American Hunter - April 2010 - 72

member’shunt

Do you have an exciting, unusual or humorous hunting experience to share?
send your manuscript (800 words or less) to americanhunter@nrahq.org or to American Hunter, Dept. MH, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400. Please include your NRA membership number. Good quality photos are also welcome. Authors will not be paid, and manuscripts and photos will not be returned.

Glad I Went to a Friends Banquet

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By Dan Steiskal, Fridley, Minn.

y turkey-hunting story actually began in the fall, when I attended my local Friends of NRA banquet. I decided to purchase $100 worth of tickets—it turned out to be a great idea, as I won an NRA-edition Benelli Nova shotgun complete with a turkey choke. A month later my girlfriend and I entered the spring turkey drawing for an area that included Lewiston, Minn. Lucky for us, we were drawn to go hunting April 26-30. It would be my girlfriend’s first time hunting the area, but I knew it inside and out. When the day came we excitedly walked onto a farm owned by Wanda and Ted

Olson. Each of us carried a blind, a gun, chairs, snacks and decoys. We were quite a sight. It was cold and very windy, with 25 to 40 mph gusts. I helped my girlfriend get set up, then I proceeded up the hill another 400 yards, set out a hen and a jake decoy and got into my blind. I noted that the camouflage netting on the blind’s small windows needed adjusting. As I was fixing it, I happened to look up and see a tom turkey about 150 yards away strutting on in! I said a little prayer that the gobbler would continue on its course. I tried calling to the bird, but it did not respond; it was so windy that I don’t think the tom could hear me. The gobbler would strut, proudly display its tail feathers, then tuck them in and

proceed a little closer to me. It made it to about 80 yards. I thought I was about to seal the deal when a hen walked between us. No good, I thought. The tom is going to be distracted and follow her. I said another little prayer. To my surprise, the tom just kept coming toward my jake decoy. I took the safety off my 12-gauge and got ready. I let him get to almost 10 yards before I shot. Boom! The 3½-inch magnum load of No. 5’s did its job and the gobbler dropped like a rock. Elated, I called my girlfriend and told her I was done hunting for the day. I was overjoyed. I could not believe that I’d not only won a shotgun at the Friends of NRA banquet, but less than an hour into my first hunt with it, I’d killed a 24-pound gobbler with a 10-inch beard and ¾-inch spurs! I decided this was a special bird, one I wanted to have mounted. It turns out it was even more special than I’d thought. As I caped it out, I realized that in my excitement I hadn’t noticed its second, 6-inch beard. Due to the bird’s size and the circumstances through which I tagged it, this hunt will go down as one of my all-time favorites. dropped him off with Jim and Richard. Richard started calling and, from time to time, they could hear a tom answer. Suddenly there was nothing but silence. Richard, a very experienced caller, thought it would be a good idea to wait out the turkey, because he thought the bird was probably still close. Two-and-a-half hours later the gobbler showed. The tom walked by the front of the blind very quietly. After a few tense minutes, Alex shouldered his 12-gauge. He took off the safety, carefully took aim and fired. Sure enough, he dropped the 22-pound, 10½-inch-bearded gobbler. Thanks to Jim and Richard’s guidance and Alex’s grandfather, who lent his shotgun, Alex has a memory that will last a lifetime. ah

Alex Learns to Hunt
By Tony Skrzypchak, Weston, Wis.
y son, Alex, completed his hunter’s safety course in February of last year at age 11. Each hunter who completed the course was offered a special “learn to hunt” turkey hunt that would take place prior to Wisconsin’s regular season. However, there was a catch: Alex had to have two mentors, and I am not much of a turkey hunter. Fortunately, our friends Jim Blarek and Richard Wanta jumped at the chance to take Alex hunting. They immediately went to work, scouting Jim’s land hard and even building a blind. Finally the day of the big hunt, April 4, arrived. Alex woke up at 4 a.m. and I

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American Hunter (issn 0092-1068) is published monthly by the National Rifle Association of America, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400; 703-267-1000 for the benefit of its members. Membership dues (u.s. and possessions) $35 a year, $85 for 3 years, $125 for 5 years. $3.75 per year is designated for a magazine subscription. For foreign postage add $5 a year in Canada and $10 elsewhere. Membership inquiries only 877-672-2000. Copyright 2010, the National Rifle Association of America. All rights reserved except where expressly waived. Periodicals Postage paid at Fairfax, VA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to the American Hunter, c/o National Rifle Association, P.O. Box 420648, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0648.

