Every once in a while an event occurs and you know in your heart that this is what you’re supposed to do on this earth.
In the fall of 2012, I was asked by a local NWTF chapter in Rogersville, Mo., to be a part of the Rogersville Strutters Disabled Youth Turkey Hunt. After a few months of planning with the folks from the Rogersville NWTF, and Hunters Specialties, I was all set to take a boy by the name of Owen Baird (who suffers from autism) on his first turkey hunt.
During the spring of 2013, Owen and I spent a total of 15 hours in a blind in while trying to get Owen his bird. Even though we got close several times, we weren’t able to harvest a bird that year.
In the spring of 2014, however, I was able to return along with young Owen. This time we were only in the blind about 30 minutes when a big tom came across a creek, then strutted right to my decoys Owen finally was able to take his first gobbler.
Some of you may remember these two hunts from Cuttin and Struttin’ 18 and 19. We made some unforgettable memories those two years. I still talk to Owen from time to time, and I know that I have truly made a friend for life.
During the fall of 2014, I received a call from the Rogersville Strutters wanting me to come back again for the 2015 spring season, and this time we raised the bar. I didn’t really know what to expect when Cody Wilson from the Rogersville Strutters explained to me that he wanted me to take a boy named Nathan Deeds, who is blind, on his first turkey hunt.
I quickly agreed to the hunt, then I thought to myself, “How are we going to pull this off?” With the help of a lot of great volunteers as well as many prayers, the spring of 2015 was on the horizon and it was time to get Nathan his first turkey.