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Youth Turkey Hunt

Thump, thump. My heart beats like a drum as I heard the first gobbler of the morning call out for all to hear in the thick woods of Northeast Missouri. Itís the 1st day of the 2006 Missouri Spring Youth turkey season. Every year Missouri lets the kids hunt for 2 days before the regular season opens. Iíd never killed a turkey before nor have I even hunted turkey. I never thought it would turn out so great. My name is Clint Bradley. I am fourteen years old. My dad owns IMB Outfitters and Iíve been trying to learn all I can about the business and hunting. Dad and I donít get to hunt much because we are always taking care of the hunters but during the Youth Turkey Season no adults get to hunt so we donít have clients and had time to go hunting.

About two weeks before the Missouri Turkey Season my dad told me that we were gonna go. I couldnít wait. The night before the hunt was the most intense part of the wait as usual. I got my backpack all set up and couldnít even hardly sleep.

When morning came we ate some poptarts and got in the truck to go to the farm. Once we got to the property we threw on our packs and walked for a while. I kept tripping and making a lot of noise walking. My dad kept on saying ďpick up your feet so they donít hear us.Ē Then we finally got to the blind after our long walk. We set everything up and made sure I could make the shot when the time came.

Once the sun started to come up the birds started yelling everywhere. I bet we counted more than 15 different gobblers around us. They began flying right over our blind into the field 30-40 yards in front of us. There were over 10 different gobblers right out in front of us. It was incredible. Out of excitement I rushed my first shot on the biggest of the bunch 40 yards away. I missed, but then I got a 2nd shot. Boom! I missed again. Then 5 minutes later two big gobblers came over a ridge with another hen about 120 yards away. Soon though I saw a bird in a ditch in to the left of us that appeared to be down. It was right where I had took my second shot earlier. We ran out to the trophy gobbler and I finished him off.

We high fived each other and hugged and yelled in the field. I did it. I put down my first trophy tom. Dad made me carry the big bird back to the truck where we took pictures and then we took him to the taxidermist. It was an awesome hunt. I canít wait until next year.

Clint Bradley

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