Grandma is a Turkey Hunter

Posted by  Friday, April 18 2014 9:18 am
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Pictured: Melanie Swearingen of NWTF (front left), Hilary Dyer of Grandview Media (front right), freelance writer and photographer Lisa Densmore (middle left), author K.J. Houtman (back left) and director of communications for Bass Pro Shops Tamm Sapp (back right)New to turkey hunting, this Grandma had all sorts of firsts while hunting during the opening of turkey season in Kentucky. I’m happy to say I killed what the guides from Whitetail Creek Outfitters called a “MacDaddy.” Our hosts, Butch and Connie McElwan, offered incredible facilities for a great hunt in Cadiz, Kentucky, and their hospitality was top drawer, too.

I ramped up with some new gear, most from the SHE Outdoor Performance line and RedHead. I could tell you all day long that I needed gloves for concealment, with grippers for handling of calls and shotgun, but the best part was the little fingertip pads worked on my iPhone screen. Awesome! I could check a text message without having to take my gloves off or use the tip of my nose, which for turkey hunting would be way too much movement. Before you jump to the conclusion that the only purpose of my iPhone was perusing pictures of my adorable granddaughter, our group used text messages to stay in touch, letting each other know if someone had success, or to communicate movement from one area to another. The phone became a needed tool. I’ll admit there was a bit of sadness using cell phones while in the field; hunting time is probably best when one can stay “in the moment.”

My new waterproof boots, RedHead Bone-Dry 13’ Bayou Zip Waterproof Snake Boots for ladies allowed me to tuck in the cuffs, and eased this first-timers’ fears about rattlers under every tree root or copperheads coiled in the corner of the blind. With an under-layer tucked deep inside, they zipped up nice and snug to keep the ticks out.

The Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Federation hosted a group of ladies at Whitetail Creek Outfitters in Cadiz, Kentucky. Pictured: Melanie Swearingen of NWTF (front left), Hilary Dyer of Grandview Media (front right), freelance writer and photographer Lisa Densmore (middle left), author K.J. Houtman (back left) and director of communications for Bass Pro Shops Tammy Sapp (back right).

Our group of ladies (yes, this was a group of ladies in turkey camp) were styling as well as functional and comfortable. That’s what we want. All the right pockets in all the right places for our gear, a good fit with materials that do the job (wicking, warmth, stay dry, etc.) and most importantly, a chance to look good when it is time for a photo op with our longbeard or while relaxing before dinner on the porch with friends.

K1inside
K.J. Houtman and her MacDaddy Gobbler. Image by Lisa Densmore.

I took this 23 pound gobbler with my Beretta Silver Pigeon 20-gauge at 25 yards with Federal Premium 3” 1 ½ oz 7 shot high velocity heavyweight turkey loads. He was a double-bearded Eastern (10 ½” and 7 ¼”) with 1 ¼” and 1 ½” spurs. Chris Pyle of Crofton, Kentucky was my excellent guide. But more than the statistics will ever say, Grandma had a really good time and met some fantastic people at camp – some of the gals very seasoned turkey hunters. Now I have a new passion to add to my others, and I look forward to taking my granddaughter, Charlie, to hunt gobblers one day. Her first birthday is still a few months away, but I’m adding “turkey hunting” to my list of things to do together one day.

Contributed by By K.J. Houtman, author of the award-winning Fish On Kids Books series, chapter books for eight- to 12-year-olds with adventures based around fishing, camping, and hunting.

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Last modified on Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:23 pm
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Pros4-1Source is a select group of OutdoorsFIRST Media's staff of writers and vidographers skilled in hunting and fishing based in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. These talented professionals publish news of the day and live coverage of events in the freshwater sportfishing, hunting , and marine industries.

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