Editor’s note: This article was sent to us by Robert “Bob” Warren with Texas Youth Hunting.
Texas deer season is over, but like the canary in a coalmine, the wild Rio Grande turkey serves as a measure of hunting success during the spring.
This was especially true during the windy, wet and cold special youth-only weekend hunt on March 9 and 10.
Landowners Leo Quintanilla of Paloma Cattle Co. and Betty Teal hosted the hunt in McMullen County for five youths, their fathers, Huntmasters from the Texas Youth Hunting Program and guides/volunteers from the Alamo Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
For eight years, Paloma Cattle Co. has served as a site for introducing families to a bird-hunting sport with “classroom” education, hands-on instruction, camaraderie and … pop-up blinds. The latter is essential, since these kids range in age from 9 to 16 years old and keeping still with three people close together is nearly impossible without the use of blinds.
Opening morning resulted in all shooting at longbeards, with two hunters connecting successfully. One hunter, who had experience with 4H skeet shooting, borrowed a 20-gauge with a tight turkey-choke and glo-sights, which did the trick in “surgically” removing one tom from a large flock of hens and gobblers. By Saturday evening, one more longbeard was brought into camp, with the remaining hunters still having numerous shots at more longbeards. By Sunday morning, the last two hunters reported seeing “tons” more mature gobblers, lots of hens and very few jakes. In fact, one hunter, 9, closed out his weekend with shooting, but unfortunately missing, six different times, all shots landing too high — get those sights mounted on that gun, quick!
Although the weather was changing by the minute, starting out relatively calm and ending with rain and wind, the “tons” of turkeys didn’t seem to mind neither the weather nor being shot at continuously!
If you are age 9 thru 16 and want to get in on the next opportunity at the Special Youth-Only weekend coming up in early May, apply online at www.texasyouthhunting.com and maybe you will be one of the lucky hunters chosen to attend a lifetime experience hunting hot toms in McMullen County.
Below is Muhammed Domitrovich and his dad celebrate with Muhammed’s first turkey.