My dad decided at the young age of 70 that he wanted me to take him turkey hunting this spring in North Carolina. He has not been spring turkey hunting in a few years due to his health and I live in Texas, so I was not really sure where to take him in North Carolina where he lives. I also had to find a place that was pretty flat and where he would not have to do much walking. Well my research led me to Charles Decker who runs Blue Dark Outfitters. He explained that he has 13,000 acres of some of the best turkey, deer, and black bear hunting that North Carolina has to offer. After he had answered all of the my questions, the date was set for 4/19/14. That was the other thing. My dad and I would only have one morning to get things done.

Well rarely does a hunt go as planned, but that is exactly what happened on this trip. We met Charles in town and he took us out to the house where we would be staying. He explained where we would be hunting in the morning and said that the birds were especially vocal. So the next morning we were up at 4:00AM and on our way to our blind on the edge of a field where a couple of roads intersected. To make a long story short it was the best eastern turkey gobbling/hunting I have ever experienced south of the Mason Dixon line. I called in 4 longbeards with my MAD Super Aluminator and my dad shot the big strutter. Then one of his buddies came in to get revenge on his fallen comrade and so I introduced him to a load of Winchester Longbeard XR #6’s! I mostly only bow hunt for turkeys these days, so it was fun to use my dad’s old shotgun to harvest a bird. We had doubled up on 2 really nice birds which both happened to be double beards. My dad’s turkey had a 11.5” beard 7.5” beard and 1.25” spurs. Earlier in the week another hunter had harvested a bird with almost 2” hooks and another with 1&5/8” spurs. Some serious old trophy turkeys.

When we were done with photos and telling the story with some of the other hunters in camp Charles took me for a drive to show me more of his property which is the perfect mix of open fields and hardwoods. We saw more turkeys than I could count. What a magical place for sure and I can’t wait to go back. A big thank you goes out to our new friend Charles and to Blue Dark Outfitters!

Be safe and good hunting! - John