Turkey hunting story told

Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, April 9, 2008

By By DAVID RAINER – Alabama Department CNR
Twelve-year-old Jake Garner of Centreville had to overcome an unusual obstacle to bag his first wild turkey during Alabama's special youth hunt on March 8 - snow and more snow.
A late-winter storm moved through the state and dumped white stuff over the northern half of Alabama in the wee hours of March 8.
Only hours earlier, Garner and his mentor, Dale Watts, nearly missed out on a hunt of a lifetime.
Watts knew the turkeys roosted across the gas line. With the snow coming down so hard it was hard to see across the gas line, Watts decided to go ahead and start calling about 30 minutes after daylight.
Watts had already coached Jake about being still and making sure the bead of the gun was on the turkey's neck, as well as the spot the turkeys were likely to come into range. What Watts didn't realize was there were more turkeys than the one he spotted.
“I glimpsed down at him and the flat rib on the shotgun barrel was covered with snow,” Watts said. “He could see the turkeys, but he couldn't see his front sight. I had told him how important it was to not move. He was trying to shake the snow off in little movements so the turkeys wouldn't spot him. The second bird moved straight in front of him and he finally could see enough of the bead to put it on him. And that 20-gauge impressed me. The turkey hit the ground.”
Now the 12-year-old has picked up a new nickname among his schoolmates - turkey slayer.
Despite the snow, Watts and Garner managed to find that magical spot.