Apologies again for missing the Giveaway last week. Between waiting for pages to load then repeatedly getting kicked off-line, it took 1 1/2 hours for me to just squeak out that little distress post. But now I'm back in NY and all's well. 

_ I’m psyched to start sharing some of these field reports you’ve been sending in, and I’ll begin with the most recent from our own Paula Smith of Hop Bottom, Pa., who’s “pleased as heck” about a tom she bagged last week. As well she should be — from what you’ll read, this is a well-earned bird! So congrats to Paula, and also good luck, considering she’s currently working on filling a buck tag! -K.H._ _

As you know hunting is relatively new to me, this being my second year. Last fall turkey season, I shot at and missed a flock of 16 or more. My friends (who are terrific) have been teasing me relentlessly since then. My email box is full of pictures of turkeys at the spot where I missed, jokes about them catching them and putting them in the stall so I could get a better shot etc.

 One thing about me is that I am determined, and once I screw up I work hard at correcting what I am doing wrong. I shot this turkey the last morning of fall turkey season at my friend's horse farm in Kingsley, Pa.    
 I saw the birds coming up out of the back woods the morning before but just could not get any in shot range. There were a lot of them -- 20 to 30. So the next morning I changed my location and almost didn't get a shot because the horses decided to stand in front of me, staring at me. I sat there swearing at the horses and shaking a stick at them telling them to get the @*%#& out of the way, frustrated as heck because I could hear the turkeys getting closer. Finally I started to get up to move because there was no way to shoot with the horses in front of me, which startled the horses and then they moved. About 5 minutes later the first group came up out of the woods and I just picked the biggest one I saw, aimed and fired (I don't think the horses will hang around when they see me anymore :) 

 I was hunting alone but I drove him around in the back of my truck and went to all my friends' homes to show them my harvest. I had dinner plans for Thanksgiving but I did cook the breast for day-after turkey sandwiches and have a freezer full of turkey soup made from the rest of him. And of course the tail will be hanging from my wall soon! -P.S.