OTHA BARHAM: Teen rises to challenge, calling and getting his turkey


Dylan Brown is shown with his first gobbler called in by himself. The bird was taken during the 2019 spring season.

Dylan Brown is a 15-year-old young man who already has discovered that hunting the wild turkeys in our woods is a challenge very much worth the effort. His hunting experience totals three seasons and he took a fine bird in his second season, the bird called in by his grandfather, Irby Lang. This season he missed a bird during the early youth season. So his effort was even more serious, more filled with anxiety, during the regular season.

He made his successful hunt on March 27 on their private land in Kemper County. He was hunting with his father, Jamie Brown. After daylight arrived, they heard two birds gobbling toward the back side of the property and they took off to get closer. Half an hour later they got within 200 yards of the two birds and learned they were both together on the far side of a large field. The two hunters sat patiently for about thirty minutes, and soon realized the birds were on the ground and were moving toward the creek bottom and hardwoods on the back side of the field.

Taking a route around the field, they got into the creek and walked well hidden and Dylan did some light calling. Eventually they sat on the creek bank and did some more calling. One bird was on a ridge that led down to the creek and was drumming and gobbling while marching back and forth. He wouldn't come in, and soon crossed over to the back side of the ridge where Dylan heard some hens, which discouraged him, because this bird already had hens and would be hard to call. It's now about 9:45 a.m.

They got back in the creek bed and stayed low, moving to within 80 yards and could tell the gobbling bird was with hens. Dylan looked to the other side of the creek, and saw the other bird that had stopped gobbling. He and his father set up right there to avoid any more movements that could alert the birds. They decided to work this tom instead of the other one that had already gathered hens.

They could still hear this distant bird gobbling and drumming on the ridge.

Dylan would call to this lone gobbler, but was worried about his inexperience. “He seemed nervous and shaky coming in, probably because of my lack of experience in calling,” said Dylan. But the bird gradually got closer and finally Dylan determined the gobbler was close enough and he made his shot. “I shot him at 40 yards with my 20 gauge Winchester and tss (tungsten super shot) hand loads with three sizes of shot. When he fell immediately I ran full speed to claim my first gobbler called in by myself. It was one of my proudest moments as an outdoorsman after missing that one in the early youth season.

The first thing my dad said was, “It's about time. You finally closed the deal”! Those of us who are fathers know just how proud Jamie was.

Dylan may not know it now, but he will never forget that first one he called in, and taking him with one shot.

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