The special mentored youth turkey hunting day took place on April 28 and by all accounts it was a successful day, as evidenced by the attached picture snapped by Lee Sportsmen’s Assn. (LSA) member Gary Reuf. Out of 13 kids who hunted, 10 of them got their toms. Gary’s son Ryan made his box call in school and got a tom with a bow and arrow Shane LaGrant got one with a muzzleloader shotgun (He measured the proper shot load, wad, and primed it by himself). The group bagged two 22 lb birds.
Matt Kelly didn’t get one this year but had one about 50 yards away and couldn’t call him in. He is ok with it and will probably get one before the season is over. He got one last year with a muzzleloader. There were some proud mentors and dads at the club that day. Bob Lohbauer of Lee was there and said that he never had the opportunity to learn to turkey hunt. He is quite proud of his son Matt and glad that he signed up for the mentored youth program. Even though Bob also took the course, he may not take up turkey hunting but can “tag along” with his son when he goes. He said that it affords an opportunity to spend quality time together.
Doug Heppleston of Lee was another proud dad for his daughter Megan and son Mathew each got toms. (Incidentally, last year Megan got one with a muzzleloader). His youngest daughter Lindsay was there too but she doubts that she will become a turkey hunter. She prefers to fish.
The hunt was concluded with a lunch prepared by club president John Polastri. Following that, the kids were taught how to dress out the turkeys and preserve the meat, spurs, beards, feathers, etc. Congratulations to coordinator Matt Ranzoni and his team for the excellent work.
Over at the Stockbridge Sportsmen’s Club (SSC) coordinator Mike Buffoni said they also had a very productive day. They had 11 hunters go out for the youth hunt and 4 of them got birds. Sam Harding bagged a 19.6 lb tom that had a double beard. Sam is a Lee kid but because the LSA course was filled up, he signed up and hunted with SSC mentors. Unfortunately, one hunter was ill and couldn’t make it out. All of the other hunters had action with birds and two of them shot and missed. Buffoni said that the kids were very excited.
“All of these kids will be able to go out again due to their getting 2 tags this year’” said Buffoni, “ I commend the DFW for such a wonderful program!!”
They also concluded their hunt with a tasty lunch prepared by club manager Peter Delgrande.
The Cheshire Rod & Gun Club youth turkey hunters also had a good day with eight kids participating in the program and three of them getting birds.