The Trip Down that Red Dirt Road
|Firearms - Shotguns|
|My Wal-mart size three kids shoes|
Arriving at our spot, we were all anxious with that pre-hunt buzz only made stronger by the sight of numerous turkey on our way to the blinds. Wesley, Chris and I went into one blind, and Ryan who is the show’s videographer, set up in full camo next to our blind. It was mid afternoon; many minutes went by and the turkey we had passed on the way in had vanished without a trace. Turkeys get spooked easily, so we hoped if we returned to the same spot the following morning, they would return to their feeding grounds. Meanwhile inside the blind, Wes and I cracked jokes (quietly of course), and just soaked up the fresh Georgia air while we waited for a possible turkey to wander in our view. We spotted a few hens and a tom grazing at the top of a hill a few hundred yards away, but none came within range. It was great to see movement out in the field though. When I looked through the blind, all my eyes could see were red dirt roads, fields of seeds, gardens, woods and blue skies. It sure was nice to be back out in God’s country. I began thinking how much of a blessing it was just to be given the opportunity to meet great new people, who love to do what I love, and who also are filming the hunt. In fifty years, I can look back and see when I was 21 years old, I was filming a turkey hunt for cable television, with three professionals, who are dedicated outdoorsmen, and have the utmost respect for women hunters and nature.
|Wesley Jones and I am target practicing as he watches|
|Wesley, Ryan and I are walking down the red dirt road...|
Day three arrived, and I was sad it was my last day. I had only one more chance to harvest a turkey. My flight was scheduled for around 4:00 out of Atlanta’s airport. Shayne, Ryan and I met up early, and headed out to a new spot. It was a small dirt road, surrounded by woods, and we heard gobbles in the area. We walked for a few minutes, decided where we wanted to set up then picked a spot on the edge of the one lane road about five or so feet in. There was a bit of a hill going down, about thirty yards to the left of us, and we heard “gobble, gobble, gobble!” Shayne, Ryan and I all glanced at each other with excitement, and I thought to myself, “This is it, he’s only 75 or so yards away and coming closer!” I steadied my gun, perched it on my knee and hoped he would move up the hill. A few more gobbles, and I looked up slowly, and prayed to The Man above. The cameras red record light was on with, the tom getting closer. We were still as statues. He was still out of sight, and at any moment, he could walk up that hill into perfect range. A few more minutes went by. Silence. Then more silence. We heard a gobble, but he was headed the other way. Hens, or the field a few hundred yards away, must have caught his eye; he didn’t want to respond to our hen call anymore. Shayne, Ryan and I said it must have been that he was already henned up. That morning we didn’t have much luck, but we also came here knowing that it was the last weekend of the season, and turkeys are spooked, clever and not wanting to grace us with their presence.
|Lunch at famous Varsity Restaurant|
Wesley, Ryan and I have developed a lifetime friendship; they are two great guys who are so positive. This whole experience was such a great one, one that I will cherish forever.
When Wesley Jones was a young boy, he fell out of a tree house, and was paralyzed. It was a very traumatic experience for him and his family, but God saved his life, and he is stronger than ever. He has always been an outdoorsman, and didn’t let a wheelchair get in the way of doing what he loved to do. He loves hunting, and has earned his Turkey Grand Slam; has hunted numerous other animals such as deer and hog; and has started his own television show on the GAC (Great American Country Channel) called Unlimited Outdoors with Wesley Jones. He is a very accomplished man, and still so young witha full career ahead of him. He is certainly a hoot! He is such a great person, full of energy, and is a person everyone would be lucky to meet. Special thanks to Ryan Weaver, our cameraman, who had read some of my turkey hunting stories. He called up his good friend, Wesley, and now here I am writing a story about my amazing hunting trip with Wesley and Ryan. We filmed at Camp Pioneer, which is currently home to twelve boys who didn’t receive the love they needed and now are in a better home at Camp Pioneer. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes motto is “Protecting Our Youth, Preserving Our Future” and it sure has had a great impact on these children. These boys have gardens, sports, fishing and many more outdoor hobbies available to them. They have a church to share their faith, a gymnasium to show their athleticism, and hundreds of acres of land to go out and enjoy. They learn to plant gardens, help with the property; go fishing for catfish in the pond and much more. In support of Camp Pioneer, the Goddard’s have built a lodge for visitors and hunters that come. It is a new house with all the amenities you could need to enjoy your stay. There are deer hunts available for purchase in support for Camp Pioneer, which you may sign up for on their website or in person.
Georgia Sheriffs’ Camp Pioneer
P. O. Box 2907
LaGrange, GA 30241
Reggie Jones, Wesley’s brother wrote a book called “ Triumph over Tragedy.” It’s a book everyone should read. It is available online for purchase at http://www.unlimitedoutdoors.net .
The trip down that red dirt road was one I’ll never forget.
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