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Kyle’s five year quest to kill a mature turkey came to a conclusion on his Illinois farm with the help of a more experience turkey hunting buddy.

Major league baseball players are usually occupied during spring turkey season, so Kyle had been making it a point to hunt with friends who are more seasoned turkey hunters. He knew he had a lot to learn and wasn’t afraid to ask for help.

He also has a stubborn streak, one that made him commit to killing his first tom on his own farm. Kyle wanted a gobbler as a trophy not only for his improving turkey skills, but also for his home.

On this hunt, he and his friend had setup a Muddy blind within listening range of roosted birds. At first light, multiple gobblers started hammering off the roost, then quickly went silent as they flew down. Behind them, 150 yards off, two toms began working their way toward the guys’ setup. Once the birds began nearing the field, they broke loose gobbling.

But they weren’t on a string. Still out of range but now out in front of the blind, the turkeys milled back and forth, unready to commit.

Eventually, the birds looped around from another direction, drawn in by the calling and the Avian-X decoys. Kyle’s heart rate increased as the toms worked closer and closer. It was looking like he would finally get his tom, but he was conflicted. Should he risk it and let the birds come in among the decoys for great footage or take a shot the instant one came into range?

At 25 yards he’d made up his mind to conclude his five year quest. The blast of the shotgun sent a swarm of Winchester XR Long Beard shot at the tom’s neck and head, dropping it instantly. At 6:40 in the morning, his hunt was over.

Kyle used his stubborn streak as motivation to keep after the turkeys on his terms…but he wasn’t so stubborn that he wasn’t willing to learn from others with more experience. The mount of this bird in his home will be a great reminder of his tenacity and teachability.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik