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April 14: Ashley & Melissa Payne

Birds singing, dew glistening and hearing the sound of distant gobbles as the sun rises insinuates one thing, it is finally spring turkey season in Kentucky. As a family we wait all year for the second weekend of April.

Opening day of spring turkey season is always a family event; together we hunt and make memories in the hard woods. But on Saturday April 14, 2012 was a little different. Instead of only me killing a turkey our goal was to drop two big gobblers one by myself and the other by my mom, Melissa.

As daylight broke and the first hen flew down into the field we started getting prepared for our main goal of listening and looking for those long beards. Dad whispers for me to watch to the left and mom to the right and keep our eyes open for struters. He not so much as got those few words out and as I glance to my left I spot what I wait all year to lay my eyes on, four huge gobblers. As mom and myself raise our guns up and dad purrs and cuts and couple times these four birds come running in. As mom and I wait impatiently to see those red beauties pop over the rise adrenaline kicks in. As we see those four heads pop up over the hill we hear music to our ears, gobbles. But not just any gobble, the gobbles that are so close they make your heart jump out of your skin and every hair on your body stand up.

As the, now three, turkeys come within shooting distance, dad counts us off “one, two, three” and the magic happens. Mom and I finally achieve our double for the first time. Don’t get me wrong the feeling of killing one bird is AMAZING but killing a double and with your mom at that is indescribable. We made a memory of a lifetime this year. This hunt is something that I can tell my children someday. I love that my family has made my love for the outdoors just as strong as theirs. I am blessed beyond belief to have my mom and dad to share my hunting memories with and now have yet another story to add to my book of hunting memories with the two people I love most in my life, my parents.

Ashley Payne