Brady’s first turkey hunt
On April 8th Michelle and I met Brady and his mom at 5am and headed to our Ameristep blind for our southwest Wisconsin learn to hunt program. We were all settled in by 5:40am. By 6am the birds began to gobble on roost and Brady’s face lit up with a smile. After the birds had flow down the gobbling continued and we had one break away from the group and start heading our way. Unfortunately before the bird crested the hill where we could see him a coyote approached and headed right at the gobbler. Everything went quite and our hopes of a chance at this bird diminished. Around 7 am a hen made her way into my new 1/2 strut Avain x and breeder hen set up. Within minutes 3 jakes followed. As they closed the distance Brady got ready. With the birds now at 18 yards and Brady sounding like he just ran a marathon I knew I had my work cut out for me to calm him down. After a few minutes the birds were starting to get nervous but Brady was starting to settle down. As the jakes finally separated enough for a shot Brady squeezed the trigger but missed. The birds scattered so I called to see if I could get the one still in front of us to stop. He did and Brady touched another one off and missed again. I thought I would see disappointment in his eye’s but I didn’t. He just looked at me and said hopefully we get another chance because that was cool. I was just really nervous and excited. We laughed alittle bit and talked about what happened as I tried to coach him on what to do next time. We sat for another 3.5 hours with only a hen coming to the decoy’s. Around noon we headed into our learn to hunt luncheon to see how everyone else had done, talk hunting, teach the hunters how to clean birds. take some photo’s and teach the hunters about the camaraderie of hunting.
After that I asked Brady if he wanted to go back out or wait until the next morning, although I already knew what the answer was going to be. Brady wanted to head right back to the blind. I knew this would be the answer as this young man(10 yrs old) doesn’t know the word’s give up. ( See Brady was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer July 11,2016. He was sent to Dean Clinic in Madison on July 15th to meet Dr. Justin McNamar ENT doctor to do a biopsy on his lymph node on the right side of his neck. They did the biopsy on July 20th, 2016. Came back positive. They then put his Port in to start his 4 cycles of chemo treatments. He started these August 4, 5 and 6. With going through chemo treatments he started physical therapy for neuropathy that his chemo treatments caused in his ankles. Through his chemo treatments he had 3 blood transfusions. PET scans, and pulmonary function tests done. His last chemo treatments were October 11th, 2016. Now he goes back every 3 months for the first two years. He will also be doing follow up’s and test’s for 120 month’s.) Michelle , Brady and I headed of to a different farm for the afternoon hunt. After a long 3 hours of not hearing or seeing a bird we were thinking about calling it a day when Michelle said we had turkey moving right to left about 120 yards out. I put my new Knight and Hale calls to the test and let out some soft yelps and purrs. The strutter of the group rounded the corner to check things out. Once he saw the decoy’s he came a running. This ol tom however was bound to give poor Brady another melt down. This bird instantly went into ufc mode and started trying to beat the plastic feather’s off my decoy. After a 3 plus minute one sided fight Brady regained his composer took a deep breath and touched one off. The bird went down hard and Brady had his first gobbler under his belt. (see the Moultrie trail cam series of images attached. The last images is a one and a million as you can see the bird going down and the spray of bb’s in the background). Congrats to him and his perseverance. The young man has no quit in him. Also watch for his hunt on my youtube channel soon.
Spring turkey hunting is right around the corner. Check out this recent article on Realtree.com by Joe Arterburn featuring some advice from Art.
Art & Michelle Helin have enjoyed the outdoors their entire lives. Here, they share their passion with you.
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