Mackenzie Walters-A Couple’s First Double (Gobblers)

Opening day of the Ohio turkey season came and went as quick as my actual turkey season. My husband and I had traveled to Alabama to turkey hunt a few short weeks before the Ohio season came in. We were both eager to return to our home woods as we had several close encounters in Alabama but were unable to fill any tags.

Day four of the Ohio spring turkey season would be the first opportunity I would have to hunt with my husband. I had already been out two days on my own with no luck. The turkeys were gobbling hot on the roost but quiet once they hit the ground.

There had been several birds roosted near the blind we like to set up in. Kurt wanted to set up in a different spot as to not disturb the birds. Like the other two mornings, the birds were talking on the roost but the same could not be said after the fly down. We walked the property hoping to get something fired up or locate a bird. We called to no avail and decided it was time to check one last spot or I would be leaving for work.

We were able to locate a group of birds off in the distance. Forgetting our binoculars, we could not tell if the birds were hens or gobblers. Were they jakes or long beards? We decided to try to catch up to the birds by walking out a ridge allowing some cover to approach. We quickly but cautiously made our way to where we thought the birds were going and made a couple of calls.

The strangest noise I have ever heard responded to Kurt’s call. It sounded like dogs barking mixed with nails on a chalkboard. Before Kurt could say get down, I could see the group of turkeys about fifty yards in front of us. I thought we were busted for sure. I quickly dropped to my knees and scooted to the closest tree. Kurt dropped the decoy about three feet in front of me before he got against a tree. I was again sure we would be busted as the decoy lay at my feet.

Suddenly to my left I could see a group of birds. I studied them but still could not determine if these were toms, jakes, or hens. Kurt gave them a call from the slate and the entire group hammered in complete synchronization. They were gobblers for sure! Kurt whispered quietly “to your left.” I whispered back that I could not shoot. The birds were standing as tight as they could be not allowing a shot opportunity. By this time, I could see short beards, all jakes.

I knew I was going to have to get a shot off soon as the group of jakes appeared to be spooking. One bird separated moving away from the group. I knew this was possibly the last opportunity I would have to get a shot. I lined up the beads on my 20 gauge and pulled the trigger.

The jake was flapping around as I had smoked him. I whispered “call again” to Kurt. He made another call on the slate and the birds continued to gobble. The group of jakes began to pounce on my jake. Kurt stood up to get a better shot. The birds didn’t even notice. Kurt cracked off a shot and we both took off running. It was a double, something in eight years we had never been able to do.

Mackenzie and her husband Kurt, with their first double of gobblers. Photo: Mackenzie Walters

Mackenzie and her husband Kurt, with their first double of gobblers.
Photo: Mackenzie Walters

Out of all the hunting experiences we have each had, we both agreed it was the best hunt either of us had ever had. A husband and wife walking out of the woods each with a turkey in tow. A husband and wife who live to hunt and live for each other shared a rare feat with each other, something only the most seasoned hunters or the most lucky ever get to experience. Since it was very early in the season, we each decided to purchase another tag. The very next day I was able to harvest a mature gobbler to complete my best turkey season every, the only time I have been able to use both my Ohio tags.

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