The month of March has finally arrived and the obsession continues. For all my turkey hunters down here in the south, you know exactly what that means. It’s that spring drifting in the air, flowers blooming so beautifully, and that lovely pollen everyone loves so dearly seems to be falling thicker and thicker as days goes by. But mostly, it’s those dreams of crisp and sunny mornings chasing thunderbirds dancing through your head; being up before the crack of dawn with very little sleep to make those dreams come to life. Nothing beats that first gobble! “The mouth drop”… it’s then and there that makes the hard work and early mornings well worth it. That first gobble! The perfect and most thrilling sound God has ever created. Who’s eaten up with it? Opening day is just around the corner…time to make ’em flop guys! We can’t stop the flop! It’s a crazy obsession that I’m glad. March the 15th couldn’t get here fast enough.
Preparation is key… if you can hit your target. Hold steady and squeeze that trigger. Then the rest is history.
I’m still quite new with turkey hunting and I’m learning more every day. I shot my first turkey on March 23, 2016, a day I will never forget! It’s now March 2018 and I have been more than ready to harvest another one. I did my scouting and found a few gobbler tracks, set up cameras and then studied the patterns of both the hens and gobbler I was getting on camera. Already paired up with the hens, he was the only gobbler that was hanging around. Hoping and praying he was going to stick around for opening day because I was going after him… focused and determined.
After scouting and learning the pattern of the birds, it was time to put the Remington V3 to test before I introduced it to Mr. Tom. I set up some targets that ranged from 20-40 yards to see the spread of the pellets to determine what shells I was going to use. The V3 cycles 2 3/4″ to 3″ magnum shot shells. I decided to go with the Remington Nitro turkey three inch shells. The V3 shot just as I expected it to… perfect and it held a tight pattern at 40 yards. The pattern was a killer shot and as I long as I could aim small and do what I needed to do to harvest Mr. Tom, I knew the V3 would do its job. Aim small, miss small! It fit perfectly against my shoulder and had very minimal recoil with the Super Cell recoil pad. I like the fact that the gun is extremely light because it makes it a lot easier to maneuver. And turkey hunting is all about moving around till you get just close enough to start talking dirty to Mr. Tom to lure him in. Man, that intense anticipation of knowing he’s just around the corner and not knowing the exact moment of when he is going to show himself. But when he does, the adrenaline starts pumping even more and it’s then that waking up at the crack of dawn makes it worth every second of lost sleep you had ever had.
Mr. Tom, here I come!
Opening day has arrived; March 15, 2018. As I was getting ready for work I was sad and frustrated that I couldn’t hunt that morning. I had to be at work at the crack of dawn. The cruel, cruel world of adulting. But since opening day is like a holiday in the hunting world, I took off at lunch for an afternoon hunt. Luckily, I’m still employed. Hunting is an obsession, a passion, a lifelong journey that I’m blessed to enjoy every day. God’s beautiful creation never gets old.
Now onto the good part… the magical moment when it all goes down.
It was around 2:00 in the afternoon as I headed into the woods. I went to the area where I knew Mr. Tom had been hanging out… the power line strip. I decided I was just going to sit nearby on the ground and listen, or at least I had thought that was a good idea, but I was wrong. The first spot I thought was a great place to sit ended very badly. Sitting there all excited and ready, gun propped and situated just where I needed to be; then I felt a bite… and one right after, followed by more! I was sitting in a dang ant bed that was under the leaves that I obviously couldn’t see. Yep, my luck. I couldn’t sit still any longer. I was in a panic. I jumped up, making all kinds of racket; I just knew my hunt was over; surely he was going to bust me in my rush to clear myself of all those biting ants. I did the ant dance. Boots off, pants down… good thing I was alone because someone would have gotten a show and a big laugh. But no laughs for me, just aggravation because here I am thinking I can do this all alone, without anyone’s help. Ha! I’m way too independent sometimes, which is not always a good thing. Thankfully Mr. Tom had not made an appearance.
