Sweet Success at Camp Ripley

By WalleyeDan Eigen (as posted in the Brainerd Dispatch 4/26/13)

We’re havin’ a heat wave! It’s about darn time. I think we have weeded out some fair-weather Minnesotans this winter — look for the population to rise in Arizona, Florida and in other southern climates next winter (we haven’t decided yet J). I think all forms of life are going to be happy, happy this weekend.

The forecast looks spectacular! The boat is ready, the pontoon is ready and it is now turkey time! I have hunted and am no longer legal to take a Minnesota bird (I hunted season A). I got a good taste of things this week at Camp Ripley, where I participated in the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) turkey hunt. There were about 35 hunters and about the same number of helpers. Incredible event to say the least.

was able to join Myron Skoblik (retired Korean War vet) and Tom Shottenbauer (retired Vietnam vet). Also joining us in the blind on Wednesday morning was Kyle Peterson who works with Lindner Media. Kyle was along to capture the moment on video.

We had set the blind up Tuesday night and felt confident thanks to some pre-scouting from Camp Ripley personnel. We all got situated and Tom got the attention of the birds with a yelp or two from his box call. The closest gobble still sounded a way off but that would change very quickly after a few other yelps, clucks and purrs from the two of us. Then the split second decision had to be made, whether to re situate Myron so he could shoot out of the other blind window (where the birds sounded like they were coming from). The crunchy snow and the quiet morning were not a great combination but we got the job done. Minutes later there they were, about four turkeys coming right down the road. In and out of strut they would go. I whispered to Myron and asked if he had any preference as to shooting a Jake (young male) or a Tom (mature male). He did not care, so when I spotted the little stubby beard moments later I gave Myron the OK as I was holding his shooting stick. One shot and the high fives were going around the blind.

Sweet success in Camp Ripley! Thank you for letting us participate in this amazing event. I know this would go for any of the many helpers that helped make this happen for our American heroes. Take someone turkey hunting today! I might take Alex (my oldest).

Enjoy the meltdown and put on the rubbers,


WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at 218-839-5598, walleyedan@walleyedan.com or www.walleyedan.com

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