7 years, 7 LONG years of turkey hunting without harvesting my first turkey. The seasons were extremely trying, and at times I just wanted to hang my gun up and quit, but my momma didn’t raise a quitter. Little did I know that every season that I went through without a bird, I was becoming a better hunter. This season started out like any other season. I sat down on two birds, and I missed both birds that I shot at. One of them being a bird I was after. He was a beautiful double beard who made my heart skip a beat with every gobble he made. After my shot at him, I was ready to quit. I cried because I was so disappointed in myself.
With a week left of turkey season, my time was running out. I was so anxious and was trying not to doubt myself. After my miss, I figured out I was not choking up on my gun like I should have been. I went home and I practiced, and fixed it. Birds on our land didn’t gobble in the early morning hours, so we hunted a lot in the afternoons. This particular afternoon was so hot and muggy, i just knew it wasn’t gonna happen for me. My husband and I got to our spot and we just sat. We didn’t say a word to these birds. We waited patiently. I am sitting there keeping watch, and behind a blown down tree I see a black blob appear.
I told my husband that a turkey is fixing to walk out. He never see’s what I am talking about, then a Jake steps out in front of us. Strolling in right behind him is a four year old bird. My husband is telling me not to shoot the Jake and to wait on my shot. I am waiting with my gun ready and the four year old is in shooting distance. I take my safety off and tell him I am taking the four year old while he was in perfect range. I put my finger on my trigger and I am trying to control my breathing, and my heart is about to beat out of my chest. I took a deep breathe in and let it out slowly all while squeezing my trigger. Before I know it, my gun has gone off and at the end of my barrel lays my first turkey.
The emotions I felt were completely indescribable. I took a second to gather it all together, I threw my gun down and took off running to my bird. I tripped a couple of times just trying to get to him, but I didn’t care. When I reached him, I was just in awe of his beauty. That very moment was a blessing, one that I had wanted so bad for so long, and there he was. I was thanking God over and over again and tears were just flowing down my face and me jumping up and down with joy. I picked him to check him out, and noticed his beautiful ivory spurs. I fell in love with him all over again. That day is one that for as long as I live, I will never ever forget, nor will I ever forget the emotions from that day. The best part of the whole hunt was, that I got to share it with my husband. It was the best date I have ever been on.
That was a huge accomplishment for me and it took me a long time to reach it. Hunting is not easy, it’s trying, heartbreaking at times, a blessing, and overtime you step in the woods you will come out with more knowledge than you went in with. 7 years was long, but in the end it was worth it. So if you feel like it’s never gonna happen for you, it will just never ever give up. So here’s to the next season.