By Heather Iverson

For my story i am going to go back to my first turkey, i was 12 years old and my dad took me out. My parents had told me if i kept my grades up that i could take a day off of school to hunt. So i kept up my end of the deal and they kept theirs.  

Turkey season came and we stayed at a family friend’s cabin. The night before we had planned to hunt we went out on the deck and gave a few owl hoots to hear where they were roosting.  They gobbled back and my heart was pounding!  I remember laying in the bunk bed telling myself to go to sleep, but i was so excited i barely slept. 

We got up about 45 minutes before dawn and snuck out to our spot. My dad had me sit up against a tree and rest my gun on my knee, told me when they got close enough he would whisper to me when to take the safety off on my gun and shoot. He reminded me to aim at the turkey’s head and slowly squeeze the trigger if/when the time came. So we sat and waited for the sun to come up. 

As day started to break we heard the turkeys in the trees waking up from their roost.  A few minutes later we could hear their heavy wing beats as they flew down from the trees.  My dad called to them and they gobbled back in the distance. A couple minutes later he gave another yelp and they gobbled back, closer this time. So we waited. 

All of a sudden out of the gulley pops one turkey head coming up the hill. Then another, and another…6 jakes total coming in.  My dad gives a yelp and a little purr and all at once they gobble. 

My adrenaline is rushing and my heart is pounding. I can feel my heartbeat in my fingertips. They keep coming closer, gobble again, i can feel the excitement and the rattle of their gobbles in my chest. 

My dad whispers to me that i can shoot when i’m ready. So i pick the one i want, click my safety off, and started squeezing the trigger.  I was shaking so bad from how much the adrenaline was pumping that i had to ease up and take some deep breaths.  

After somewhat gaining my composure, i refocused my aim and squeezed…down he went!  

It was still early in the day, school hadn’t even started yet…but we were 2 hours north so my dad didn’t make me go. However, i really wanted to show my friends. So we called the school and they gave the ok to come. My entire 6th grade class came out to see my turkey! 

It may have been a jake and not a trophy in some people’s eyes but it was a vivid memory i’ll never forget and i was and still am so happy to have these memories with my dad. Jake or tom, it didn’t matter to me it was the entire experience that mattered.