Youth Programs

Education


Youth Membership

Youth Membership Cost ------ $25.00
  • 1 year Youth Membership to the Northwest Indiana Chapter of Waterfowl U.S.A.
  • 1 year subscription to American Waterfowler magazine


Waterfowl Hunts


First Hunting Trip Stories

Author: Rebekah Matherly

Hunting really started pumping in my blood when I met Adam. He told me about how he was raised on hunting and fishing. I mentioned to him I wanted to go hunting and he said he’d see about taking me. A couple months later he told me about a youth turkey hunt the President of Waterfowl USA Twin Bridges Chapter was offering for auction at their Wild Game Feast and if my Mom said I could go on the hunt, I could try and win it. I was so excited I didn’t know what to do but jump and scream. I really hoped we could get it.

When the Game Feast came I was very excited because I wanted to win the youth hunt, I knew if we got it I would get to live one of my dreams. When we won the hunt off the auction I ran up to Adam threw my arms around him and hugged him saying “Thank You Thank you Thank you!!!” Then he told me of the conditions to going on the hunt. I had to take Hunter Education classes, go to the firing range to practice with the shotgun and learn proper handling of the firearm.

Finally April 19th came, Adam picked me up from home and we went to his house. The whole time talking about where we were going the next morning and what all we would need. He told me we’d be getting up at 3am!! I wasn’t sure I could do that, but I guess for my turkey I could do it. Once we got to his house he put in a couple Turkey Hunting DVDs to show me how they acted and to help me distinguish between the Jakes/Toms and the Hens. Honestly I just wanted to go to bed so the day would come quicker.

Adam’s Dad woke me up and told me that Adam was asleep on the couch and I should wake him up…. So I jump on him… and scared the bejebies out of him. We got ready and left for the field. We pulled off the side of the road and the President of Twin Bridges Chapter told us we were going to walk along side a ditch up to a mound of dirt at the other end of the field. We walked by star light until we made it to the mound. I helped set up the blind and get the chairs situated while Adam put out the decoys as the President said to. As we settled in I was scared, ready and excited all at the same time. We loaded the shotgun and had it leaned in the corner of the blind. A little while later I heard a turkey gobble for the first time EVER! It was breath taking, he kept gobbling and gobbling and then just stopped. I fell asleep and was woken up with a tap and “Bekah Turkey” once I heard that I wasn’t going back to sleep.

There were three Jakes on the other side of the ditch about 30 yards away and I tried to get the shotgun up in time, but before I knew it they were out of range. Then a big Tom walked out of the brush coming towards us but stopped just out of range. It walked around for about an hour with the Jakes and hens. It was funny watching the Tom chased the Jakes they looked like they were playing “Ring around the rosy”. Adam kept saying that one of the birds was going to mess up and get too close. Eventually the Jakes and Hens left the field but the Tom stayed in the field strutting just out of range for two hours. The Tom made his way into the woods and disappeared. Little later Adam asked if I wanted to go saying we’ve got tomorrow to go. It was getting late and I wanted to take a nap before going with my father that night, so I was ready. The Guide told us we’d switch sides of the creek for the next day and get close to where the Jakes and Hens came out of. We left everything in the field except the shotgun and ammunition.

Adam picked me up after my night with my father and back to his house we went. I fell asleep about 12 am and 3 am came way too quickly. I woke up not feeling too good but nothing was keeping me from getting my turkey. We got out to the field and made the hike to the blind. Adam put out the decoys as I got the shotgun uncased and ready for the days hunt. As we settled in for the days hunt we heard a gobble and we started looking for birds. A Jake came to the edge of the brush line we were in and seeing our Jake Decoy buffed up but quickly deflated and walked away from our set up. Then seven hens slipped through the brush and into the field followed by three Jakes. I started getting my shotgun up and Adam told me I could either harvest one of the Jakes if they got close enough or wait till the Tom came out. Knowing there was no promise of the Tom coming in range decided to take one of the Jakes. Before I knew it the Jakes were 20 yards straight ahead of us. I was aiming through a small window in the corner of the blind and squeezed off my first shot. All three of the Jakes jumped in the air two took to flight and flew off. The one I was trying to harvest ran over to our Jake Decoy and looked back. My second shot puffed him. I was congratulated by Adam and the Guide. Climbing out of the blind I was excited I got my first Turkey and I knew I was living my dream.


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