Maybe I spooked him without knowing but I hoped not. I wasn’t going to end the hunt because I was down, aggravated, and itching everywhere. “Get over it Tiff and move on to another location,” I told myself. So I did exactly that, and moved on to another spot, I finally got situated with NO ants and still had plenty of daylight left. Was he ever going to come out? Do I even know what I’m doing? Here I am, hunting as a beginner. Not only am I by myself, but not knowing all the ropes of turkey hunting (or was even the slightest bit as knowledgeable as others I know that are slaying the mess out of them), but I was determined and wasn’t giving up. “Patience, just have patience,” is what I told myself. “You can do this Tiffany!” Another 30 minutes or so goes by. Sitting there trying to be as still as possible, I decided to use my box call. I wasn’t going to do much calling because I was still kind of new at it and figured I had a better chance with just playing the waiting game. Well, I couldn’t take it any longer. I got out my box call in part because these are the easiest calls for beginners like me. I called a couple of times. And then what I thought was my imagination was the most perfect sound ever created! I couldn’t believe it; I heard a gobble! And not only a gobble, but a gobble calling back to my call. Yep, the mouth drop played out just as I had dreamed it would. I didn’t want to spook the fellow and call too many times, but I obviously had gotten him pretty fired up because the gobbling continued so I continued.
After about 15 minutes of dirty talk, he shut up. QUIETNESS!! Other than birds singing and squirrels rambling…the gobbling was no longer present. What happened? Is he moving closer to me and going to pop out? I need to get ready! It’s about to happen! Concentrate… every little rule running through my head. Am I covered good enough? Shoot, did I load the gun? Fear, nervousness, excitement… all the emotions running! Anticipation of waiting for that next gobble; trying to listen as well as my ears would let me. GOBBLE GOBBLE, there it was! Another gobble! This time it was further away. Oh no! What do I do now? I can’t sit here and let him get further and further from me. I have to go after him. I knew I had to if I wanted to get this bird. So I went with it.
I got up and crossed the power line as fast as I could while trying to be as quiet as possible. I came into a small wooded area and into the next field. There were a few small hills which was to my advantage because I could sneak up on him without being seen. Coming up on another hill, I spotted him. There he stood… grouped up with a couple of hens. No wonder he wouldn’t come to my calls. I quickly ducked and hauled butt to the nearest tree, the most perfect tree ever. It had plenty of cover.
I had to crawl up in it and get myself situated. I didn’t want to risk moving or snapping any branches so I stuck my gun through them and hoped for the best. As long as I could see that bead down the barrel with a clear shot, I knew I would be ok.
I grabbed my box call quickly and hit it. One call was all I needed for as close as I was. He gobbled and within a minute or two, there he was. All I could see was his head as he popped up just below the hill and he wasn’t stopping. He got to the top of the small hill where I could see his whole body. Beautiful… he was in a full sunlit strut, drumming and spitting. I felt an intoxicating rush that drives my obsession…
My whole body was shaking as I was getting ready to make the shot. Within twenty yards, I put the gun on fire, looked down the barrel and set the bead below his head. I couldn’t pull the trigger! I was shaking way too badly. I had to lift my head and take a few deep breaths before I made a bad shot.
Bead located beneath his head, breathing heavily, heart pounding, hands still shaking, I squeezed the trigger slowly and to my surprise, I hit him. I got ’em!!
Tears filled my eyes with overwhelming excitement. I just killed my first turkey, solo!! I honestly couldn’t believe it. On opening day of turkey season with little confidence in myself, I made it happen. With tears rolling down my smiling face I ran over to him while he was still flopping. The flop didn’t last long… it was a perfect shot with the Remington V3. Perfect I say! With the Versaport gas system, it kept the balance in the center of the gun and produced a tremendous knockdown. A great lightweight and versatile gun at an affordable price. A perfect gun to kill a tom. With the V3, Remington has done it again. Well done, Remington!
March 15, 2018…Another day I will never forget!!
Be confident in yourself and don’t give up! Go with your instincts and be not afraid of failing. You will soon succeed. Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable. It worked for me!
Publisher’s Note: Do you have a story to share here? Contact us today, we’d love to help! About the Author: Tiffany Anderson is a small town huntress who has a huge passion for the outdoors and spends most of her time working hard and providing for her family; but yet dreaming of her days out in the field. She resides in Eufaula, Alabama and is currently pursuing her dreams of becoming the next Annie Oakley.