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April 17: Ashley Payne

Opening day of spring turkey season is one of the highlights of my whole year, I love it. This hunt that I was lucky enough to experience this year was one of the greatest adrenaline rushes in my life. As I set against a tree watching for those bright red heads to pop over the hill, mom silently whispers that she sees the turkeys. By this time my heart is pounding because they are still out of my view but I can hear them and know they are there. With the sun peaking through the trees, a beam of light hits those red heads and my heart goes into overdrive. I slip my gun up as the turkeys are running towards the decoy and slowly ease my safety off as Bocephus is getting pounded, put the crosshairs on the head of my prize and SMOKED HIM!

My first thought was oh my gosh I shot Bocephus but to the left of the decoys laid what I got up at 4:30 in the morning for and what I had been waiting on all winter, my long beard. I run over to him pick up his beard in which I had shot off but left a couple strands enough to tell it had a 9 inch beard and the spears were decent as well. This was a hunt I will never forget every hunt I cherish not only because of the adrenaline rush I experience from hunting but for the time I get to spend with my family. I am so blessed to be born into a family of hunters and would have it no other way. I think my dad so much for teaching me everything I know about the sport I love. I am definitely hooked for life and so blessed to have the ones I love to share my memories of hunting with forever.

Ashley Payne