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WoodHaven Custom Calls Turkey Hunting
The spring turkey season has officially started, and for many hunters out there this means a chance at their very first turkey kill. Here’s a story about one such experience from WoodHaven’s very own Mark Scroggins.Can you remember killing your very first turkey? Did you kill him on your first trip out or did it take you multiple times afield to punch your tag?  Did he gobble good coming in or did he pull the ol’ silent treatment on you? What were the weather conditions? Was it warm or cold, windy or calm? If you’re like me you can recall every single detail like it was yesterday!


Every turkey hunt is unique in some way. That is what’s so cool about the sport of turkey hunting!  


Personally, I killed my first turkey when I was 14 years old. It was my second season to hunt them after an unsuccessful first year. That first season, well, you could say I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew is that if it had a season and I could hunt it, I was in. That very first year hunting turkey I had no camo and my turkey calls left a lot to be desired. My call that first year consisted of me sucking on the end of ink pen just like the Indians did years ago with a wingbone call.


Let’s just say I didn’t see or hear a single turkey that season.


Going into year two of my new found addiction, I was more than determined to kill my first turkey! I bought me a new diaphragm turkey call, some camo, and patterned my shotgun. I was ready! After a few set-ups early that morning, myself, along with my dad and brother, moved up an old two track road that intersected with an old logging road. From all the magazine articles I had read this felt like a good spot!  Even though my dad grew up a hunter he had never turkey hunted either. We were learning together!


After setting up at the base of the big hill we were ready. The decoy was out and we were hidden good. After what seemed like two hours of calling with no response(really only about 30 min), I was getting anxious. I was watching down the road, my brother was watching up the hill, and dad was covering to our right when all of a sudden my brother whispers, “I see one….no two!”. Here they came. Two big jakes trying to sneak in and steal an ol’ hen away. I will never forget my brother shooting and missing when immediately they rose flying exactly over my head. Instinct took over from shooting doves and I immediately threw the shotgun up to my shoulder and rolled that gobbler right out of the sky.

Marks First Wild Turkey Hunting Kill


I had just killed my very first turkey!


Yeah it might have only been a Jake, but I didn’t care. I was so excited! The coolest part was my dad and brother were there to experience it with me.


As long as I live I will never forget that hunt! It was a perfect morning: cool, calm, and sunny with blue skies.  It was an absolute perfect morning to kill your first turkey. I had worked hard to learn about the sport of turkey hunting, so when I killed a gobbler, to say I was excited would be an understatement. We were hollering, and high-fiving. We were celebrating big time!


Looking back on this hunt now, it’s hard to believe how blessed I have been to have experienced so many special hunts! Yeah, I have been on a lot more exciting hunts over the years with lots of gobbling and strutting, but none do I remember more than killing my first ever gobbler! It was a life changing event. I was going to be a turkey hunter for life!


How about you?


Do you remember killing your first turkey? Was it a Jake or a longbeard? Did he gobble or sneak in? Tell us about your first turkey kill below in the comments.


It will be good for the soul to reflect back on your life and how you got to where you are today. I bet you will soon realize, just like I did, how that one hunt was a life changing experience that set in motion a series of events that helped mold you into the person you are today. There’s an old saying, “If you hunt with your kids, someday you won’t have to hunt for your kids”. Well, that was me, and now I’m a “Turkey Ninja” for life!