Sunday, April 08, 2007

Turkey For Easter?!?!

We've just arrived home from the long 6+ hour trek from Goliad, TX. We've unpacked the car and the camper and are now winding down from a long day and an incredible holiday weekend. Not only did we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior today with family, but we also enjoyed His wonderful creation all weekend.

People who live in the country in Texas, and I'd imagine everywhere, seem to enjoy the wonderful outdoors and nature that goes along with it. We've experienced that to the hilt this weekend with Angie's cousin's in south Texas. Although one of the main goals of our trip was the turkey hunt, we enjoyed the company of Angie's cousins so much. They are so hospitable and friendly, it felt like we were at home. It was wonderful spending time with the kids outdoors, as well. We hope to do that more now that we have the camper.

Angie's cousins work and live at the South Texas Children's Home* in Goliad. They have access to the immense land that the home owns (700 acres that we hiked on Saturday), and their own 25 acres near by. They are also avid hunters and we went down there with the plan to hunt some wild turkey and hogs.
I'll skip right to the turkey hunt, since that was really the highlight. We walked to Steve's spot and he called using his turkey call. He didn't see any and was a bit pessimistic about our chances in that location. He told us that we were going to go to a different spot, so we all started using our turkey calls. We were just messing around really, as we had given up on that location when Steve's son, Trent, hushed us up pretty quick. Two toms had walked out from the woods into the field in front of us. We were so unprepared, but were unable to move. Dylan didn't even have his face mask on yet. We stood frozen for what felt like an eternity. My gun got heavier and heavier, but we watched as these two turkeys walk from right to left in front of us about 100-150 yards out.

At one point, their field of vision was blocked as a couple of palms were in their way. Steve instructed us to drop to the ground and sit when it was safe. Dylan put his mask on and I flicked off the safety of my shotgun. The turkeys continued to walk to our left, but now that Steve was in a position to do so, he called like a madman, and that man can call a turkey. The second he started scratching, the turkeys turned right for us. Now they are walking right to us from about 75 yards out. He called whenever it looked like they were losing interest and they continued to come in. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. The were shooting their tail feathers in the fan that they do trying to impress the hen that they thought Steve was and kept walking towards us. They came within 10-15 yards or so and Steve whispered to Dylan and I to shoot whenever we were ready. Dylan was to take the one on the left and me the one on the right.

As they moved into range, my heart beat faster and faster. I tried to control my breathing to steady my aim and raised my gun. Dylan shot first and his bird fell straight away. Mine had attempted to fly away at the sound of Dylan's gun, but it was too late - I had it lined up and hit it out of the air (it had gotten to about 5 feet).

We had our turkeys and it was the most incredible experience. Dylan scored a tom with a 10 inch beard and 1.5 inch spurs (probably close to 30 pounds). Mine had a 9 inch beard and 1 inch spurs - another great bird.

We returned home and the ladies couldn't believe we got them so fast. All I know is that as they were walking in that field, time seemed to stop. We skinned and cleaned the birds and placed them in the cooler on ice. We decided to eat mine for dinner the next evening and had chicken fried turkey. It tasted like....well, turkey. It was delicious.
We truly had an amazing weekend with family. Whether hunting or not, we are already planning our next trip with the camper.
* The South Texas Children's Home helps children and families in need. It is staffed by very special individuals and the kids their could use any help that we can provide. To learn more about the home, or to make a donation, please visit the website by clicking here.

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