Opening weekend of turkey season was successful for two Emanuel Countians. Hannah Henry, 22 of Twin City, and Emma Mason, 19 of Swainsboro, harvested birds of their own in a true showing that girls, too, can get it done in the woods.
Henry’s outing was especially meaningful as her Saturday morning hunt resulted in her first-ever turkey harvest. To boot, the hunt connected her with her late grandfather, Walter “Jeff” Henry, in more than one way.
She and a friend set out on family land that morning and by 7:40, three gobblers came strutting. She ultimately chose a 22-pounder with a 9.75” beard and 1.25” spurs and used a 12-gauge shot gun for the kill.
“I was really excited when I saw them walking toward me. Each one of them was blowing up and spreading their feathers,” Henry said. Her friend told her to take the largest one in the middle—but she didn’t have a shot.
“He was behind a small tree,” she explained, “but when he stepped out, I got him.”
She is photographed with her first harvested turkey, which is laid across the hood of Jeff’s old Chevrolet. Henry says she intentionally chose this means of transportation, hoping to feel close to her grandpa and receive a little luck.
Indeed she did, and she’s got some keepsakes to show for it. She elected to preserve the spurs, beard, and shot gun shell alike.
Mason’s story is somewhat similar in that she shared in her Saturday morning harvest with someone special: her dad, Tim Mason.
“I’ve been hunting with my dad since I was 6-years-old,” she said. “I killed my first deer that year, and I got my first turkey when I was 9 while hunting at our hunting club in Emanuel County. I’ve killed a turkey most years since then with the exception of last year.”
In that way, she was determined more than ever to bag a gobbler on opening weekend.
She returned to that same hunting club, 20-gauge in tow, with her dad on Saturday morning. By 7:30, they could hear the sweet sound of gobbling.
“We set up about 200 yards from him, and my dad started calling. He started answering and gobbling back at Dad’s hen calls, and I was able to take the shot when he got about 35 yards from me.”
Mason admits she has taken larger turkeys before, but every harvest is exciting.
“I’m thankful my dad instilled a love for hunting in me as a child, and my childhood is full of great memories hunting with him because of that. This hunt is just another one in the memory bank.”
Her opening weekend kill came in at a recorded 18 pounds with a 9” beard and 1” spurs.