I have an 8-year-old son named Garrett, who took his first gobbler when he was 5 years old. He shot that gobbler at 10 yards with a little 2-3/4-inch 20 gauge shotgun. I had a red dot scope mounted on the shotgun for him, and I had him practicing on a turkey-head target. He knew when he put that red dot on that turkey’s wattles that he could take that gobbler. Another thing I like about the red dot scope is the youngster doesn’t have to put his cheek down on the stock to shoot the bird. So, if there’s any recoil, the gun won’t kick the child in the jaw or the cheek.
When I'm hunting with children, I’ll set up a blind, brush it in and set-up my decoys close to the blind to try to pull the gobbler in as close as I can to the blind. I don’t hunt from a blind except when I’m hunting with children or a new hunter. I know that sitting still for a long time is something that children aren’t wired to do, and new hunters generally aren’t good at sitting still for a long time either. By using a blind, I solve that problem before we have it. But by being in the blind, the children can see many things going on in the wild.
My daughter, Taylor Jo, was 7 when she took her first gobbler, and now she’s 13. In Kentucky, we can take two gobblers during the spring season, and most years she bags her two birds. A couple of years ago my wife, Natasha, decided she’d like to go turkey hunting. She never had been hunting before, but all it took to get her hooked on turkey hunting was her taking one gobbler. Now she’s about as eat-up with turkey hunting as the kids and I are. She’s taken two gobblers so far, and she’s ready to go again. So, I've raised and trained my whole family to be turkey hunters. To be honest with you, I’d rather take them turkey hunting and watch them bag birds than go hunting by myself and me take a tom.