Four-Year-Old Turkey-Hunting Talent

Andrew Curtis | May 2, 2023

Chris New and his 4-year-old son Micah after a great hunt in Douglas County. On the day Chris rolled the bird, Micah was working the box call and called up a big gobbler and 10 hens.

How do you get a 4-year-old interested in turkey hunting? Well, Chris New found a way.

“I asked my dad how he got me interested in hunting when I was so young,” Chris said. “I wanted to start introducing my 4-year-old son Micah to turkey hunting this spring.”

Chris’s father, Billy New, has made a career in Georgia law enforcement, served on the Georgia DNR Board and is currently serves on the Board of Public Safety. Despite his busy schedule, Billy always made time to get his kids outdoors, and the influence has affected Chris all his life. Now, Chris is following in his father’s footsteps, both in law enforcement as well as sharing outdoor traditions to the next generation.

“My dad told me that when I was really little, he had tried to make me jealous in a sense that I would want to do the things that he was doing,” Chris said. “My dad noticed that when I was around 4 years old, I began to take more of an interest in being with him and doing the activities that he liked to do.”

The real hook for Chris came when his dad took him deer hunting at the age of 4. 

“I don’t think Dad expected for us to see anything but just wanted me to have a good experience in the woods.” 

Then, all of a sudden, a doe and 5-point buck stepped out to an amazed boy and father. 

“My dad helped me hold the rifle and looked through the scope to be sure I was on the deer. I pulled the trigger on his .270, and the buck went down,” said Chris. “I will never forget that hunt and how proud my dad was of me. He got that buck mounted, and I have it still to this day.”

Flashing forward to the first week of the 2023 turkey season, Chris took some time off for his son’s spring break in hopes that he could get Micah into the turkey woods. 

The first day they could go due to the weather was on April 5. They got in a blind and started calling. 

“I probably called off and on for about an hour and a half, but then I noticed Micah getting bored. The last thing I wanted was for him was to not enjoy the experience,” Chris said. “So, I handed him my box call to teach him how to work it.”

After 15 minutes of Micah’s calling, a loud gobble echoed through the woods, a mere 100 yards away. 

“We couldn’t believe it,” Chris said. “Then it hit me… my son had just called in a mature gobbler!”

The gobbler made his way into the pasture to put on a show for the hunters. Even though their ground blind was positioned just inside the wood line, they could see the turkey well. Eventually, three hens ran up and drew the gobbler away from their hen and jake decoys. 

Later on that afternoon, the two were back in the blind. 

“Just like the morning hunt,” Chris said, “I called for roughly an hour and a half with no luck. Micah was getting bored again, so I handed him the box call. You wouldn’t believe it, but 10 hens came into view walking toward us on the wood line of the pasture. Then I had another moment of realization… my son had just called up 10 hens!”

Chris took over the calling, and almost instantly a gobble shook the ground. Needless to say, the little 4-year-old was completely engaged in the hunt. Their blind was see-through, allowing excellent visibility of the whole scene. 

“I noticed something moving to my left and realized it was two hens fighting each other. Micah didn’t know where to look. There was so much going on in front of us.” 

Once the fight ended, the dominant hen ran the other hens off into the woods. She proceeded to flaunt her victory to the tom who made his way quickly to her, but she was 50 yards from the blind. 

“At this point, I thought that the hunt was over because it was going to be nearly impossible to pull that gobbler away from his hen. I decided to give it my all and call aggressively.”

Amazingly, Chris won the battle, and the gobbler came running right to the decoys, where he attacked the jake decoy. Try as he may, Chris could not get Micah’s full attention to help shoot the gun. The 4-year-old was too distracted by the gobbler strutting at 10 yards to listen to his dad’s instructions. Chris made the decision to go ahead and pull the trigger, and the turkey went down. Once the little boy realized what had just happened, he hugged his dad tightly and then went running out of the blind to look at their prize. The little kid ran so fast, he fell twice on his way to admire the longbeard. 

“I think it was sensory overload with Micah,” Chris said. “He jumped up and down with his hands in the air while screaming, ‘I did it!’” 

Chris looked around and took in the whole scene. Then he realized something; they were standing just a few hundred yards from the bottom where he killed his first deer when he was 4 years old.

The turkey was certainly one to be proud of, with a 10 1/2-inch beard and 1 1/4-inch spurs. 

“I guess you could say that was a good trophy, but the real trophy for me was the memory made with my son and being a part of one heck of an introduction to the beautiful world of hunting.”

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