Mike's First Rio

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It started over twenty years ago when I first met my new hunting buddy. At the time it was just a guy coming into my bait shop every day buying worms and fishing supplies. Then one day we stated to talk about hunting Deer and Turkeys, that’s when I finally found out that Mike and I had more in common than I thought. Mike has always produced a 140 or 150 class deer every year since I’ve known him. He has also got many deer in the 160 range. You can always expect Mike to come up with a great turkey every year also. Mike started to shoot so many big turkeys he started to shoot only toms with double and triple beards.

Mike and I also got in a fishing contest and he beat me out by only 3 ounces. As the years went on Mike and I became hunting buddies that could not be separated by anything. I kept asking my wife what do you do for a friend that has just about everything he needs under his belt as far as trophies.

As the years went by I started a Game Calling Company and looked no further than my back yard to get my first Pro-Staff guy to help me promote my calls, I called Mike and he was thrilled. Finally I could give him something that showed how much I appreciate him as a Friend and Hunting Buddy. Mike was very excited to be a part of something he really loved.

Then one day I finally gave Mike something he would never forget the rest of his life, A Rio Turkey hunt. Mike was so excited he kept asking me every day,” when we going”, ‘how many birds are you guys seeing’, ‘what do I need’. I knew I was finally giving Mike something he has never got before in his life.

Well the day finally came and we were ready to go. Mike shows up at my house at one o’clock in the morning, we knew that it was going to be a four and a half hour drive so we better leave early. When Mike arrives at the house he was in shock when he heard gun fire going off. No, we weren’t shooting at Mike, we left the front door open for him and a coon came in the house. It was crazy, the Redbone was chasing it around, then our little Yorkie got in on it and the coon was running for his life. Finally the coon ended up in the bathroom where we brought him to rest. I walked outside and seen Mike standing there and told him, ’now that’s how you start off a hunting trip’.

Finally we are on our way. My son and his friend also went with us. All four of us talked about the coon in the house the whole way there. Boy how time flies by when you are having fun. It seemed like it only took one hour to get there.

We finally made it to our hunting ground and we could hear toms gobbling in the roost. We had Mike set up about forty yards in front of me and the boy’s. The morning was very cool. It’s about six thirty and we knew we better hurry getting set up. The sounds of toms and hens in the background kept us all excited. Then we heard the sounds of birds flying down. I could hear Mike calling in front of us and every time he let out a hen call an old tom let loose with a big gobble.

 ’There they are’ I told the boys. They are moving right to Mike. The flock of turkey’s moved slowly in front of Mike’s blind. We have the camera rolling and waiting for a big BOOOOOOM from Mike’s gun. I couldn’t figure out why mike didn’t shoot, he had a couple nice toms walk right in front of him. Finally I started to call and a big gobble came from Mike’s left side. I looked and could not believe the size of bird coming up the fence row towards Mike. I told the boys that it is the biggest Rio I have ever seen. The bird kept strutting in circles for the longest time. I picked up our new call, we call the Tom Teaser and played a couple tones for the old tom. He looked up and walked right In front of Mikes blind. BOOOOOMMM, the sound of success. The tom was so close to Mike it looked like someone hit him in the head with a ball bat. Mike jumps up out of the blind, I’ve never seen Mike so happy in my whole life.


Mike's tom had an 11 inch beard, spurs over 1 inch and weighed over 25 lbs. Finally I gave my hunting buddy something he has never had a chance to get.

It was a great day for Mike and probably a better day for me. I was able to give my friend something he has never experienced and to but icing on the cake I got it all on film for Mike to have for a lifetime.

Take a Friend Hunting, It will last a LIFETIME.


gatorfan's picture

Cool story!

Cool Story!  Thanks for sharing!  I just can't imagine a hunt being any more fun than it is when you get to share it with someone you enjoy being with.  That's a nice big tom and it doesn't look like that jake is very small either!

ManOfTheFall's picture

Awesome story. That was

Awesome story. That was pretty hilarious about the coon. I probably would have been pretty scared walking up to someones house at 1:30 in the morning hearing gun shots going off. I'm not sure what I would have done. Very nice gobbler. Yes, true hunting buddies are so good to have. Besides my son, I have a really good hunting buddy and we can sit, talk, and laugh about all kinds of our experiences together.

Critter done's picture

When Mike heard the shots

When Mike heard the shots going off at 1:30 he thought I lost it and just about went home. It was really funny for us,not Mike.