April 11: Sergeant Major (ret) Glen Simpson

As told by Sergeant Major (ret) Glen Simpson

12 April 2010, Illinois, Clear, 50 degrees

Seek-out and harvest early season Longbeards in Illinois with archery tackle without being detected and without mission failure but if a Longbeard doesn’t present itself…Shoot a Jake!

With a successful Illinois youth season in the books the week prior, it was time to head back to the place I grew up and love so dearly, “The Land of Lincoln”, west central Illinois!

This trip was going to special for me as this would be the first time I had hunted this property for birds. I normally reserve this farm for deer hunting but decided to give it a try as there were several gobblers calling the farm home. I would be hunting with friend Chris Ogle in the hopes of pulling of a double as we only had three days to get it done. Just coming off a successful mission at Ft Knox Kentucky, where I filmed Chris harvest a bird we felt very good about the season opener in Illinois. The first morning found us set up in a blind in a lush new growth grass field made so by a recent burn just weeks before.

Dawn broke as we saw the birds roosted on the edge of the timber along the opposite side of the field. It wasn’t long before the birds pitched out and made their way across the creek and into our field…Jakes, five of them…and one was a Super Jake whom thought he was a mature gobbler and if it wasn’t for the obvious reasons you would think he was one as well. I let them get into the decoys put on a show and then move off. I must admit that I thought about taking his head off but wanted to wait for a full blown mature bird.

Time passed with no gobbling and it seamed that I was going to be tested again as the Jakes moved back into view mere feet outside the blind. Well…tempt me once shame on me …tempt me twice shame on you! The Super Jake was now going to get a fatal lesson that would leave his head spinning, so I pulled back the PSE Omen, settled the pin and with surgical precision, off came his head.

Mission complete!
Until next time… waiting for helicopter extraction and follow-on orders.