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My senior year Spring break was finally coming around and in my mind there was no better way to kick it off than with a turkey hunt! Dad and I were lucky enough to go down to South Texas to hunt the gorgeous Rio Grande’s with team member John O’Dell at Brushy Hill Ranch. Everyone at the ranch was so nice and fun to be around, the turkey hunting was awesome and we couldn’t have asked for better accommodations to kick off my 2013 turkey season!

Dad and I were very thankful that John and Brushy Hill Ranch guide, Nick Anderson, had been scouting the birds the past couple of nights before we got there and had a few longbeards targeted. For the first morning hunt (yes, I actually got up) we sat in an awesome set up in a Big Game Redemption ground blind and saw great action! After an entertaining morning, unfortunately we did not get the job done but had a couple very close calls. Throughout the day John, Dad and I drove around in the Dream Season HuntVe and went striking for birds… We found out the birds were not talking/responding very much, they already had their girls! After a great first day of hunting in Texas we roosted a few birds, set up our blind for the next morning and finished our night off with a fabulous steak dinner.

Once again, I surprised myself and Dad a little more and got up early for the SECOND morning hunt. The birds we roosted the night before did not exactly read the script we hoped they would read so the three of us changed our action plan to striking throughout the day off the DS HuntVe. Even I called a little bit, you have to start somewhere right? :) After striking for 3-4 hours we finally got on a hot bird, and he was coming fast! John right away put out the King Strut decoy hoping he would read the script. The three of us then immediately set up at bases of trees 15 yards from the decoy with John behind Dad and I filming a second angle and float calling. The bird came right up the road straight to the decoy and put on a great show. I chose to pass him because he was a jake and we knew there were many longbeards surrounding us. The jake ventured off and as John kept float calling another bird in the opposite direction was responding even more than the jake had. Here goes another set up…

After the exciting action/encounter with the jake we all relocated a little up the road, not to mention at this point we are sweating profusely and our adrenaline was high! We got the King Strut set out again and got comfy in our set up and here he came! The longbeard was headed towards the decoy and I made the 30 yard shot with the PSE Smoke Crossbow putting the Rage right in his cage. I can’t even begin to explain the excitement and energy that came from all three of us after I shot. We were MAD at ‘em so it made the kill that much more exciting! My bird ran 60 yards with the arrow stuck in him after making a perfect shot… maybe because we got a little excited, especially John. :)

It was so much fun to have John along with us and our guide, Nick Anderson and John were both so giving and helpful to us the entire weekend. We even got to tour downtown San Antonio with the O’Dell family and spend Easter with them to end our phenomenal trip! Thank you to Brushy Hill Ranch and the O’Dell’s for a great time and an excellent turkey hunting experience. This is definitely a turkey hunt that I will never forget and it was by far the greatest way to kick off my turkey season and spring break of my senior year!

Good luck and stay safe to all the turkey hunters out there! - Taylor