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March 31: Ashley Playle

Ashley Playle's Turkey 2012
as told by John Williams



It took my grandaughter Ashley awhile to get started hunting, but I knew if I was patient it would all work out. Ashley harvested her second 25 lb gobbler in as many years during the 2012 Missouri youth turkey season. Zach had hunted with us the first morning but we just weren't in the right place. We all went to watch Zach play baseball the first afternoon so scratch day one. The second day found Ashley and I in an area I call “Turkey Point”. Zach had to work, so it was just the two of us. In all my years of hunting these magnificent birds, this is one of my favorite spots. We had a perfect set-up. The birds were gobbling just 70 yards from our set-up while I was putting out the King Strut and the Shady Ladies. They gobbled hard for about 30 minutes and then shut it off. I called real easy to them for about an hour. Nothing happened, not another gobble; the woods went silent. I saw Ashley nodding off, so I told her to relax and I would wake her if necessary. I was about asleep too when out of the corner of my eye I noticed two gobblers. They had come to my calling without making a sound. They were in the decoys before I knew it. I woke Ashley, got the cameras on, but we didn't have a shot. They got out of view and then just stood there. Ashley's bird never stopped strutting. I had the cameras running! I started calling and after a few munutes, both birds came back into the decoys. This time we were ready. Ashley shot the big gobbler at 18 yards! What a morning! Spending time with my grandaughter and watching a huge Longbeard die. It doesn't get any better than this.

Safe Hunting!

John