Pennsylvania Game News - July 2017 - 10
day before the one-day youth hunt.
The pair patterned the Mossberg 500
Bantam 20-gauge pump they carry afield,
and Tyler had practiced shooting from a
telescopic bipod rest. They were ready,
and Tyler was excited.
"I mentioned to Tyler that, being he
harvested a jake the prior year, he might
want to hold out for a longbeard, but that
was up to him," Rodney said.
On April 22, Rodney and Tyler got
up at 5 a.m., made the trip to the farm,
set two hen decoys in the field in front
of them and settled into the blind well
before first light.
It was an overcast morning with a little
Tyler got situated in a chair and, when
the time arrived, Rodney put three shells
in the 20-gauge, made sure the safety was
on and placed it in the gun rest.
At daybreak there were a few distant
Rodney sent out a few soft yelps on
his Cody glass friction call, but there was
He ran the striker across its surface
three more times, and a hen turkey
A moment later the two spotted a
hen walking to their left, and she started
"I guess she didn't like the decoys,"
Rodney yelped softly again and a
gobbler they hadn't seen hammered right
beside the blind.
Rodney told Tyler to get ready, as he
yelped again on the call.
This time, echoing gobbles thundered,
and Rodney realized there were two
gobblers. The pair of longbeards moved
around to the front of blind and stood 20
"The look on Tyler's face was priceless," Rodney said.
Following his dad's instruction, Tyler
picked out a tom, put the sights at the base
of the bird's neck and pulled the trigger.
At the shot, the two gobblers ran off;
Tyler had missed!
"I was bummed-out and frustrated,"
Rodney explained to the boy that he
must not have had the sights aligned properly, or he lifted his head off the gunstock.
"Do it just like we practiced," he
It was now 7:15, and Rodney chambered a shell, fed another in the gun magazine and made sure the safety was on.
A few minutes later, the two gobblers
started gobbling again, and after some
yelping and clucking on his call, Rodney
brought the birds back in.
This time, though, two jakes and two
hens had joined them.
"Those mature gobblers were runTyler Mumpower's gobbler had 13 beards
totaling nearly 79 inches. The longest was 10
and the shortest 3.5 inches.