Becky Jacobs with her trophy bird
Finally, my first turkey
After years trying, this NWTF member
tags an osceola
After years of reading about turkey hunting, watching turkey hunting on TV and joining the NWTF, I received an invitation to hunt private land in DeSoto County, Fla., with good friend Ron Gulau.
Ron brought everything we needed, including a gun, as I only have a 20-gauge Benelli shotgun, used for upland hunting. It did not take long before we could hear the turkeys on the roost as Ron called to them from the blind.
As the first rays of sunlight fell we could make out one male in a cypress tree not far from us. The hens sounded like a turkey orchestra. Turkeys landed all around us. It was an amazing sight. Soon a good-looking bird responded to Ron’s calls and started working his way toward the blind.
My mouth went dry and I was barely breathing in anticipation as the gobbler approached. He started behind the trunk of a large, moss covered oak tree and I brought the gun up. At the last minute, Ron identified the bird as a jake, so I eased the safety back on and watched him pass by in hopes of a mature bird coming by. It didn’t happen.
Ron took me back two weeks later. Again we heard gobblers and hens in the trees. Two hens flew out and landed just past the blind, followed by two more birds landing closer to the woods, one of which we thought may be the big jake we saw on the first hunt.
The male birds came around our blind, toward the decoys. One of the birds was a gobbler. He strutted around the decoys, closely followed by the younger bird. With my gun in position I waited for the two to separate so I could get off a good shot. Just when I thought I could no longer hold up the gun, they separated and he turned sideways for a perfect shot.
I was so excited to harvest my first Osceola turkey — a beautiful 2-year-old bird with a 6-inch beard. My hands were shaking and I was grinning ear to ear. It was such a thrill and I am grateful to Ron for taking the time to make my dream come true. Hopefully, someday I will be able to return the favor and take someone on his or her first turkey hunt. — Becky Jacobs, North Port, Fla.