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Illinois hunting and fishing

Turkey Tales: A proud papa

April 01, 2009 at 04:29 PM

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Prairie State Outdoors readers can win one of five CamoFlex systems we will be giving away in the next two months. To enter the drawing, submit a turkey hunting story and picture via e-mail to: Turkey Tales Stories can be about this season's hunt or any previous season.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here in the words of proud father Chad Mayfield of Brownstown is the story of his daughter Brooke’s successful youth turkey hunt last weekend.

Well spring turkey season is here and like a lot of fathers I could hardly wait to take my daughter for her first turkey hunt. Youth season is great, it gives the kids an opportunity to hunt before the madness begins during Illinois hunting season.

I woke my 9-year-old daughter Brooke early Saturday morning (March 28, 2009) and we started our long quite walk up the creek to our spot in Fayette County. As we approached the hillside we had planned to hunt, a roosted bird sounded off. Brooke’s eyes were as big as silver dollars, “Dad that was a turkey?” she asked.

We picked up the pace and slipped up the hill. By the time we set up the blind and set up our gear it was getting light. It was light enough that I didn’t want chance setting decoys. I told my daughter to keep her eyes on the timber and began calling.

Thirty minutes or so went by without a sound. I explained that we may have to wait a while and switched from a slate to my favorite double yelper. Wow, as soon as I hit that call one blew up and it was close. I called again to locate the bird and bam it was closer yet. I looked down for a second to push some of the leaves from our feet when I heard, “Dad, I see it.”

This tom walked right in front of us full strut 15 to 20 yards sounding off the entire time. What a show. Brooke was not able to get her shot, so I moved her 20 gauge to the right side of the blind. She got on the bird again but it walked right past us and down the hill.

I guess she was waiting for the right shot. I picked up the call and made as much racket as I could. Man that bird was excited! It must have gobbled 10 times then Brooke said, “I see it.”

The gobbler came back up the hill full strut. Just as the bird relaxed his feathers and stuck his head up I whispered “Shoot.” Then the bird started walking again so I made a small yelp and it went into full strut again. “Shoot when he sticks his head up,” I said. What seemed like five minutes was actually about five seconds. He relaxed, there was a slight pause and then, “Bammmm.”

“Dad I got him, ohh the gun hit my nose,” she said. Brooke anchored that bird; it didn’t even flop. I don’t know who was more excited.

Brooke is 9 and she took a bird with a 9-inch beard. Maybe next year she’ll get a 10-inch beard.

The best part was the show it put on for her. I’ve hunted for years and that was my most memorable hunt.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/01 at 07:39 PM

That is awesome….congrats.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/01 at 08:08 PM

Great job Brooke…. Thats what I love to see, Dads out with their kids hunting.  Now I can hardly wait to take my son out this Saturday.  Great Job for you too Chad….... Memories like this—- PRICELESS

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/01 at 10:15 PM

Way to go Brooke & Chad…that’s a lot to be proud of.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/02 at 06:50 AM

Hey Chad!  That’s awesome!  Congrats to Brooke, that’s a nice bird and a great memory for both of you!!!  It almost brought a tear to my eye reading the story ‘cause I could tell how proud you are!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/02 at 10:26 AM

Hey Hey…..That is super!!!....Kids are our future..Let get behind em all the way !!!! Congrats to you Brooke and Dad….You gotta be proud!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/02 at 04:31 PM

Congratulations Brooke! It is great to see a father and daughter hunting together….I’m glad that my dad took his daughter (Me) hunting!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/04 at 01:03 PM

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