A Special Massachusetts Spring Turkey

Natty Bumppo

5 year old buck +
I was able to connect this morning. It felt really good for a few reasons. Having hunted turkeys 1987, I decided this year to make things more challenging by carrying my grandfather's 50 year old Ithaca 37 Featherlight. He was a WWII vet and my hero in life. He passed away 2 years ago at age 87, and I miss him still. I always carry something of his when I hunt..a knife, his shirt, etc. The shotgun has a modified barrel so I knew I would have to get a bird in close…under 15 yards or so.

I heard him gobbling at about 8 AM and had him coming in by 8:30. He came in in full strut above me and to my right. I had to switch my shotgun to lefty, which is kind of cool because my gramp was a lefty (the reason he bought the Ithaca…it ejects shells straight down). He was at 20 yards when I first saw him and I couldn't move. But I didn't have to…he walked down the hill straight at me and at 10 yards he stepped right in front of my shotgun's front bead. Down he went.

It was a great hunt, and I felt like my gramp was with me. The bird weighed 20 lbs. and had a 9 inch beard.

The 2nd special thing about my hunt is that the is the first turkey I've killed on my own property. Since buying my house on 2001 I have spent the past 13 years making my woods more hospitable for turkeys…opening up the woods, making trails, reclaiming old overgrown fields, etc. We used to never see birds on the property. The past 3 years we have been starting to see some and hearing some gobbling. It's been a dream of mine to hunt turkeys on my own property. Glad to finally realize that dream.





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Congrats NB, great bird and even better story!
Congrats. Your Grandpa would be proud.
Very nice!
Gramps was looking down smiling at you.
Awesome story and just a great bird. Congrats on taking it on your own land too.
Did your grandpa ever hunt turkeys??

Thanks for all of the kind words gents.

NH Mtns...my gramp never hunted turkeys. He was a dyed-in-the-wool rabbit and deer hunter. He always had a beagle and had 100 stories about hunting "grey-bobs" back in the 40's, 50's and 60's. He stopped hunting the year that my dad served in Vietnam ('68) and never went back to the woods after that. We didn't have a sizeable turkey popluation until the 1980's and the first turkey season maybe around 1983 or '84 or so? As a 17 year old, I remember bringing my first tom to his house to show him and had had this look like "what the hell are these young kids hunting today?" LOL.