The Push Button Call and a Sick Little Boy
Since my first son was born, 4 years ago, I have been waiting (not so patiently) until he was old enough to accompany me to the woods. My wife is a full fledged city girl, and she tolerates my hunting, but could care less about it. So it would be all up to me to get him motivated and into the sport, and she said as long as I didn’t “force” it upon him, she was fine with it.
Well, I finally decided to take him out for some scouting this spring for turkey. I figured we’d take it easy the first time, and just cruise the roads where I hunt, and maybe take a little walk down a firebreak or two. So, we get all prepared, hop in the car, and head out on our three hour tour. Now, the drive to my hunting area is pretty curvy, and up into the hills. It takes about 45 minutes to get there, so we just relaxed, and I spent that time answering all the “Hey Dad……” questions that came my way from the back seat. I also gave him one of the simple push button calls, and told him that he could call his own turkeys. He was very excited about this.
After about 30 minutes of driving, I hear from the back seat "Dad, I’m sick." I look back to see my son getting slightly pale and not looking too good. He has had some sickness in the car before, but I didn’t really think anything of it. After one or two more times letting me know he wasn’t feeling well, I made the decision to hit a city owned lake closer to the house, only a few minutes from where we were. This property actually hosts hunting during the season, but it’s a lottery system and I have never drawn a spot. I have duck hunted there before, and had a flock of about 30 turkeys come down to the shore line and surround our blind, so I know they are there.
We get to a pull-out just above some oak groves and fields next to the lake, and get out of the car. I let out a call, and get a couple of gobbles immediately. My son starts to laugh. We played with those birds for about 15 minutes, even getting them to come out into an opening about 200 yards away. After that, I asked my son if he wanted to go home, or go look for more turkeys. Being the trooper that he is, he said he wanted to go see more turkeys.
So we took off, and knowing that the worst roads of the drive were still ahead, I quickly but carefully tried to get us there. Well, only a mile from where I wanted to start looking, I hear it from the back seat again, with whimpering this time. I have just enough time to grab an empty coffee cup, and yep, he gets sick. I took care of him, got him cleaned, and gave him few minutes to settle down. Since we were only a mile away, I convinced him the best I could do to continue. I was fearful though that this bad experience would deter him from going on future trips. We got into the area, and I told my son to start looking. No sooner had I said that, when we went around a corner and were met by about 30 birds to the left, right, and in the middle of the road. I put on the brakes, rolled down his window, and told him to start calling. He didn’t even get a full yelp out with that push button call, when a big tom next to the road nearly blew out my son’s eardrums with a gobble. My son laughed hysterically, and kept calling. That bird answered for the next 3 or 4 minutes, till the group wandered off.
We checked a few more places, saw a few more birds (actually totaled about 150) and even saw about 15 deer. My son gobbled at all of them, even trying to get the deer to answer. At the end of the morning, my son was already asking when we could go again. Even with the sickness, I couldn’t have asked for a better first trip, and I would encourage everyone to get their kids out there, even if it’s as simple as using a box call from a car seat. I can’t wait till he actually sits in a blind with me. That day will come soon enough!