It was a special day that will always remain etched in the mind of this nine-year-old hunter. It was a day of firsts for Collin Cloud; a day that introduced the youngster to the wonderful sport of turkey hunting. He was hooked up with his dad and mentor, Scott, on a road trip west to Oklahoma in search of a spring gobbler or two.
Collin toted his trusty .410 crack barrel shotgun that remained unloaded for safety’s sake. He stashed a bullet in an easily accessible pocket, and he was ready to rock.
The Cloud team was faced with an unseasonable cool front that dropped the temps and came in Oklahoma windy. Dad bundled up Collin in a wind breaker that wasn’t built for quiet in any sense of the word. All of God’s creatures were alerted to the arrival of hunters in the hood, but this in no way deterred the boy. He was just glad to be there.
On the other hand, this wasn’t the silent approach to the hunting site Dad was accustomed to. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, and so much for stealth.
Scott picked a prime spot and set out the decoys while Collin settled in. A few yelps on the scratch call was all it took for things to heat up. A mature gobbler responded, and had one thing on his mind. He was hell-bent and determined to pummel the life out of the decoy, offering Collin an opportunity to shoulder his gun.
At point blank range, the youngster squeezed the trigger to the unmistakable click of an unloaded gun. In all the excitement, the bullet remained in Collin’s pocket.
He quickly slid the shell in as Dad frantically worked his call, trying to entice the bird to return. And lo and behold, that’s just what happened! The gobbler came gliding back in, in full strut with lady love on his mind. Collin was on point and waited patiently in the ready position for strike two.
This time the live round fired, but was slightly off the mark. As the dust settled, Dad cranked up the call again as Collin fumbled to re-load. The gobbler couldn’t stand Scott’s sexy calls and returned for round three. This time Collin was dead-on steady and executed the shot, dusting his first bird on his first hunt.
Another turkey responded from a distance away, and it was Dad’s turn. This mature Tom was very wary, and Scott had to patiently talk him in. Finally, after a lot of coaxing, the big tom committed and entered the kill zone. Scott scored the huge Oklahoma gobbler that topped out over 25 pounds and was a magnificent specimen.
It was a dream hunt coming together to produce a father-son hunt of a lifetime. On this day, a young hunter was born.
It’s been a super spring so far for bass fishing. Local expert anglers have maintained a productive record this year for size and numbers.
The spring spawn for bass is about finis, but it’s still a great time to hook up with a giant. The post-spawn is a great time to catch the fish coming off the nests, hungry and on the prowl. This provides anglers an excellent opportunity for a shot at some super-sized fish with slightly less belly.