Posted on April 30, 2018 by BWB Team Member Lee Schanz
For the last several months, I have made a post on the 30th and called it "Throwback 30". These stories have been from my distant past (I just turned 52), to stories about my grandparents a hundred years ago. This post is from the recent past, but it bears telling because it's about turkey season and involves kids. One of the reasons I'm proud to be an original member of the Big Woods Bucks team is because our mission has always been to educate people about the right way to conduct themselves in the outdoors. I'm a firm believer in the idea that introducing young boys and girls to the Maine woods will go a long way towards keeping them from getting involved in things they shouldn't.
I'm hooked on the outdoors because my dad took me hunting and fishing when I was very young and made sure I had a good time. I in turn did the same thing with my kids, and it has been a positive influence on them. I remember the first time I took my son turkey hunting, we got 5 inches of heavy wet snow but no turkey. Jump ahead 17 years, my son is now a Maine guide who takes other kids turkey hunting and loves every minute of it. He took 3 kids out on Saturday, and they all got big toms. 2 of them were 20 pounders.
I took a kid out as well, and we had a great time. Clay is a 15 year old student at Skowhegan High School and has a couple of deer to his credit but had yet to shoot a turkey. It was cold and damp as we sat in the little blind I had made. I remember thinking that 4 or 5 years earlier, I had taken his big brother hunting in this same field. When I mentioned it to Clay's dad, he said he thought it had been 8 years earlier. I don't know where the time goes! I screwed up on the first bunch of birds we called in by being impatient. If impatience is one of my faults, persistence is one of my virtues, and we moved on. It's always good to have a back-up plan when turkey hunting because it only takes 1 nosy hen or jake to mess you up. We saw some other turkey's through the foggy mist and decided to sneak through the woods to get them. We found a clump of brush to jump into and settled down. I barked on the box call a few times and almost immediately heard 2 gobblers. These birds "came in on a rope", but unfortunately, they were jakes. I decided to stay put (because I'm so patient) and called some more. A bird emerged out of the fog and through my binoculars, I could tell it was a tom. When I thought he was close enough, I gave Clay the ok, and he cut loose with a 3 inch load of number 5's. I don't know who was more excited, Clay or his dad, but it was a priceless moment! It was a big bird (19lbs) with a beautiful fan. The big surprise came when we discovered he also had a rare double beard. All in all, it was a great day for Schanz's Guide Service. I was happy to have shared it with a nice kid like Clay.
purest form of hunting, Lee Schanz, Maine turkey hunting, youth hunting, gobblers