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    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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My Little Morgan

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My little sweetheart Morgan is eight years old.  As much as my son Ryan is like me, Morgan is like her mom.  Morgan is a spitfire and often a handful!  She wants to "follow in mommy's footsteps" (her words) and be just like her when she grows up.  Her mom, much to my chagrin, does not hunt and given that Morgan wants to be just like her in virtually every way, she has been hit and miss regarding interest in hunting in the past.  She shoots her bow with us and she occasionally comes with us hunting, but hasn't expressed great interest in her hunting.  Many times she's reluctantly agreed to come with Ryan and me, but often she hasn't been thrilled with the idea.  Here are a few pictures of Morgan in the woods and with her stick and string from the past. 




















Given that, imagine how excited I was when Morgan told me this past Winter that she'd like to hunt turkeys this Spring.  I was absolutely thrilled.  Now, Morgan comes from a family of bowhunters- I have nothing against gun hunting, I'm just a bowhunter at heart and that's what I do.  I knew Morgan wouldn't be able to pull enough poundage to shoot a bow and I was concerned about a shotgun being too much for her.  It occurred to me that I help out with the Twist of Fate hunt in ND (a handicapped hunter weekend) by building blinds and running corn out for them and that they have a bunch of crossbows that collect dust in the Spring.  I ended up borrowing a crossbow from them and we started having Morgan practice with it.  Once I got the red dot scope figured out and dialed in, Morgan was immediately "throwing darts" with it at turkey range!  I put the big Magnus Bullheads on it and we practiced shooting them into a free hanging pillow.  I was confident that she could shoot a turkey if one gave her a chance.  We didn't have much room in our shop for practice, but we squeezed in a target and had her practicing at turkey range. 




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Hey scoot I am thinking of a bow for my 10 year old son. Is there a cruzer in one of the photos above? I am researching a light bow for him...

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I was excited for opening day!  I planned to hunt with both kids and Morgan would be the "first batter up".  After my brother managed to shoot his first turkey just 45 minutes into his first day of turkey hunting ever, he decided to join us.  I got permission to hunt at a spot I'd see a bunch of birds at and we headed there on the evening of opening day (couldn't go in the AM due to work for me and school for the kids). 

Rod and I got things set up for Morgan's first ever turkey hunt.


We got the blind tucked into a nice spot where I'd seen birds walk in front of many times in the past few weeks.


The field in front of the blind had a lot of this!


The kids were excited to try get a turkey.


...well, for a while they were.



Just as I was wondering if we should pull the pin, a few birds showed up about 400 yards away. 


It was late for them to be out in the field this far, but they were slowly making their way towards us.  Another group joined them from the North and in total, 18 birds headed our way.  They headed right for us from 1/4 mile away, but in the end they stopped just short of us and flew up into the trees 50 yards to our North to roost.  Dang!  Still, it was a fun night and a beautiful evening.




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20 minutes ago, Archerysniper said:

A Scoot story about his daughter,I think I know where this is heading

We may have gotten a sneak peek ;)


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We couldn't get out again until Saturday morning.  I couldn't sleep once 2:00 AM rolled around, so I showered up and got everything ready for the kids.  They reluctantly rolled out of bed at 4:30 and I helped get them ready and we headed out.  It was pitch black when we pulled up to the edge of the pasture we were going to set up next to.  I went out and set the blind and came back and got the kids.  We were all excited!

This picture is from the pack out, but this is what I hauled out in the dark of morning on the first trip: a blind, three chairs, a pack full of snacks, drinks, clothes, etc., a bow, and two deeks.  Turkey hunting is tough on my poor back!  It's kinda like hauling an elk off the mountain, except without the satisfaction of having shot an elk!!! 


Here's what our decoy spread ended up looking light once the sun came up enough to see it.  The jake decoy was seven yards from Morgan's razor sharp Bullhead. 


The kids settled in and understood this was serious business!



As the morning light started to creep into the darkness a gobble rang out.  At least a dozen more immediately responded- there were birds in almost every direction from us.  We heard one gobble directly behind us less than 100 yards.  Several more came from the SW of us about 200 yards away.  As soon as Morgan could see the decoys well enough for a shot we did a fly down cackle and some wing flapping.  The birds went bonkers and clearly were interested.  Ryan and I were thrilled with all of this, but Morgan had conked out!  She sat in her chair, but laid her body straight forward with her head on her legs and arms.  She was out like a light! 

As it got lighter Ryan excitedly said, "I see three strutters over there!"  It took me a while, but I eventually saw three gobblers and we assumed they were working some hens that we couldn't see.  We called to them a bit and made sure they knew we were there.  After about ten minutes later Ryan said, "I see another tom about 50 yards right of those birds.  I can see his big ol' white head in the trees."  Again, after some struggling I spotted the bird.  I called to him a bit and he immediately showed interest.  The second I saw him respond to the calling I thought we would call that bird in.  He strutted for a bit, then ran 30 yards our way.  Then he strutted for a few minutes, then sprinted our way another 30 yards.  This repeated until he was about 100 yards out.  I shook Morgan and got her situated.  I loaded the bolt in her crossbow and oriented her to the bird.  He was now 50 yards away and closing.  When he got to 30 yards the stopped and strutted for a minute.  He gobbled twice, then put his head down and marched right into our decoy spread. 


