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Courtney, Minnesota

Courtney's First Turkey Hunt

Spring 2015 was when I went on my first turkey hunt. I remember going into it thinking I wouldn’t need my dad or brother’s help, not because I don’t appreciate their help, but because for some reason I had it in my head that I would be a more accomplished hunter bagging a big ole’ gobbler on my own. Thankfully my dad reminded me that having a “successful” hunt doesn’t necessarily mean you walk away with meat for your freezer. It’s really about getting out in nature to observe and interact with wildlife, and taking a new lesson away with you after every hunt. Most of the lesson's I've learned have come from my dad, so I checked my ego at the door and was grateful to have his help.

On our third morning out we spent four hours tracking turkeys down in the rain. I remember looking at my dad and thinking, “Wow. He could be working or getting things done around the house, but instead he chooses to sit out here in the rain with me and try his best to help me get a darn turkey.”

I gave my dad my full attention, keenly observing his turkey calling techniques. Eventually we found two turkeys strutting around the edge of a field. Dad crawled in the mud to sneak a decoy out in their sight and then set up about 20 yards behind me in the pines. He started calling, and my heart started racing.

I could feel my breathing become inconsistent as I watched the two birds work their way in our direction. Closer and closer they came… tails fanned out, wings grazing the ground, strutting towards us, my heart pounding heavily. Dad and I exchanged wide smiles and I knew what was next. Impatiently I squeezed the trigger and plop… my bird went down. I had a very successful hunt, not only because I worked hard and got my bird, but because hunting with my dad was the perfect reminder of what hunting is really about.

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