Opening Day is upon us finally! I have been looking more and more forward to the opening day of Missouri's turkey season as the years have gone by.

When I was growing up dad and I used to go out all the time and whether we killed one or not we always made great memories in the field. Turkey season more so then deer season will always have a special place in my heart. We had so much fun chasing turkeys with Mark and our dear friends Billy Karl and Uncle Marvin...those memories will never leave me.

Well, time has gone by and here we are making new memories! I was anticipating this turkey season as much as any. With nightly text messages coming in from Coon Dog in the days leading up to my arrival, I was getting more and more excited. We have started a new tradition and for the last two years Coon Dog gets special shirts made up just for us guys in camp! It is always a highlight of the season.

We drew cards the night before the season opened to see who would be hunting with whom. Long time friend of the family and turkey hunting/predator hunting ledgend Tad Brown was in camp as well as Chris Comstock, Aaron Bennett and Chad Kilmer (not to mention Mark & Terry). Mark and I drew the lucky aces and were teamed up with each other for another year. We always seem to do well when we go out together for turkey season.

It was a short night I promise you, but when 4:30 hit we were up and at 'em and ready to bust a bird. We headed to the same spot where I killed one last year on opening day and set up a ground blind and the King Strut and new Shady Lady decoys by Flambeau and it didn't take long.

We had honed in on a gobbler that was vocally chattin' it up on his own and as soon as he flew down we could hear him spittin' and drumin' down in this little dip. We couldn't see him, but we knew it was all but over. We sat there for probably 10 minutes or so and all of the sudden Mark tapped me and said two more longbeards were coming in from our left! They didn't gobble at all and they were on a dead run to the decoys. Mark thought they were probably headed towards the other longbeard as well though because there was a hen that we could hear with him.

The unlucky gobbler to the left got the new Federal ammo to the head and he dropped in his tracks! It couldn't have been but 6:15 am or so when I shot him.

The bird had a 11" beard and 1 1/4" spurs....he wieghed 23lbs.  Not too shabby!   

Another opening day and another bird on the ground....does it get any better?! I think not :)


-Matthew W. Drury