Turkey Hunt Helps Teen Embrace the Idea of Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone

There’s something to be said about being open to trying new things. Well that’s exactly the mindset that Averie Link had, when she went on her first turkey hunt recently with her dad, Joe, for the Texas south zone spring turkey early youth weekend. The 16 year old grew up sitting in a deer blind with her father, but only recently in the last two years had she actually spent time as a hunter behind the trigger of a gun, rather than just an observer. Over that two-year span, she was able to expand her hunting experiences from deer to wing shooting, and she was excited to pursue Rio Grande gobblers for the very first time.

Turkey Hunt

Averie and Joe arrived to the property that they were going to be hunting for the early youth weekend on a Friday evening, prior to the special youth season opening the following morning.  The property was owned by a family friend, and air temperatures had risen to nearly 90 degrees there earlier that day.  

However, the warm weather didn’t stay for long.  A cold front passed through overnight, and she and her dad were met with temperatures in the high forties and winds gusting out of the north at 20 to 30 miles per hour. Needless to say, the sudden weather change seemed to shut the birds down. Gobblers remained tight lipped throughout most of the weekend, and never strayed far from the thick cover of the creek bottom that wound itself through the property that Link and her father were hunting on.

“We did end up hearing some Toms sound off in the distance on the second day of our hunt, but none of them seemed interested in our calls,” Averie recalled.  “In fact, I don’t think we actually ever had a gobbler gobble in response to our calls.”

Turkey Hunt

As a last ditch effort, she and her father tried sneaking in closer to the creek bottom where the birds seemed to be taking shelter from the wind and colder temperatures. They never could get within distance of a long beard nor could they coax one to come their way.


Even though she was unable to tag her first turkey, Averie said that the trip was still a special one for her.

“Spending time in the outdoors really helps me connect with nature, and makes me feel closer to God,” she explained.  “I had never heard a turkey gobble before and that was really neat to experience, along with seeing the beautiful wild flowers and the evidence of spring all around us.  It was a reminder that God’s beauty is like no other.”

She believed that, although she wasn’t able to harvest a turkey, the experience was a good lesson that she could apply to her everyday life.

“It was a good reminder, that stepping out of my comfort zone will present challenges that will ultimately make me better and more well-rounded person,” she said, “Just like it will help me become a more well-rounded hunter.”

Turkey Hunt

Averie had never gone turkey hunting before, and she knew that it would present challenges that she would have to overcome. Even though she wasn’t able to overcome those challenges on this particular trip in order to put a tag on a long beard, she still had a positive experience that will help her in all aspects of life.

“Hunting has made me who I am today,” she said.  “It’s taught me that it’s okay to take a chance, and fail. It’s okay to be scared to do something, and yet, still try it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect out of my first turkey hunt, but I still did it. I know life is going to throw challenging situations at me, and just like this turkey hunt, I can choose to give it my all, learn from my mistakes, and become a better person, regardless of what the outcome is.”

She plans to get back to the turkey woods with her dad as soon as she can.  She’s going to embrace the challenge, and never give up.

Nate Skinner is an award winning outdoor writer, photographer, and videographer. He works full time in the outdoor industry as a content creator, and owns/operates S & L Outdoor Productions. S & L Outdoor Productions is a creative company that focuses on building bold content for brands and companies in the outdoor industry. Born and raised in Texas, Skinner resides in the south central portion of the Lone Star State in Floresville, with his wife and their two sons, and his black lab. Skinner has made the outdoors his lifestyle, and spends his time hunting and fishing, and sharing his passion with his two boys, as well as friends and family.  Skinner is also a fishing and hunting guide, and specializes in coordinating corporate entertainment hunting and fishing trips. He is also a professional angler, and competes in Professional Redfish tournaments up and down the Gulf Coast. Visit his web site at https://www.nateskinnerphotography.com.



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