On April 28 and 29, Combat Warriors held its final turkey hunt of the 2017 season in Halifax County, NC sponsored by Twin Oaks Hunt Club, Busckshot Hunt Club, Ventosa Hunt Club and other generous land owners. Seventeen warriors were hosted, housed, feed and guided thanks to the dedication and generosity of our volunteers.
A few of the warriors were able to come in early enough on Friday to enjoy an afternoon hunt. One of our warriors, a 25 year active duty Marine only weeks away from retiring, was able to harvest his first ever turkey, setting the scene for a fantastic weekend of fellowship and chasing our favorite fowl. By 7:30 pm all our warriors had arrived and were treated to freshly cooked whole pig Carolina BBQ and fixings. As dinner progressed, guides and hunters were introduced and began getting to know each other. The night concluded with hunting assignments made and the anticipation of morning gobbles on the roost.
Coffee and breakfast was served at 4:30 am to insure hunters and guides were fueled for their morning pursuit of gobblers. By 5:00 am, guides set out in all directions to the multiple properties. By 10:30 am when the warriors came back for lunch with four mature Toms harvested, one being the second for our Friday warrior leaving him tagged out! Some additional fun was had on the Ventosa Hunt Club with some unique carp fishing techniques - a story best told by those who were there, but bellies were sore from laughing so hard.
The cooks, Randy and Jimmy from Tarboro, continued to impress with Carolina style BBQ chicken for lunch, leaving some warriors in need of a nap prior to the afternoon hunt. Other dedicated warriors took the opportunity to enjoy an invite to a hidden gem, nicknamed “The Aquarium,” for some mid-day fishing which produced a few trophy bass among the other bent rods.
The afternoon hunt had the additional challenge of warming temperatures, but it did not dissuade our warriors. After a full day of turkey hunting with multiple encounters, two more warriors were able to seal the deal. One warrior, who harvested a Tom in the morning filling his second tag of the season, was able to pull a gobbler in range for his son who harvested his first mature Tom.
A main highlight of the event was having a first time turkey hunting warrior experience the full effect of a boss gobbler respond to aggressive calling and fanning, sprint across 200 yds of open field, jump a ditch and meet his end at 14 paces. Not only was the hunt exciting, the reward was a double beard – first ever turkey and what a trophy!
The day concluded with rib-eyes, stories from the field, new friendships, and what we hope are memories to last a lifetime. We are truly blessed to have such freedom, warriors who sacrifice to protect it, and patriotic citizens who appreciate it.
Sacrifice, Honor, & Courage!
Chris Milligan, CWO-4 USMC (Retired)
Combat Warriors Inc. Board Member