It was April 25, 2010 and my best friend Bryan Cline linked me up with somebody new to hunt with. Bryan lives in Nebraska and I live in Indiana and I can’t drive. Mitch Strobl, from www.HuntingLife.com was coming down to take me Turkey hunting and he was also going to video my hunt, I was extremely excited! Due to my accident at work years ago, I am disabled and can’t drive. I had an 8,000 lb limestone rock fall on me and I have suffered some brain damage. It has now been 4yrs since my accident and I try to get out and hunt every chance that I can. Now all I had to do was find some place to go hunting. After spending 2 days on the phone I came up with 2 farms to hunt. All there was to do now was wait on Mitch to get here so we could give it a try.
It was now April 30 and Mitch showed up at my hose around 5 pm. My 8 year old son, Garrett, wanted to go with us. After spraying him down with Off and getting him dressed in my old camo clothes it was time to go hunting! We went down to this farm I’ve hunted on before. I was pumped up to be out hunting. I wanted to go down to this little field that joined up with this big field way down in the bottoms, so we took off walking down this old logging road down the hill. Then we came to this one point were the logging road went up the hill. I knew we wanted to go down hill so we took off walking down hill. It was a thick tangled mess but we finally got there. We set up my 2 decoys and my little ground blind. We found a place to sit down and got every thing ready.
Mitch made a couple calls and we had 3 birds answer it. One bird was on the other side of the road, one was across the big field but one was around 300 to 400 yards off to my left. He waited a few minutes and called again. Again 3 birds answered. The one that was 300 yards sounded closer than the other 2. He leaned over and told me we may have to move in closer to him. I agreed with him and he said “We’ll give him a half hour or so before we move.” He made a couple more calls and one answered again. It was the one out in the field a long ways away. Not the bird we were hoping to hear from.
It was about 20 minutes later and I was thinking we had to move closer to him. Then Mitch leaned over and said “There he is. About 100 yards to your left.” Garrett looked over and seen it before I could. Due to my working accident I can’t see things very far off. “there it is. It’s coming or way. You want me to point it out?” Then I heard Mitch say “Don’t move Garrett, he’s looking our way.” Garrett sat still and for my son to sit still is hard work but he did great at it. I looked hard to see it and I finally seen it. It stopped and seen our decoys and started to run towards us. Mitch said “He’s running in.” He ran to about 50 yards and then stopped. I was wondering then would he close the distance or be hung up at 50 yards. Then he started strutting towards us. I was so happy. All I needed was for him to turn so I could get my gun moved over on it. He finally got to 30 yards. The only bad thing was he was still facing us so I still couldn’t move my gun. Then finally he turned enough I could move my gun. I moved it as quick as I could to get on him. He turned back towards us and I said “I’m gonna shot.” I could of waited but I didn’t want to take the risk of him seeing us. We were just sitting by a tree no bigger than a foot wide. I was just about ready to pull the trigger when he moved away from us again. I waited till he moved back towards us and I could see his whole head. Then I pulled the trigger. He fell over to the ground. I couldn’t believe it I had just shot a turkey.
After sitting there for awhile thanking God for giving me the chance to do it I heard Mitch say “ Lets go get your bird!” After we went out and got the big bird it was time to walk back through the thick brush and up the hill. That didn’t bug me because I had just killed my biggest bird. I couldn’t see this hunt getting any better. For me to have killed this big turkey with my boy Garrett with me means the world to me. It couldn’t get any more perfect in my eyes.
After checking it in we were back at my house. We ate some supper then went out to take care of the turkey. My son, Garrett, was looking at the turkey when he said “It has more than 1 beard!” I jumped back and said “Really?” It had a total of 4 beards! The beards measured 11in, 5in, 3 3/4in, 2 1/8in, with a combined length of over 21 inches. It weighed 25 lbs and about 1 inch long spurs. I couldn’t believe God made me so lucky. Here it was 4 years after my accident and my turkey had 4 beards. All I could think is what a coincidence!
Once again I’d like to thank God and Mitch for giving me a chance and for taking me hunting. Just remember through the grace of God it don’t matter if your disabled because you to can still go out and do what you love to do.