When I started this website, I set a few goals. What they are is not important, but one of the major goals was to get invites to media camps. Hunting and fishing incredible places, then coming back home to write about the trip and the companies who made it possible.
Spring turkey season has opened here in Missouri, and a couple of months back I sent a message to Tim Kjellesvik, The Thinking Woodsman. I wanted to know where and when he would need me to film turkey hunts this upcoming season. He mentioned that he had a couple of invites to turkey camps, and that he wasn’t totally sure yet.
I never expected to get the invite to one.
Fast forward to March, and Tim says he would like me to run camera for him at Devil’s Backbone Wilderness Outfitters, for Ray Eye‘s media camp. For those of you who don’t know Ray Eye, you might want to learn if you want to kill turkeys. To be able to hunt and share a camp with one of the longest running, most knowledgeable turkey hunters in the world was a huge honor, and of course I didn’t hesitate.
Back to the present, we drove down Thursday to meet up with the camp. We were staying at the River of Life Farms, on the banks of the North Fork of the White River, one of the premier trout fishing rivers in the country. We arrived at camp to learn that good buddy Bill Cooper had killed a bird that morning, his ninety-ninth bird.
Along with Tim, Ray, and Bill, we shared camp with a few others. Jon Sabati of Holo Holo Hawaii hunts, Mark Strand of Midwest Outdoors, and Ryan Miloshewski of the Conservation Federation of Missouri and Mahoney Outdoors. All of this was made possible by Chance and Joe Hollingshad of Devil’s Backbone Wilderness Outfitters, a true hunting outfitter that demands perseverance, patience, and resilience.
Over the next 3 days, we’ll be talking about one aspect or another of the most memorable turkey trip I’ve ever been on. Laughs, friends, and close encounters abound in this long weekend of chasing some of the most challenging birds in the most challenging of conditions.