Turkey time!

May 14, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I have been chomping at the bit for weeks — actually, months — to go turkey hunting and the day finally arrived on Sunday, May 10. The opening day of my Minnesota season was on Mother’s Day, and it could have produced some tension, except I celebrated the day with my wife, Julie, on Friday when we went out for dinner. So, that left Sunday morning free.

I went down to Goodhue County with my brother, Paul, that day. We heard gobbles and saw a hen, but no toms. Monday was more of the same, until about 5:45 p.m., when I had three gobblers come in. One swung around to my right and I didn’t see him until after he saw me move and gave an alarm putt. Too bad. He was only about 20 yards away. I wasn’t able to get a shot off before he escaped.
No matter. About 5 to 10 minutes later, up popped another one about 40 yards in front of me. This time, I was able to get a shot off and bring the bird down. It was a thrill.
This morning, I took my son, Joe, out for our opening day in Wisconsin. Even though it was cloudy and windy, the birds were active. He hunted one farm and I hunted another a few miles away. I took a shot at 6:45 a.m. and missed. He did the same about 8 a.m. Then, just minutes after he missed, another bird came in and he made the shot this time. It was a beautiful bird, with a thick, 10-inch beard, and it weighed 25 pounds.
I wish I had gotten a second chance. I had other birds come in, but not close enough for a shot. Tomorrow, I’m taking my Dad, Ray, out to the spot where Joe got his bird. I hope things work out as well for Dad as they did for Joe. Stay tuned for the next report!

About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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