Steve Hickoff is the Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor and Blogger. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country. It's "all turkeys, all the time" on the Realtree Turkey Blog.
The Turkey Hunters: Meet Barbara Baird
The Turkey Hunters is an ongoing realtree.com series of hunt stories, spring and fall, by turkey hunters just like you. If you want to submit yours, please send it to hickoff [at] comcast [dot] net with a photo. Thanks. - Steve Hickoff, Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor & Blogger
You Realtree.com regulars know Barbara Baird as the Realtree Outdoor News blogger. She’s also publisher of the popular Women’s Outdoor News and freelance writer for many publications. If something important is happening in the world of hunting and the shooting sports, chances are Baird knows before the rest of us.
Her early jump on important outdoor industry headlines you need to read doesn’t mean she’ll kill a spring gobbler on the first day though. In the case of her recent bird, she waited until the last day — just this past Sunday on May 6 in Missouri — where she makes her home.
Like many of us, we’re driven to fill tags and earn bragging rights on kills. Baird is no exception. The thing is, she was working hard to tag a turkey this spring and it just wasn’t happening. Hunt spring gobblers long enough and all of us will eventually know this feeling of carrying a tag.
“Actually, the day I finally eased up on myself,” Baird told me, “took off the competitive aspect and thought, ‘Hell, you've had a wonderful time outdoors for three weeks ... you probably won't get a turkey, but you've learned a lot’ ... it happened.”
How did she finally do it?
“It's funny, because it was just a little gang of turkey jakes and two girlfriends that came in. First there were two heads, then four, then six. They saw the jake decoy and did an about-face at about 40 yards.”
The photo tells the rest of the story.
Ever kill a turkey on the last day of the season? Let us know — with your congratulations for Barbara of course — in the comments section below. Thanks.