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March 18: Specialist Thomas Cooper

I was so excited to be able to get into the woods and start my 2012 spring turkey season 2 weeks early here in Tennessee. The Milan Army Ammunition Arsenal had opened its doors to an Wounded Warriors H.O.O.A.H event. This is the third year that Drury Outdoors and myself have been apart of the program.

After arriving we had to attend a safety and regulations class before we where able to take part in the hunt. At that meeting we where paired up with our hunter, my hunter was Specialists Thomas Cooper from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. We
were assigned our area and off to do some scouting ! After we looked around and saw some sign we had a game plan for the morning.

I met up with Thomas at the barracks for a biscuit and we where off. We got set up and was waiting on daylight to break when the gobbling action began! We worked 2 gobbling birds to within 80 yards of us but no shots. As always some hens got in between us and that was it. We broke for lunch and back to the timber we went. We struck a couple more birds around 2:30. We started calling to them and you could tell they were in their strut zone and where not coming out.
So we went to them! As we where slowly working our way to them Thomas was spotted and the game was over.

The next morning we had a game plan to set up a blind in the gap between two fields put out the King Strut and the Shady Lady decoys and call and wait. After we got set up and daylight was coming the gobbling action was on! About 8
different birds where sounding off ! After they flew down they were responding to the calling and we could tell they where coming! I told Thomas get your gun up! As the birds where coming in they were gobbling every few minutes it was getting intense! Suddenly to the right there they were, three long beards coming in to the King Strut! What a sight. As they worked there way into the field I told Thomas to keep his eye on the stutter that is the one we want! As they came into the decoys Thomas had to wait for it to separate from the other birds and clear the decoys. As soon as he did Thomas put him on the ground!

It was great to see Thomas reaction and smile! The H.O.O.A.H program really works and for Drury Outdoors and myself we are proud to be apart of this program and we are proud to give back to the men and women who have sacrificed and gave their all for us so we can live a free life and get to enjoy all we here in America get to enjoy! For that we Salute you all!!