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One 'Good' Turkey

Photo: (From left) Sherri Good, her son, Scott Lamb, and grandson, Dawson Lamb, are all smiles after Sherri harvested her first turkey.
By Sherri Good

-- This is the story of my first hunting experience and how I got there. In the fall of 2006, my dad gave me his 20-gauge shotgun after I completed a hunter safety course.

After shooting targets for a few months, I announced to my dad and brothers that I was going to shoot a turkey with this shotgun. My brothers looked at me with doubtful grins that said, "Yea Right!"

So early on a Saturday morning in April, my son, Scott, and I headed off to one of his favorite hunting spots. It was really cool listening to the woods wake up as the sun rose. Hearing the sounds of the turkeys leaving the roost reminded me of small helicopters.

After sitting patiently, waiting for the birds to come into sight, Scott leaned toward me and said he was going to walk down the field to take a look. Quietly, giving me direction as he left, Scott said, "Mom, sit still and be ready. If a bird comes out make sure it has a beard before you shoot."

Of course I wasn't paying attention. I heard a noise across the field, and I was trying to decide what it could be. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw two hens walking slowly out of the woods.

The turkeys began to cross the field and behind the hens was a huge tom. Its beard was so long it looked as though the bird could have stepped on it. I wasn't ready to shoot and my heart was pounding so loud I could barely hear. I did not get a shot. 

Behind this group of birds came another, and in the second group, there was another big male. This time I was ready and had a clear shot. I pulled the trigger, and the big bird dropped.

After my loud squeal of excitement, I walked out into the field to take a look. Scott came running up and said he had been watching from the top of a hill and wondered if I was going to shoot. He examined the bird and said, "Nice bird, Mom!"

Heck, at that time I didn't know what a nice bird was. I just kept thinking of the first bird that got away. I thought maybe I was being greedy going after the bigger bird, but Scott reassured me it wasn't greed, it just meant that I was now hooked on hunting. The tom I shot weighed in at 21 pounds and had a 10 1/4-inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs.

Sherri Good
Paulding, Ohio

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