In the spring of 2008 I had drawn a Missoula county turkey tag and was very stoked to be able to hunt the beautiful country with my brother Tyler and friends. About the second or third weekend of the season I asked my brother if he would like to take me up to a little spot we had all scoped out. We arrived bright and early and immediately we had some close gobbles. We decided to go after one just a little ways up the hill. We set up and Tyler started calling pretty hard and the bird was on his way in. We could see the bird coming from about 100 yards away and I was starting to get very excited. When he got to about 60 yards he did a complete 180 degree turn and got as low as he could to the ground and peeled out. Tyler and I both were very confused as to why that had just happened because neither one of us had moved, and at about that time Tyler caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. When he turned to see what it was he was very surprised to see a couple of coyotes sneaking in on the decoy. Tyler just kept calling to see how close he could get it in to see if I could get a shot off. I slowly stood up with the tree in the way of the coyotes so they couldn’t see me and at that time I looked around the tree to see four coyotes and one of them was sneaking in on Tyler and was no farther than a couple feet away. As Tyler looked around the left side of the tree the coyote came up to the right side and saw Tyler and immediately took off but with no place to really go the only option he had was to jump over Tyler and then he ran never offering me a shot. Needless to say however we didn’t get a bird that day it was still a heck of an experience and will be remembered for a long time.
The next weekend my brother Tyler, Ross (friend of ours who also had the same tag that I did) and myself decided to go to a spot not to far from where we called in the coyotes and tried our luck there. Right at day break we had located a couple birds but couldn’t get them to come in so we packed up our stuff and headed out. As we were driving we were stopping to crow call every now and then and got a close gobble. We made our way to where we had heard him. As we were driving up the road to get closer we rounded a corner and much to our surprise a nice mature tom was standing in the middle of the road. He ran up the hill a little ways and he parked the car and ran up the hill to cut him off. We hurried up and set out the decoys and found some nice trees to set up in front of. After Tyler let out the first hen cluck the tom gobbled and we could tell he was defiantly on his way. We called for what seemed forever but I am sure it was only a couple minutes, and then he finally came out in a little clear cut. I was borrowing my Brother Tyler’s semi automatic Benelli 12 gauge which I was not a 100 percent sure on how to use. As the turkey slowly came in he stopped at about 60 yards and started to flap his wings and stretch out and that is when I lost it and ”turkey fever” started to set in. As he came even closer I clicked the safety of and tried to pull the trigger but all that happened was this really loud ”CLICK” the sign that I had not closed the action all the way, but much to our surprise the mature tom stopper and let out a gobble. Tyler who was about 10 yards behind me told me to pull the action all the way back and shoot. As I pulled the action back and let it slam the turkey again stopped and gobbled. Offering me one last shot. As I put the bead on him he started to walk again but this time he was getting ready to walk away. I found a little opening in-between a couple trees and let the lead fly. He immediately rolled over and out of my sight. Not sure if I hit it or not I stood up and could see him flapping on the ground. Tyler walked up and asked why I took such a far shot, not realizing that from where I was at it was probably going to be the last opportunity I had. We ranged from the tree I was at to where the bird layer and it was at 51 yards needless to say I was very lucky for hitting him but also I was lucky that he didn’t take off during my troubles with the gun.