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April 3: Specialist Brian Brennan

As told by Sergeant Major (retired) Glen Simpson

SITUATION:
04 April 2009, North Central Kentucky, winds calm, 40 degrees and the turkeys gobblin

MISSION: Seek-out and harvest the elusive gobbler, without being detected and without mission failure!

EXECUTION: Here it is spring time again in “The Bluegrass State”; the trees are budding out, the wild flowers blooming, mushrooms growing, and best of all the gobblers hammering it!

With Ken still in Iraq, Chris Ogle and I are still together for what we think is going to be an awesome turkey season. We decided early on to dedicate the two early weekends that Fort Knox opens and the first weekend of the state opener to new hunters that haven’t experienced the thrill of hunting turkeys.

The first to get the opportunity was Chris’s fellow Military Police Game Warden, Specialist Brian Brennan. With areas on Fort Knox being limited due to training, Brian was fortunate enough to draw a pretty decent area. So the tactical planning began for the next days hunt.
The next morning found us eagerly waiting for the woods to begin waking up as the sun made its appearance in the east. It’s this time of the year that draws each of us to the woods and keeps us coming back year after year…opening day…and the first gobble of the season and there he was!

This gobbler must have wanted to be a movie star since he was in the egg as he gobbled non-stop from his perch letting us vector to within 200 yards of his position. We dare not attempt to get any closer as the woods are pretty open this early in the year. This is as far as we needed to get on this bird so we quickly set decoys and established our ambush position as Chris started giving him soft tree yelps and the gobbler cutting him off each time…he was HOT!

It didn’t take long as the bird’s vocal sounds let us know that he was on the ground and coming quick. The gobbler made his grand appearance within minutes only to have a camera tripod malfunction at the prime moment…are you kidding me? Couple the tripod problems with an excited and nervous camera operator, ME, and it makes for a shaky operation. I finally pulled it together as the gobbler made his way into our decoy setup. The green light was given, the safety clicked and the pellets flew. One new hunter with one great bird and a day that he will always remember. Priceless!

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

P.S. As always, let’s all keep our Soldiers and their families in our hearts and prayers and especially our fellow Drury Outdoors team member and my best friend, Command Sergeant Major Ken Barteau and his Soldiers. God Speed!