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Hope Outdoors Helps Local Hunter Bag A Trophy Turkey


Hunter Bennett bagged a trophy gobbler while hunting in Missouri earlier this month. The trip was sponsored by Hope Outdoors.

WATER VALLEY – When Anthony Bennett reached out on Facebook last month to see if someone could take his 12 year-old son turkey hunting, he had no idea his request would lead to a trip to Missouri for some of the best turkey hunting in the southeast. Anthony has always enjoyed turkey hunting, but has been sidelined for the last three years due to a leg amputation and has not been able to take his son, Hunter.

“It’s on his brain, he has been trying it on his own,” Anthony explained about Hunter’s passion for turkey hunting. “We just could not do it like we needed to.”

A few days after posting the request on Facebook, Anthony received a response from Hope Outdoors asking if they could make the trip to Missouri.  At first Anthony was a little dubious.

“There is always so much fake stuff going on,” he explained. But after talking to Hope Outdoors National Director Steve Thomas the details were confirmed for a weekend hunt with Hope Outdoors, a non-profit organization that ministers to individuals with special needs through outdoor experiences such as hunting or fishing at no cost to the participant or their family.

Anthony, his 14 year-old daughter, Ginger Bennett and Hunter traveled to Missouri on April 5 and started with target practice for both of the siblings in preparation for the two-day hunt. The action started the next morning when four big jakes came in to the blind. Hunter took a shot but missed. While initially disappointed, he got another chance the next morning on what turned out to be a trophy bird. 

They heard the bird gobbling at 7:10 and the tom strutted and gobbled all the way down the hill to the blind, where Hunter was waiting, along with a camera-man and caller and his family. The double-bearded gobbler weight 24 pounds and had 1 7/8 inch spurs. One beard measured 10 inches and the smaller beard was five inches. 

“It was a hunt of a lifetime,” Anthony said. 

A total of 11 youth hunters bagged nine turkeys during the weekend. 

“And everybody saw turkeys,” he added. “Hunter is hooked now for sure.”

Hope Outdoors supplied room and board and cattle farmers in the area provided the land for the hunt. The primary focus of Hope Outdoors is to show Christ’s love for every person they come in contact with, whether it be a participant, a family member or a volunteer, and to share His message of salvation, according to the organization’s website.

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