width=500 The Thunder Chicken My dad and I left the house at 8:30 a.m. to head to the Old Spring Hill Plantation to go on a turkey hunt with Real Tree and the other Generation Wild Pro Staffers. It took about 4 hours to get to the plantation. When we got there we met the guides and had a quick lunch. After we ate lunch we got ready to go on our first evening hunt. We wasted no time getting in the woods. My guide for my hunt was Jeremie Redden, also known as Hardcore. You will understand his nickname by the end of the story. It was about a 45 minute drive to get to the land we were hunting. When we got to land, we quickly started hunting. We walked up a road where Jeremie had been seeing some birds and up a couple of hundred yards from the truck, and Jeremie let out a couple yelps with his box call to locate the birds. Nothing on our first try. We walked another couple hundred yards up the road, and Jeremie let out a couple more yelps. As soon as the last call was made a gobbler lit up not to far from where we were. We rushed and got set up right off the road. The bird kept gobbling but never committed to where we were set up. By this point i was ready to move on the bird, but Jeremie had other plans. We sat there hoping the bird would come in but it never did. Jeremie told me that the bird wouldn’t roost far from where he was gobbling at, and we would come back and kill him tomorrow. So we eased out of the woods and went back to the truck and drove back to the lodge for supper and a very long night. Jeremie told me to be ready at 3:30 a.m., so I didn’t get much sleep to say the least. Jeremie had to beat on the door to wake me up. I opened the door and he said, You ready? Not quiet, I said. I just looked at him and said, Are you serious? It was pouring down rain. I do my best work in nasty weather, he said. I didn’t believe him at first, but my beliefs would change before the day was over. I wanted to get a bite to eat before we went out, but he was already in the truck flashing the lights at me telling me to hurry up. I’m a big boy, and I don’t miss many meals—if any. I was kind of worried about not getting to eat anything before we went to the woods, but when I got in the truck he said were gonna get a hot biscuit at the store before we hunt, so I was relieved to hear that. So we took off headed to the same place we were at the day before. We stopped at the store at 4 in the morning to get a biscuit. (I didn’t think people cooked biscuits at four in the morning!) This is all apart of Jeremie’s morning routine every morning. Jeremie has only missed 3 days in the past 4 years of turkey season. That’s one reason why his nickname is Hardcore. This whole time it’s pouring down rain. I had a biscuit and a full throttle energy drink for breakfast. I was really tired to say the least. We also stopped by his house to get  the newspaper because thats part of the routine, too. We got the the place around 6 or so, and it’s still raining cats and dogs. Jeremie told me to take a nap because we were going to be there a while. He kept watching the radar on his phone so we would know when the weather was going to break enough for us to hunt. After three and a half hours he said let’s go. We got ready and started walking to where the turkeys were gobbling the day before. He said, When this weather breaks, the turkeys will fly down into the open. After trekking through the standing water and mud we made it to where we were the day before. There was a food plot about 50 yards from the road. He said they will be in the food plot after they fly down. After we got set up it didn’t take long for the turkeys to start coming into the food plot. We sat down it was like 7 or 8 minutes before the turkeys came into the field. Five jakes and two hens were first to show up in the field. As soon as they walked into the field Jeremie said, That gobbler is around here some where. He got that out of his mouth and two more hens and three gobblers walked into the field. It was like the turkeys were trained. Only one of the gobblers was strutting, and Jeremie told me to shoot that one when he told me said so. He made a couple of yelps with his mouth call, and they turned like they were on a string. They were in range and he said, Shoot him. I can’t, I said. Why? Because I’ll kill them all, I said. I only had one tag, so I had to let them separate. Once they did, I waited for the turkey to come out of full strut. When he had his head far enough out away from his body i squeezed the trigger. BOOM! Dead Turkey! He flopped around for a little bit, but he was D.R.T. (Dead Right There). It kinda looked like he was drowning for a minute because there was so much water on the ground. Once he stopped moving, Jeremie and I celebrated. Then we went and grabbed the turkey and headed for the truck. This whole time it was thundering, lightining, and pouring rain. But it was worth waking up at 3:30 a.m. It took 6 hours to get ready for the hunt, but the hunt itself only lasted about 15 minutes. I never would of thought killing a turkey during a tornado watch, but it was on of the best hunts I have ever been on. It’s all thanks to my guide, because we were the only ones who got up and hunted that morning. That’s why they call him Hardcore. —Josh