Youth hunter Matt New killed his first turkey during the 2017 opening day of Youth Season with a bow, and he and his dad set out to make it two years in a row on April 7 of this year during a hunt in Northampton County. The weather forecast for that Saturday called for rain, but after a promising day of scouting on Friday, the two hunters decided to give it a chance anyway. It paid off.

Friday’s scouting trip went about as well as a hunter could hope for. They heard eight gobblers in an area they were considering hunting the next day, and that sealed their decision on where to set up, despite the rainy forecast.

“We knew it was going to rain Saturday, so we decided to set up on the edge of the field near a creek where we’d heard eight birds gobbling on Friday, but once the sun broke the sky on opening day, we heard absolutely nothing. Finally, where we’d heard eight gobblers the day before, we heard two, and they only gobbled twice,” said Bubba New, who was accompanying Matt on the hunt.

Hoping for a break in the rain, which the two hunters knew would bring the birds into the field, they settled in, and the rain slowed up around 7:15 a.m. Bubba made a couple of yelps with his Texas Custom Turkey Calls Batwing mouth call, and one of the gobblers answered strongly. Minutes later, six hens were in the field, with one gobbler on the edge of the field making his way toward the harem.

As Bubba watched that gobbler, he made a soft yelp, hoping to draw the bird’s attention to their decoys. That’s when Bubba noticed another gobbler was just inside the tree line, slipping toward them at a brisk pace. But Matt couldn’t see this bird from where he was sitting. Not yet, anyway.

“I told Matt to draw his bow, because we had one coming in hot and he couldn’t see him. Once he crossed in front of the blind, I hit the call hard, trying to stop the bird to give Matt a shot,” said Bubba.

The gobbler didn’t completely stop, but he slowed down enough for Matt to fire off a 100-grain Ramcat broadhead, which pierced the top of one of the bird’s wing joints. As exciting as that was for the two hunters, things got even more interesting when Matt’s target longbeard finally dropped.

“The other gobbler ran over and put a show on for a good 20 minutes, and beat that turkey up,” said Bubba.

Matt’s gobbler weighed a whopping 23 pounds, sported a 12-inch beard, and had 1-inch spurs.