Okay, here’s the challenge Strut Zoners. You’re a hunting guide in two bordering states. Hunters have four weeks to spring turkey hunt in New Hampshire, and 30 to get it done in Maine. You do too, minus the 11 days you can’t due to your other job that doesn’t involve guiding. That gives you even fewer days to guide clients to gobblers, and to fill your two tags yourself (one for Maine; one for New Hampshire). Plus you’d like to put your two sons on longbeards, and good ones at that.
How many turkeys drop? In David R. Smith’s case, 15 — two for him (he filled both his ME & NH single tags), 12 for his clients, and one heckuva longbeard for his youngest son Jacob Henry Smith. They don’t call him “Big Daddy” for nothing.
The Knight & Hale Elite Pro Staffer and guide who calls Dover, New Hampshire home, gets it done. What’s his advice for guys just getting started in turkey hunting? “Never give up. Try to learn as much about the birds you’re hunting before, during and after you hunt them. Spend time in the woods.”
What’s his one essential gear item in the turkey woods?
“I’d rather go into the woods without my boots than without my binoculars,” says Smith.
What was this father’s most memorable hunt of this past ’09 spring season?
“It would have to be the Mother’s Day hunt with my son Jacob.”
On that day father and son got on a gobbler that had an 11-inch beard, and 1 1/2-inch spurs, pictured here.
“The gobbler’s wings touched the blind and it gobbled as it walked past us,” said Smith. “The guide went to pieces. The six-year-old sealed the deal at 15 yards.”
That New Hampshire tom went 23 pounds. In some ways it was Father’s Day too.