He made his way into the decoys and spit, clucked, and purred as he made one full lap around the jake decoy.  Morgan was locked in and ready to shoot.  The whole time the bird walked around the decoy I was leaned in next to her and I was whispering "Just wait, take your time, he'll give you a shot eventually.  Just wait..."  The bird walked behind the decoy and turned next to it directly facing us and stopped. 



I could hear, see, and feel Morgan breathing hard- she was excited and worked up.  I smiled with satisfaction that she was excited and filled with adrenaline.  I also could hear Ryan's adrenaline driven breathing.  I know my heart was pounding too!  I whispered, "OK, no hurry.  When he lifts his head up and you feel good go ahead and take the shot when you're ready."  As if it was right on cue the tom stretched his neck out and lifted up his head and held dead still for a half-second.  That's all Morgan needed- the crossbow cracked out the bolt and Morgan made a perfect shot!  The bird flopped and flapped all around, but there was no doubt he wasn't going anywhere. 

The three other toms were only 120 yards away, so we tried very hard to not make too much noise, but I was so jacked up and excited for Morgan.  She looked excited, but even more so she looked dumbfounded!  I knew she was happy, but she seemed to be in shock.  Ryan was thrilled for her too.  I was proud of Ryan- there's no doubt he was green with envy at the opportunity Morgan had, but instead of being petty he congratulated her and told her how happy he was for her.  We hugged and high fived and congratulated Morgan over and over.  She had made a perfect shot on this perfect morning.  I couldn't have been more proud and excited. 

After the three toms eventually faded away I sneaked out and checked things out.


She had completely lopped off the birds head!  The head laid right next to the decoy where it had been shot and the body and arrow had managed to move about 12 feet away with all of the flopping. 



Definitely a perfect shot by my little girl!

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It was very tough for her to lift the big tom but she managed for a few pictures!


The kids couldn't believe she had completely lopped off the head of the turkey with her shot.  LOL



This picture doesn't do it justice, but the bird was beautiful.  He had gorgeous colors that shined in the morning light. 


What an amazing morning!  I was proud as a peacock of my little girl!  She was clearly excited, but I'm pretty sure I was even more thrilled about it than even she was!  It was a great day to be a dad, for sure.

For the next few hours we watched deer...


Morgan got back to being a goofball...


...and the kids eventually played on mommy's tablet that we had sneaked along (don't tell her!)


At 10:00 AM things had been quiet for a while and we decided to call it a day.  But what a day it was!  Saturday, April 16th 2016 was the day my little Morgan shot her first turkey.  She seemed to me to grow up a little on Saturday.  I'm sure most fathers out there can appreciate the bitter sweet feeling that gives you.  I got choked up thinking about it while in the blind, but I tried not to dwell too much about something I can't change or stop, so I just appreciated the wonderful event for what it was.  Saturday was the day Morgan punched her first tag and we were thrilled for her and I was oh so proud of her.  My little Morgan...


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1 hour ago, jdime said:

Is there a cruzer in one of the photos above? I am researching a light bow for him...

Nope, no Cruzer.  The smaller black bow is a Diamond Nuclear Ice and the larger camo-limbed bow is a Mission Craze.  The Craze has been great and I'm very happy with it!  It's not a particularly light bow for a kid, but that's the only knock I have on it.  If you get one I would recommend using it without a stabilizer until your son is big enough to handle the extra weight.  Right now the stabilizer is a little much for Ryan, but I kept it on there because we use it to attach a Heads Up decoy. 

1 hour ago, ANYFISH2 said:

Boy scoot, there are are bunch of tires to take air out of in your "range"!;)

LOL- yes there were!  However, she could hit a quarter sized target virtually every time at 7 yards, so I figured we were ok.  I'm pleased to report no tires were harmed during the making of this story!!!

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1 hour ago, Borch said:

So happy for her, and all of you really.  What a great day together!



Yep, what he said.  Brought a little tear to my eye.  I was so happy to see the text come from you that morning. I knew right off what happened.

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So awesome!  Memories with kids!  I can't wait to start that with my boys.  The oldest is 6 now and wants to roll with it.  So happy for you and your whole crew Scoot!

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Another great Scoot story!  Congrats to Morgan. I am hoping to get my 13 year old his first bird in Nebraska this weekend. 

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Thanks guys!  I'm working on getting Ryan a MN bird this Spring and it's proven tougher than Morgan's.  Went down to Rochester with two friends this weekend and we got our butts whooped!  It was a combo of bad luck, not getting on some of the spots we thought we'd get on, having other hunters in places we thought we would have exclusive access to, and bad luck.  Regardless, we had fun and will be back out this weekend! 

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