Hunting With Friends

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Kurt has been my friend since we were knee-high to a duck. We started out as toddlers, chasing crawfish and salamanders in the creeks and fishing and hunting once we were old enough. Kurt and I have been together for every major phase of our lives. Every stupid thing teenagers do, we did together.

As the years pass, we started families, and I moved away to find work and adventure. Although the two of us see each other about once a year, it's as though we never were apart. So, once I became somewhat financially stable, I surprised Kurt with a plane ticket to Kansas and a turkey tag. However, it didn't quite work out that well. (Three days before he was supposed to arrive, the aircraft carrier went under, grounding their flights... Sky Bus.) So out came the credit card and he arrived basically on time.

We drove to one of my favorite places in the United States. The Smoky Hills of Kansas. With abundant deer and turkey, it's a paradise for hunters. And probably, the most beautiful place in an otherwise flat state.

We made several stops at tourist destinations along the way, such as mushroom rock, an important place along the Oregon and California Trail. And took several photo-opportunities.

On the first day of hunting, I called in a gobbler to 20 yards. However, he came in completely silent, and we caught a glimpse of him running away when we stood up to move.

We walked our tails off on this hunt. We also found prairie dog and coyote to play with while crossing the never ending prairie of Kansas. I do know that out of 3 shots fired on the first day, there were no gobblers on the ground.

On the second day, we mostly screwed around and did things that most guys in their early 20's do... we drank. All day... and now I know, I shouldn't have done that. But, I recovered. Day 3 and 4 were spent in a cold and wet tent, where I learned the incredible importance of seam sealer and silicone spray!

But on day 5, we popped over a hill on the way back from checking out a prairie dog town, and there stood a nice tom just 20 yards away. Kurt pulled up with my 12 gauge over-under and fired two quick shots... and the bird ran away. After 5 days of hunting, it was time to return. And after 5 shots, it was time to hang it up.

I still remember this trip often, and I can't wait until we can get together again on a hunt. We’ve had to delay it for 2 years now, because one of us keeps getting his wife pregnant (Kurt)... Okay, I guess both of us.

But someday, 20 years from now, and hopefully 20 hunts from now, we'll look back and laugh at Kurt for missing all those shots, and remember life before responsibility. Hopefully, we will be enjoying this laugh with our sons, Carson Steidl and Wyatt Demiter and whatever Kurt has on the way next.

I'm sure you can tell by the pictures, but we had no problems seeing turkey!


BikerRN's picture

Great Story!

As I am learning it's about the expirience and time hunting more so than killing a game animal to eat. It sounds like you had a very successful hunt. You are fortunate, in that you have a lifelong friend that you are still friends with.

I look forward to reading your, and Kurt's, continued hunting escapades. They sound like a blast!


ManOfTheFall's picture

We all know that the time we

We all know that the time we spend together is well worth it. Even though no gobbler was taken the good times spent with eachother outweighed the missed opportunities. I'm sure there will be other days, other hunts. and many success stories as well. Thanks for the story. It was a good one.

groovy mike's picture

At least you had turkeys within range AND you got shots off!

Ndemiter – There is no arguing that sharing a hunt with friends is the only thing that makes it better than hunting alone.

At least you had turkeys within range AND you got shots off! A lot of hunts don’t include those vital elements. And you got pictures of thunder chickens to boot! It seems to me that you did just about everything that was needed on that hunt to call it a success. Bringing home some birds was the last item on the list to check off. Congrats on the new hunters in the family! Just you wait until THEY become your hunting partners. There isn’t anything better than that. Enjoy the days they go by quickly. It’s the birthday time of year for me so I may be a little pensive about time going by – and I’m a bit older than you so I get to give advice you didn’t ask for - ;) but its worth saying that there are blessings at every stage of life. Being care-free and young has a joy in it which you should enjoy all you can at that time. Having a young family while it ties you down from hunts and spur of the moment getaways also has its joys – and they are fleeting in just a few short years. Having a young hunter under the roof is a pleasure for a father. I am treasuring those days right now. Each stage is missed when it is gone – so enjoy what you are given. Don’t regret what is gone – instead focus on LOVING what you have at that moment. The days when you don’t have kids to come home to or to stay home with will come all too soon enough! Ok I’ll step off my old codger soap box now and say – thanks for the story. I enjoyed it. It is nice to read that not every hunt ends with a filled tag for someone else besides just me! Lol Mike

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a great

That is a great story....nothing like hunitng with great friends and family.

arrowflipper's picture

real wet

I enjoyed your story a lot.  Some of us are blessed with those kinds of friends.  I have one that I have hunted with for about 35 years now.  Hunting would just not be the same without him.  We've checked off a plethora of items on each of our bucket lists together, including Montana bison and African plains game.

I especially enjoyed your two days in the wet tent..... I have memories of being "real wet" in a tent that didn't keep the water out.  We spent one miserable night floating as we'd somehow picked a low spot for the tent before the deluge began.  Before climbing into the car soaking wet, it felt like we were on a waterbed as we accumulated about three inches of water under the tent, which very quickly seeped through the floor and into our sleeping bags.

Aren't you glad that "successful hunts" are not measured by the amount of game we take?  Your time with a close friend is greater than any turkey you could have taken.  Thanks for the story and the memories it brought back for me.

hunter25's picture

This is a great story and one

This is a great story and one I can relate to well as I only have one friend from my youth that I shared these kind of experiences with. We hunted, fished, and camped all the time back then and would get together for hunts from time to time after we got older. It has been nearly twenty years now as we live on opposite sides of the country since we last got together for a hunt as his family  life is a lot busier than mine now but we still make plans to get out there again. I have a couple other friends I hunt with occasionaly but not to the same level as back then.

These days almost all my hunting is with my son, daughter or father as they are the only family I have but I can't imagine a season going by without all of us hunting together.

Thanks for a great srory and bringing back a lot of memories from my youth.