April 2: Franky "Bub" Nation

As told by his uncle, Sergeant Major (ret) Glen Simpson

  3 April 2009, Illinois, Cloudy, SSW winds at 6 M.P.H, 60 degrees

MISSION:  Seek-out and harvest an early season Longbeard during the Illinois Youth weekend, without being detected and without mission failure!

EXECUTION:  With Dream Season Celebrity in the books it was finally time to focus my efforts towards those birds we all love to chase, “The Kings of the spring”, the wild turkey.

While burning off native grasses in Illinois mid-March, I heard several gobblers on the ridge above. I had to stop for a moment to listen and reflect back on the first time I harvested one of those beautiful birds, when it hit me! Why not pull off another first and try to get my Nephews son “Bub” his first turkey? So the mission was set and the plans were made for the Illinois youth season the 1st weekend in April.

Arriving in Illinois, the plan was to roost the birds and set the blind for the next morning mission; however, after getting the truck stuck in the bottoms and having to get pulled out by tractor and then the monsoon rain hitting, those plans were mute! So going in with no MRI (most recent information) was going to have to be the battle plan for the next morning. This is where knowing your property and what the birds will most likely do pays off. 

We opted to set up the ambush on the now lush new growth green field provided by the burn off in March.  The birds being rained on all night would eventually want to hit the open area to dry off and pick at the insects that are abundant do to the rain. Boy, did it pay off!

Birds were gobbling all around us and it was only a question of which one was going to get there first. It wasn’t long before three longbeards made their way down the ridge and through the fence just as Mother Nature let loose the rain again but this didn’t detour the birds from wanting to smack Old King Strut. The green light was given and the safety taken off and the rest in what you say, History!

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