By Leah Cruea


April 21, 2021. Opening morning for turkey season here in Indiana, and it snowed. Yes, an inch of snow on the ground in the middle of April. If nothing else says welcome to Indiana, that sure does! So out my boyfriend and I go, dressed in our winter deer hunting gear, hoping to get my very first turkey. Much to my dismay, we didn’t see anything that morning. Turns out, the turkeys were just as annoyed with good old Indiana weather as I was. By afternoon the snow had melted and the turkeys were starting to gobble. I was like a kid in a candy store with renewed hope that April 21 would still be my day. It wasn’t.

So out we go again, second morning of turkey spring season no snow on the ground this time. The turkeys are going crazy before the sun even rises. I am beside myself, trying not to get too excited, at that point I just wanted to see one. 8:30 rolls around and we hear a bird. Close. My boyfriend says, “get ready Leah” it’s a bearded bird, but I still can’t see it. Then I do, three jakes running towards our Tom decoy, they’re so close I couldn’t shoot one if I tried. Finally
after what seemed like hours, I got my chance. They separated just enough for me to get a clear shot on one. So I breathed, aimed and pulled the trigger. I missed. The birds startled but didn’t know what happened. My boyfriend reminded me that I could indeed shoot again, the birds were still there after all. So here I go again, breathe, aim, squeeze the trigger. BANG! Down he goes. I ran out of the blind chasing the two that were with him before they beat him up too bad. I was so proud, even if I did miss the first time. I’m checking him out and suddenly we hear
another gobble. The birds are still on the move towards us. Back in the blind we go. My bird still flopping and all.

Another fifteen minutes go by and they’re still just slowly making their way to us. Then we see him. A long beard creating the hill, making his way right to our Tom decoy yet again. So Denver gets ready. Waits and watches him as he makes his way to us. He gets within 30 yards and BANG! Down he goes! We’re both tagged out in our home state on the second morning of spring turkey season.