Whitesburg KY

Young hunter gets her second turkey

Struttin’ Time:

This week, I am happy to do a second story of two of my most favorite people, Randy Bailey and his daughter Rebecca.

I like Randy for several reasons, but one that is dear to my heart is he takes time to teach and to hunt with Rebecca. She is already heads and shoulders taller with hunting knowledge than some hunters twice her age.

You have read about Rebecca before in Struttin’ Time when she bagged her first gobbler. It has been a long dry spell for Rebecca since bagging that long beard, but she got the ship righted this season.

The first day Randy took her into the woods it was as quiet as when you walked by the graveyard at midnight as a kid. In other words, nothing shaking on her first hunt of the season.

The following morning, the woods once again woke up and Randy and Rebecca were there to see God’s handywork. It was also a special day because it was Easter morning. As they were getting to their hunting blind just before 6 a.m., they heard two birds start gobbling. They quickly turned off their lights and worked to get their decoys set up. The closer to daylight, the more the two turkeys gobbled.

At 6:30 Randy started to call. He tree-called twice, then did what any good hunter should do — put his calls down and waited to see what kind of reaction he was going to get from the gobblers. At 6:40 a.m., one gobbler flew down in sight of the blind. It strutted back and forth for a few minutes, then the other gobbler flew down beside him. Then the show began. The “boss” took the lead and started coming toward the decoys. Game on.

After about 10 minutes the boss turkey strutted into Rebecca’s view. Randy has taught her, and taught her well, that when you see the red, throw the lead. Rebecca’s well-placed shot brought the big boy to the ground. The other long beard hung around for a few minutes, then left — magnifying a flaw in the Kentucky law that only allows one turkey per day. Still, Rebecca finally was able to get her bird.

Last year Rebecca shot at one during youth season. She missed and never had another shot for the rest of the year. As us hunters like to say, “That is why it is called hunting.”

Randy said it best when he told me that sometimes a season ends with tags filled, and sometimes it ends without a harvest. Randy also shared these thoughts with me, and I will do the same with you: “The time spent with my daughter afield to see what God has provided us is the biggest thrill of all. That was especially true of the most special day, Easter.”

Randy went on to say that while this may not have been the traditional sunrise service, “I felt the presence of God with us.”

After returning from the woods, Rebecca did what most young ladies do on Easter — went to church and hid eggs.

Tip of my hat to you, Rebecca Bailey. May the sun never set on your happiness in the mountains.

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