, Gregg and I met Ed and Jimmy at the lodge and headed out to the farm. The weather was perfect and we were able to set up across the field from where the birds were roosted. We got the decoys set up in front of Jimmy and set back to wait for the first gobbles of the season. I was running camera and Gregg and Ed backed off to do the calling. After the first couple owl hoots we had heard nothing. Just when we were wondering if the birds had roosted across the hollow, the entire hillside erupted in gobbles! To say Ed knows his farm is an understatement. We were directly across the field from the roost. Jimmy was fired up! We started to hear a lot of hens, so we knew we had our work cut out for us. There was so much gobbling from all directions that we felt really good that we were going to be in the action. After the birds flew down, Gregg let them know where we were. These birds were gobbling to everything he threw at them. The problem was, the hens wanted nothing to do with us and eventually took the mature birds away with them. We all agreed to stay put for a while and hopefully one of the gobblers would break away and come investigate all of the commotion on the other side of the field. Well, after a couple of hours, everyone was tired of sitting and losing patience. We all stood to make a plan to move on the birds, when I looked up and saw several birds come over the rise in the field several hundred yards away. We all eased back down without spooking any of the birds. After we got our binoculars on them, we saw that it was a flock of Jakes and a couple of hens. They immediately saw our decoys and started easing our way We were back in business! As Gregg kept up the calling, the birds continued to close the distance. I was sitting beside Jimmy and could hear his heartbeat from 10 feet away. While I laid down the footage, Ed was coaching Jimmy to get ready and wait for the signal. One of the birds was strutting behind the others and I told Jimmy to try and shoot him if he could. When three of the birds got to the decoys, one of the got a little spooky and started to putt and move off. They were about 35 yards away, so I was a little worried about the distance since this was Jimmy’s first turkey hunt. I knew it was now or never, so I gave Jimmy the shoot signal. Just like a pro, Jimmy hammered the bird, flipping him over backwards at the shot. He was stoned! Jimmy had his first turkey ever all captured on film! Jimmy is a pretty low key guy, so to look over and see him smiling as Ed retrieved the bird made our season. We took some great pictures and headed off to breakfast. I’m not sure how the rest of the season will go, but as far as I’m concerned, this will be the best hunt of the year! It’s a great experience and investment in our hunting heritage to take a kid hunting.