When I was in high school I learned about turkey hunting from a close family friend. He is much older then I am but we wanted to learn how to do it together. So when I was 14 or so, we embarked on this journey together. Every chance we got we were chasing the long beards together. Not knowing what we were doing but learning as we went! Sometimes lady luck was even on our side and we killed a few birds.
Well my friend has been threw a lot more downs in life then he has ups. Just shortly after I lost my mother to cancer, he asked me to meet him for dinner, he had something he wanted to talk about. Well I did, and to my surprise he informed me he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. It broke my heart, but I told him I was there. He sat that season out after having his left lung removed. I didn't want to hunt that season with out him, but he told me bull$hi+ you get after'em! I killed a couple,that season. Anyways during his health issues that year, he ended up getting hooked on pain pills. After many fights and arguments, we, his wife, son, my dad and family got him to realize he had a problem. And thank God he kicked it cold turkey! It was hell on him but he got off of it. Well the hunting went on, with a couple of good seasons and some bad ones along the way.
Well year before last he lost his wife unexpectedly, very hard time for him, but once again my friend was a fighter and we delt with it together. I,tried to get him to the woods but he didn't want any more of it. He couldn't stand the trout of death, little long killing something. He told me I knew all I needed to know. And I could do it as well as anyone on my own. Well, I did, I,fought with an old Tom for 3 hunts straight, could not turn him and bring him in close enough, and when I did he busted me. Well the fourth time, I got him. I, dedicated that bird to my friends late wife.
Well, to wrap this story up, I went up to his house today, and he handed me a bag. In that bag was all his gear. Vest, camo, calls, and the knive I cleaned my first bird with. I told him to hang on to it, that there may be a time he wants to,go again. He told me NO you take it pass it down to your kids, I'm done! I'm moving to Atlanta. Wow heart breaking I tell ya.
Since the passing of his wife, my friend has been looking for answers in the bottom of a jack Daniels bottle, well that bottom hasn't ended for him yet. I ask your guys prayers that he may find out soon that his answers aren't there.
Again sorry for the long read but I had to get this out. If any of you all want or need someone to hunt with give me a yell. I can hold my own with a call, and to me it's more about tricking that ol Tom then killing him.
Thanks for,your time
Rod