Yesterday I had the opportunity to go Turkey hunting with our local wounded warrior group. To say I had a great time would be an understatement.
Jeff came to the house and picked me up early in the morning and we went to the property in 84 PA. We were meeting Ed and Philip (two other hunters who use wheelchairs) along with Hayes who would be calling and assisting us.
We all gathered at the garage for coffee and donuts and to discuss the plan for the morning hunt, as well as the days safety procedures. Because of all the rain, it would be to risky to tow me to the top of the hill to the ground blind using a trailer while I stayed in my power chair. My mini van would not make it to the ground blind that was set up.
So Jeff and Hayes moved the ground blind and decoys just to be safe to our alternate spot. Ed transferred into his Kawasaki 4x4 mule and the rest of us all headed to the ground blind in our mini vans (yeah I said mini vans).
Jeff and Hayes made sure the three of us were all set up, locked and loaded or in Eds case, cocked and bolted (Ed was using a crossbow).
It was a beautiful morning to be in a ground blind with Philip and Hayes. We watched songbirds and robins scavenge for insects and worms in the grass around our decoys. Numerous squirrels kept us entertained as we listen to Hayes work his turkey calls. We also talked about our lives, what we were doing now and plans for the future.
Most of the morning was quiet until we heard a gobbler thunder back to a sweet call from Hayes. Tom turkey was behind us and sounded about 100 yards away.
We were excited and worked the gobbler in closer for the next hour or so hoping he would circle around to our decoys but it was not to be. Although he responded with loud gobbles we would not have an opportunity to fill our tags.
At noon Jeff came to get us and we headed down to the garage for some grilled burgers and beverages. As we ate lunch and talked about our morning hunt, we all agreed it was a fantastic day afield and a gobbler would have been a bonus to a spectacular day.
For three guys who use wheelchairs for mobility we said as a group, the day was successful just getting into a ground blind and working a hot gobbler. We all went many years without the opportunity to hunt at all after our spinal cord injuries. Without the Western Pennsylvania wounded warrior group we would not have had this great day hunting! Thanks to all its members, volunteers and those who donate to the cause.