Our very own John Hinde tells us about a special experience turkey hunting with his daughters and what it meant to him.
As a father, I want to tell you the story behind this video of my twin daughters simultaneously taking turkeys during our youth turkey season. First I want to say, it makes me so proud that my daughters enjoy something that is such a part of who I am. We’ve shared hunting together since they were very young. I remember when they were three and my wife walked in on us watching a hunting show. She didn’t know we had done this before. We were sitting in our ground blind made of sectional cushions as a turkey approached in full strut. We had our guns up waiting for the perfect shot. I knew my wife was standing behind us wondering what the twins’ reactions would be when the turkey was shot. I whispered, “On three”, and we all said, “Bang!” at the perfect moment. The girls jumped up and yelled, “We got him!” As I was congratulating them, I turned to look over the sectional at my wife. She was walking away shaking her head laughing and said, “Those are definitely your girls!”
Prepping for the Turkey Hunt
The alarm went off early in the morning on March 26th. My girls, who are now 14 (how did that happen?), are not really morning people. I am ready to go, standing in the kitchen wondering what is taking so long? As I’m asking this question, I stick my head around the corner to find them both putting makeup on! “You don’t need makeup to turkey hunt,” I said, but I was wrong. They both looked at me and said, “There will be photos and video.” I liked their positive thinking.
Wait For The Gobble
As we got out of the truck to head to the blind, I looked at the sky and thought, we need to hurry up. I didn’t allow enough time for makeup. It was still pretty dark, well before turkeys usually gobble or fly down off the roost. We had a long walk which involved crossing a wetland on a beaver dam about halfway to the blind. I told them about this days before and surprisingly they were good with it.
We aren’t even to the beaver dam yet and an owl lets loose. My girls have never been crazy about walking in the dark woods, especially when the coyotes howl, owls hoot, or the deer snort. When they were younger we held hands; I kinda miss that. If you’re a turkey hunter and an owl hoots when you’re walking into your spot, you always pause and hope for a response from a gobbler. This was our lucky day because four or five gobblers let loose right where we were headed! We high five and headed for the beaver dam…double time.
To the Blind
We crossed the dam like one of those obstacle course teams! Now we are within 300 yards of the blind and all of the gobblers are really fired up. One sounds like he’s only 80 yards from the blind. We needed to get in that blind before it got lighter out. The twins know to follow right behind me and step in my tracks. I’m sure we looked like a family of ducks. We approach the blind as low as we can get without crawling. The closest gobbler is in a tree, 60 to 80 yards away, shaking the leaves on the ground with his gobbles. Cayden, our oldest twin (she reminds her sister of this fact from time to time), wraps her arms around the blind and breathes a sigh of relief. I almost laughed out loud! Literally hiding from the Turkey behind the blind, we have to crawl through the window. We couldn’t risk putting the decoys out because the gobbler was too close. With the woods being so open in late March, I knew it would hurt our chances of getting them.
As we are getting settled in the blind, I realize the closest turkey hasn’t gobbled in a while, but the other four were really tearing it up. We never saw or heard from the close bird again. He must have heard us getting in the blind. Not to worry, the other turkeys were now on the ground and gobbling about 150 yards away. We took this opportunity to put the decoys out about 10 yards from the blind. It wasn’t long before the four gobblers came up the ridge to the calling. At 80 yards and closing fast on the decoys, we were trying to figure out who was shooting what bird and getting the shotguns ready. My daughter Carlisle whispered, “Dad, get your phone out and video.” One of the gobblers is to our left and just out of the video, but as you can see, the other three put on quite the show at 12 yards!
A Twin Connection
If you turkey hunt, you know just how tricky this can be to pull off. I have played the video frame by frame and it must be some kind of twin connection. They shot at exactly the same time. You can tell by my reaction just how excited and proud I am of them. I can’t tell you how much the time spent hunting with my girls means to me. The photos and videos are something I treasure the most.
Get the same Mossy Oak Graphics gun wraps that the girls use here.