The bulk of my time in the turkey woods these days is spent in the company of one or more of my kids. I still enjoy time alone in the woods, but sharing a love for the outdoors with them is a lot more fun.
Trouble is, in today’s fast-paced world – where kids claim boredom anytime they have fewer than three screens going at once – how do you get them to wind down enough to spend a day in the woods?
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1 | Take Those Screens
For a long time, I balked at phones or video games on the hunt. After a while, I realized we were coming home early way too often. When I started to let them bring an electronic device along, our hunt times increased drastically.
A good book serves the same purpose.
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2 | Teach to Call
Basic yelps, clucks and purrs aren’t that hard to master on a slate or push-pull style call. Calling to a bird, or even helping just a bit, transforms a hunt into a one-on-one challenge. There are times when the ability to sound like multiple birds comes in handy as well.
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3 | Keep Them Comfortable
It's hard to be still and patient when you have a root digging into your backside and you can’t feel your left foot. Today’s lightweight blinds offer protection from wind and rain and they conceal movement.
Add a couple of lightweight folding chairs and spend the day in comfort. Don’t skimp on clothing. A warm kid is a happy kid. A pocket full of beef jerky and a bottle of water or a candy bar or two helps when stomachs start to growl.
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4 | Pick the Right Gun
Turkeys aren’t made of steel. There are a multitude of turkey-specific, 20-gauge loads on the market today. Couple those with a small-frame, 20-gauge pump or autoloader and you have a combo that even the most petite kids can handle with ease. Make practice fun by shooting light target loads.
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5 | Call Turkeys Close
Get the bird inside of 30 yards before calling the shot and a 20 gauge with quality ammo will get the job done.
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6 | Keep It Fun
The most essential thing you can do to hunt with your kids again is to keep things fun.
Don’t press. When a kid says they are done, then that usually means they are done.