When 12-year-old Joseph Duquette of Corinth went hunting with his grandfather on Youth Turkey Day, he had reason to be optimistic.
After all, since he turned 10 — legal hunting age when accompanied by an adult — Duquette had bagged two wild turkeys.
On April 28, a day set aside for the state’s junior hunters, Duquette outdid himself. And it took just one shot.
As his mom, Julianne Duquette explained, Joseph awoke at 3 a.m. and joined his grandfather, Cameron Pullen, in the trek to their “secret hunting spot.” The duo was set up and ready before the sun rose.
“By now it was about 6 a.m.,” Julianne Duquette wrote in an email, sharing Joseph’s version of the hunt. “It was silent. There were no gobbling toms. Joseph didn’t mind sitting in the cold, the thrill of the hunt was worth the time and discomfort.”
Their first spot didn’t pan out, so after waiting for a bit, Joseph and his grandfather moved to another location, where they’d seen plenty of birds.
“While driving by the field they noticed two toms walking into the wood line,” Julianne Duquette wrote. “Joseph and his grandfather took a trail through the woods, up around the cornfield. They reached an adjoining field. They were now behind the turkeys, waiting. After a while, they realized that the toms had taken another route, [and they] moved back onto the trail.”
But when they moved, the hunters found they had company.
“To their surprise they found that the toms had poked their heads out of the woods, and had seen the hunters coming toward them,” she wrote. “Joseph and Cameron quickly ducked down and climbed onto a pile of dirt. With one call, the turkeys came running.”
Things happened quickly after that.
“Joseph positioned himself on the hard rocks beneath him, and aimed,” his mom wrote. “He said that he could remember a moment of silence as he held his breath, and squeezed the trigger. He could smell smoke, but that didn’t matter to him, both toms were down. He instantly felt very proud at the sight of two beautiful birds laying at his feet.”
One of the turkeys weighed 20 pounds, the other 18. Each sported an 8-inch beard.
“Joseph says he loves hunting, and turkey hunting is one of his favorite outdoor activities,” Julianne Duquette concluded.
Congratulations to Joseph for a job well done. And to his grandfather, for sharing a memorable morning with him.