I couldn’t wait for turkey season to be here because I knew my first hunt was going to be at Hadley Creek! For the first time, Illinois was allowing youth, non-residents to hunt the youth portion of their turkey season. After school on Friday we headed to Pike County, Illinois along with Coon Dog which we knew would make our weekend even more fun. That night we got to hangout with Stacey Michelle, and our guide, Jared Hellar, which started the weekend off perfect. We always have the best times at Hadley Creek!

Saturday morning I got up at 4am, shocker right?! I was ready to get out there because the night before Jared promised me I’d have a bird dead by 7am so I knew the hunt would be worth it. We had a nice HuntVe ride in which took us to the two ground blinds we were hunting in. Dad and I were in one, and Coon Dog and Jared were in the other filming the second camera angle. Right at daybreak the birds went crazy. Clear skies, west wind, I knew something good would come out of the hunt and getting up early!

Sure enough, after a 15 minute conversation involving dad and the gobbler he was headed towards our field! The bird came all the way in to our King Strut and Shady Lady decoys and put on a show! After he attacked the Kind Strut for about 6 minutes I made the shot at 15 yards with my Thompson Center .20 gauge. Jared kept his promise because I killed my long beard at 6:56am! It was an amazing hunt, one that I will never forget. Having my dad, Coon Dog, and Jared there made it a great, last Illinois youth hunt!

A special thanks to my awesome guide, Mr. Jared Hellar, and the crew at Hadley creek, especially Stacey and Michelle. I must say, HADLEY CREEK ROCKS :)

Next weekend it's on to Missouri!