72

American Hunter ■  April 2010



American Hunter - April 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - April 2010

American Hunter - April 2010
Contents
Says You
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
Bloomberg to Obama: Take “Federal Action”
First Light
Know-How
Gundogs
Gobblers in Paradise
New Guns and Gear Preview
Members’ 2009 Photo Album
Reflections on Turkey Madness
Hornady Superformance
Federal Premium HW 20-Ga.
Gear
Political Report
ILA Report
Member Info & Benefits
Regional Report
NRA Board Spotlight
NRA Woman’s Voice
Member’s Hunt
American Hunter - April 2010 - American Hunter - April 2010
American Hunter - April 2010 - Cover2
American Hunter - April 2010 - 1
American Hunter - April 2010 - Contents
American Hunter - April 2010 - 3
American Hunter - April 2010 - 4
American Hunter - April 2010 - 5
American Hunter - April 2010 - 6
American Hunter - April 2010 - 7
American Hunter - April 2010 - Says You
American Hunter - April 2010 - 9
American Hunter - April 2010 - Armed Citizen
American Hunter - April 2010 - 11
American Hunter - April 2010 - Standing Guard
American Hunter - April 2010 - 13
American Hunter - April 2010 - President’s Column
American Hunter - April 2010 - 15
American Hunter - April 2010 - Bloomberg to Obama: Take “Federal Action”
American Hunter - April 2010 - 17
American Hunter - April 2010 - 18
American Hunter - April 2010 - 19
American Hunter - April 2010 - 20
American Hunter - April 2010 - 21
American Hunter - April 2010 - First Light
American Hunter - April 2010 - 23
American Hunter - April 2010 - 24
American Hunter - April 2010 - 25
American Hunter - April 2010 - 26
American Hunter - April 2010 - 27
American Hunter - April 2010 - Know-How
American Hunter - April 2010 - 29
American Hunter - April 2010 - Gundogs
American Hunter - April 2010 - 31
American Hunter - April 2010 - Gobblers in Paradise
American Hunter - April 2010 - 33
American Hunter - April 2010 - 34
American Hunter - April 2010 - 35
American Hunter - April 2010 - New Guns and Gear Preview
American Hunter - April 2010 - 37
American Hunter - April 2010 - 38
American Hunter - April 2010 - 39
American Hunter - April 2010 - 40
American Hunter - April 2010 - 41
American Hunter - April 2010 - 42
American Hunter - April 2010 - 43
American Hunter - April 2010 - 44
American Hunter - April 2010 - 45
American Hunter - April 2010 - 46
American Hunter - April 2010 - 47
American Hunter - April 2010 - Members’ 2009 Photo Album
American Hunter - April 2010 - 49
American Hunter - April 2010 - 50
American Hunter - April 2010 - 51
American Hunter - April 2010 - 52
American Hunter - April 2010 - 53
American Hunter - April 2010 - Reflections on Turkey Madness
American Hunter - April 2010 - 55
American Hunter - April 2010 - Hornady Superformance
American Hunter - April 2010 - 57
American Hunter - April 2010 - Federal Premium HW 20-Ga.
American Hunter - April 2010 - 59
American Hunter - April 2010 - Gear
American Hunter - April 2010 - 61
American Hunter - April 2010 - Political Report
American Hunter - April 2010 - 63
American Hunter - April 2010 - ILA Report
American Hunter - April 2010 - 65
American Hunter - April 2010 - Regional Report
American Hunter - April 2010 - NRA Board Spotlight
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66a
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67a
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66b
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67b
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66c
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67c
American Hunter - April 2010 - 66d
American Hunter - April 2010 - 67d
American Hunter - April 2010 - NRA Woman’s Voice
American Hunter - April 2010 - 69
American Hunter - April 2010 - 70
American Hunter - April 2010 - 71
American Hunter - April 2010 - Member’s Hunt
American Hunter - April 2010 - Cover3
American Hunter - April 2010 - Cover4
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