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After my success last weekend in Illinois, I was excited to go to our Missouri farm for my last youth season ever. I’ve been hunting the deer and turkey youth seasons since I was 8 years old and always looked forward to them every year. It has always been the weekends that I went out and enjoyed the outdoors with my dad and spent quality time with him. Plus, it was those few weekends a year I always hunted knowing it was just for the youths to hunt. I’ll definitely miss getting to hunt youth season because I had pretty good luck. This turkey was a great way to end those weekends!

Dad and I had gotten to the farm a little late Friday night so we were unable to roost which made it my first turkey hunt going in totally blind. Saturday morning, right at daybreak, we set up on the ground at the field I killed my bird last year and the birds were gobbling like crazy. After dad’s calling, here came a strutter right at us headed straight for the King Strut decoy. Unfortunately, my arm was getting tired from holding the gun up and I had to let it down and the bird saw me. He stayed in the same place at about 35 yards and I couldn’t risk the shot.

Later in the morning, we drove the HuntVe around the farm and spotted a bird in full strut in the distance so we parked and stalked up on him. Sadly, we got a little too close and him and a Jake saw us and flew away. We were not having the best of luck so far with the birds spotting us!

When dad came back from getting the parked HuntVe I let him know there was a bird gobbling continuously in the direction the 2 birds had flown when they saw us. So, we headed in there direction and as dad was calling he responded every time. We sat up at a cedar tree and placed the King Strut decoy out and then patiently waited. Within minutes the bird was headed toward us at 15 yards drumming and in full strut. As he came towards the decoy, I raised my gun up to get ready and he saw me, once again! He ran past us and was headed toward the cedars to leave and after dad called abruptly to slow him down I made the shot at about 20 yards with my Thompson Center 20 gauge!

This was my best turkey ever: 1 ½” spurs, 10 1/2” beard, and 27lbs! What an awesome weekend, and an awesome way to end my youth season hunting :)

Taylor