Sherman Thompson took his two sons hunting during the youth season, and it was a day none of them will ever forget. Austin, Thompson’s 14-year-old son killed a triple-bearded gobbler, and 12-year-old Levi killed a jake.
Thompson said two main factors worked to their advantage. One, it was youth weekend, which Thompson said is one of the things that the NCWRC does right. Two, his friend Jonathan Turner came along to do the calling, and because it was a very windy day, Thompson said that was a key to scoring on two birds.
“Jonathan really knows how to call, and he knows how to adjust his calling based on the wind. A lot of folks that are decent at calling either call way too loud when it’s windy, or they don’t call loud enough. I don’t think we could have done it without Jonathan calling,” he said.
“It also helped that North Carolina has a youth season that is before the season starts for everyone else. The turkeys are less cautious at the beginning of the season, so this gives youth hunters a great chance to bag a bird,” said Thompson.
The hunters spotted the triple-bearded gobbler early on during the hunt, and they were a little worried because the bird was with a group of hens.
“Jonathan called, and he gobbled right away, and as soon as he saw our decoy, he started moving our way. Before long, he was 15 yards away, and that’s when Austin pulled the trigger on his Remington 11-87,” said Thompson.
The bird wasn't especially heavy, weighing about 17 pounds, but the three beards were impressive. The longest beard, which was paint brush thick, was 10.25 inches long. The second beard measured 9.25 inches, and the third beard was 5 inches long.
While heading out of the woods, the men spotted another group of turkeys, and quickly put out a decoy and got set up, hoping to bag a bird for Levi. And as luck would have it, the day turned out to be one of those days where things come easier than most. A jake came in, offering the 12-year-old a clean shot, which Levi made look easy.
“It’s a great feeling to be there when your son kills a turkey, but it’s even better when both sons do it on the same day, especially when one of the birds has three beards. It was definitely one of the most memorable hunting trips I’ve ever had,” said Thompson.