Chasing Spring: Hunting For a Cure

Over the years the reasons why I love turkey hunting have shifted. At first it was all about chasing trophy gobblers, but now I get more excited about introducing new hunters to the sport. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to participate in a Kids Hunting For a Cure event in Tennessee, where myself and others from the hunting industry helped a bunch of kids enter the world of turkey hunting. SEE THE VIDEO HERE.
We arrived to a jam-packed Carroll County Civic center with guides, pro hunters, representatives from game call companies and eager kids awaiting the morning hunt. Everybody enjoyed great fellowship, a massive dinner, entertainment and an auction to raise money for St. Jude's Children's hospital.
Outdoor industry companies, professional turkey hunters, guides and TV camera crews gathered at the civic center to meet with their young hunters, all on their own time and money. But when it comes to helping kids, it is always well worth it. Everyone involved in this hunt did everything within their power to ensure the kids had the hunt of a lifetime.
Soon I met up with my 12-year-old hunter, Blake Carpenter and his dad.
It was cold and raining before daylight in our blind. Blake waited patiently for sunrise and the beginning of his turkey hunting adventure.
I scouted the farm earlier and learned the property before we set up our cameras and took Blake out.
Our blind set up worked well with the cold and rain. We put hunters and guides in one blind and the camera crew in the other blind.
Here's Mom (Amy Carpenter), Dad (Brent Carpenter) and Chasing Spring photographer and outdoor writer Steve Felgenhauer ready to roll for our mid-morning hunt.
As of Saturday afternoon there were 22 birds harvested and 23 reported misses from the hunt. Pictured here is my old hunting buddy and pro hunter Terry Philips and his hunter Trent Kelsey, who connected on a great bird. But for our group it just wasn't the cards. We only had the chance to hunt on Saturday and had to deal with some less than ideal weather conditions. But even though we didn't take a bird, it was still a great hunt and one I'll remember for a long time. Click through the gallery for highlights of this very special event.
Here's the sign for the Northwest Tennessee Kids Hunting for a Cure Event.
The town of Huntingdon, Tennessee opened its arms and hearts for the kids of St. Jude's Children's hospital.
Ray with "Super" Dave Norval, the ambassador for KHFAC. Super Dave was also named the 2010 Outdoor Life 25 winner.
There were plenty of hugs to go around at this event.
Marty Eye, my brother, meets his hunter, Bailey Carpenter.
Showing the boys how to do the "Turkey dance."
Our hunters Blake and Bailey Carpenter during our hunt meeting.
Here's our two-blind setup.
Many turkey pros were on hand to guide the kids, including my long-time friend Don Ship.
Fellow Missouri turkey pro Larry Shockey worked long hours to make the KHFC event a success.
Blake and I ready to depart after breakfast for the mid-day hunt.
Current 2011 NWTF Grand national turkey calling champion, Shane Hendershot, also donated his time for the kids at NHFAC hunting for a cure.
I got to meet up with country music star, Jason Clutter.
I ate dinner with my hunter and his family.
The one and only Super Dave Norval.
Marty Eye took care of the breakfast duties for our group.
Our crew: Amy Carpenter, Brent Carpenter, Blake, Bailey, land owner Donnie Covey, Stan the man, Me, Marty Eye and outdoor writer and photographer Steve Felgenhauer.
I scouted the green field areas for turkey sign and a place to hide our blinds.
Marty Eye with his hunter, Bailey Carpenter.

No matter how much time I spend in the turkey woods, introducing new hunters to the sport never gets old. Check out my latest hunt from Tennessee.