My turkey hunting adventures with Lane Benoit

NH Hunter

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I never posted this when it took place because I didn't want it to look like I was bragging, but after watching the footage posted a couple weeks ago, and us all waiting to get in the woods I thought it would be fitting. It's not deer hunting with the Benoits, but it will have to due. I had an opportunity to follow Lane in Ontario one season, but unfortunately I couldn't afford to take the time from work, and pay for the trip as I am a self employed carpenter.

So here's the story of a couple of fun turkey hunts with Lane.

It was March of 2010, and I was at the Hillsboro legion to see another Benoit seminar. I had been to many of them, and over the years talked with all the boys, but Lane and I hit if off pretty well. After they did their story telling and Lane mentioned enjoying turkey hunting we ended up side by side at the bar. I have seen many men act like they were 12 year old girls meeting Justin Beiber, and never wanted to come off that way. We started talking about fishing, and turkey hunting when Lane mentioned he was doing a hunt with a pair of twin boys their father had set up as a birthday present. He asked if I'd be interested in running a camera since it was close to my house. We talked a bit longer, and I offered him and Irene a place to stay for the weekend. When he got to my town, he needed a license. I asked him if he wanted to go low key, or be a rock star at the local gun shop. He said he wanted to keep it as low key as possible. There were a couple of other guys involved who were friends of the boys father that were taking us spot to spot. I split with one of them, and a son, while Lane went with the other boy. Long story short of that, I was fortunate enough to call in a big tom for the young man and captured it all on film. Lane reviewed my footage and spent the day thanking me over some cold Bud Lights. We then made plans to turkey hunt that May around some guided Vt. hunts he had scheduled. We were finally able to hook up on May 16.

Now I had already tagged out, but had still been roosting birds at night, and getting up every morning with the anticipation that he was coming down at some point. This is where it gets embarrassing...... I've never had much patience for a fella that can't be on time to hunt or fish. It's probably in the top 3 ways to piss me off if I'm kept waiting. So what do you think happened???!!!! Yup, the only time I've ever over slept, and it's friggin hunting with Lane Benoit!!! The power had gone out for a brief time the night before, so my 3:45 wake up never happened. I opened my eyes and it was 4:50 a.m. I bailed out of bed, ran downstairs and there's Lane leaned against his Jeep with a pretty disgusted look on his face. I threw on my Camo, grabbed a decoy, camera, and in my truck we bailed. I went to a field up the street where the birds had already flown down. One side of the road is posted, the other not. We made our way up in , and around to where we were parallel with the Tom, trying to call him away from 3 hens. After a half hour of that, we decided we'd give the ladies time to get sick of him, and try that bird a little later.

I pulled into another farm that I have permission to hunt also, gave a soft call and 3 birds gobbled in the far back field. We did a big loop, got above them, called again, and they had headed towards the road. On the way out, I mentioned I thought I knew where they would go based on seeing them struting in another field every morning for the last 3 days at 7:30 a.m on my way to work. Sure enough when we got back to the truck, we could see them on the far side of a field, across the road. We drove around the loop, parked at another farmers barn I'm friends with, and headed up a logging road towards the back of the field. There is a small peninsula that cuts out into the field. The Tom was coming from the left side, and I figured as long as we could get to the right side and get a decoy out , this birds was as good as dead. As we made our way to the spot I wanted to set up, we gave a soft call just to locate him. He immediately cut loose gobbling. WAY closer than we anticipated, or wanted for that matter. I had guessed right, but this bird was hearing a hen where he already wanted to go, he was wasting no time. As Lane was setting up by an old stump, I scurried out to get the decoy set up. The Tom gobbled again on his own, and was just about to turn the corner and be in our lap. I literally jumped over the top of Lane and got behind him. I made a couple yelps, and the Tom is running in. He sees the decoy and snaps into strut. I'm whispering SHOOT, SHOOT ( I didn't realize there was a small tree lined up perfectly between the Tom and Lane). Lane finally shoots and the bird flops. He turns around and asks me how far I thought he was out. I answered 40 yards Max. It ended up being 51!!! That's when we both realized I had left the camera in the truck. I thought for sure he was really going to be pissed now with me not being ready on time, and now no footage. He just looked at me, and said oh well, I was just another guy shooting a turkey in N.H today, and I'm good with that, Thanks. One of the coolest parts of the day was when I gave him the choice again as to where he wanted to check it in. We could have gone to a local fire dept, and it would have been quick and quiet, but he opted to go to the local gun shop where most hunters check in their bird. We got there at 8:15 or so, and never left until 11. By the time we finally left, I bet there were 25 guys all standing around in camo, just shooting the shit, high fives and congrats to one another. Here's a couple pictures from the hunt. The one where he has the bird over his shoulder was a pretty comical moment......... I made a comment like " This one's for the website, so make sure you give me your best "zoolander". He got a pretty good laugh out of that. Man do I regret not following him around in Ontario!!!! I always thought there'd be another chance. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it. Lane 2010 N.H.jpg Lane 2010 N.H Tureky.jpg Lane and I 2010.jpg
 

Gwlambo

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Great story - I sure do miss the annual photos on their websites.
 

woodwhisperer

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Really glad to have come to this, Shawn. Fantastic writeup and what photos with a late, great hunter and holder of a venerable tradition.

Thank you.
 

NH Hunter

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it's almost hard to believe this story took place 8 years ago on 5/16!!! Where does the time go???!!!!
 

NH Hunter

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Nine years ago today...... Wow time sure as hell has a way of just blowing by
 




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