I go turkey hunting with my Uncle Jim in upstate South Carolina. It's always a treat to go down there for spring break, be with family, and hunt with him. April 2009 was the first time I had to buy a license. I had to pay to play: $175 to be exact. It was about the third week of the season, and the old toms were pretty skittish and weren't answering calls. Luckily my uncle's buddy invited us to go hunt with him on his lease. We got up way before dark, set up in a pine clearing with a few decoys, and waited for first light. Uncle Jim made tow calls to this bird before he was in our lap! I flipped the red dot on, the safety off, aimed right where the feathers met that bright red skin, and pulled the trigger. That 3 1/2-inch No. 4 Federal Supreme in the Mossberg 835 I was shooting dropped him right there--along with putting a hard mule kick on my shoulder. My first bird was an unforgettable one, and Uncle Jim made sure I won't ever forget it by cutting out a piece of wood shaped like the state of South Carolina and engraving on it:
And he mounted the fan and beard. He gave it to me for Christmas this past year after my father passed away. My uncle being there for me has meant a lot to me, and that's what hunting is about: family, friends, and making memories that last a lifetime. I've been hooked on hunting ever since.