Retired School Teacher Kills gobblers
Kathy Shortridge is not your typical turkey hunter but she is a crack shot, avid hunter and gobbler slayer. She hasn’t hunted turkeys all of her life but after she married Bro. Allen Shortridge she was introduced to the sport of both deer and turkey hunting and she’s never been the same. The sixty-seven-year-old retired teacher married Shortridge about 10 years ago and started turkey hunting soon afterwards.
Though she’s an avid deer hunter with many kills to her credit, she really loves hearing the gobblers wake up the world each spring morning as they gobble from their lofty perches around the country. Yes, she’s harvested birds from all over. If a turkey gobbles and ventures nearby they are in danger of this modern-day Annie Oakley.
Kathy Shortridge harvested her first gobbler on a trip to Georgia back in 2012 and her husband Allen killed one on the same hunt. That was their first double and got Kathy fired up.
This year the dynamic turkey hunting duo hunted together again with Bro. Allen doing the calling and Kathy doing the shooting. Their first successful hunt occurred in the woods of south Mississippi near Lumberton. On one of their first hunts of the season the rain delayed their entry into the woods but it didn’t keep them out all day.
“It rained early so we got into our hunting area about 7:30,” Kathy Shortridge said. “I was about ready to go at 9:00 but Allen wanted to stay a little longer.”
Though they hadn’t heard a gobble that morning Allen knew that there were plenty of birds in the area if they could stay long enough for them to recover from the long night of stormy weather. Sometimes turkeys are like people and they’re a little slow to get moving after a long night on a tree limb holding on for dear life and shedding rain showers.
At 10:00 a m they heard a gobble so Allen sent out some sweet love notes to the gobbler. It didn’t take them long to know they had a lovesick tom looking for love as he belted out another gobble in response.
“I looked up and saw three gobblers coming in fast and I was so excited because I just knew I was going to get one,” said Kathy. “The lead gobbler was strutting and gobbling, and he was just so beautiful that I enjoyed watching him strut his stuff and display his beautiful plumage.”
Bro. Allen used his Lynch 101 box call as a follow up to his Woods Wise mouth call and got them going.
“They were responding to my calls but when I pulled out that Tiny Corner slate and called they really went all in and got fired up,” Bro. Allen said. “I started purring and clucking with a few soft yelps on the slate and it was without a doubt what made the difference.”
Shortridge kept her sights trained on the strutter and never let him stray as the gobblers came closer and closer. On and on the gobblers came until they were in range. While they heard the gobblers every 10 to 15 minutes to start with, they really went to hammering and pouring it on as Bro. Allen sent out some more sweet love talk with the slate.
“Yelp, yelp, yelp” Ka-boom! Kathy’s Remington turkey gun roared, and her aim was swift and true.
“He was beautiful but I shot him, and he went straight down!”
“She was totally focused from the time he came into view and zeroed in on that gobbler,” Bro. Allen said.
“I couldn’t believe what I’d just done,” said Kathy. “I was so happy we were jumping up and down and high fiving!”
Later in the season they went back to the same area and hunted were successful once again as Bro. Allen did the calling and Kathy did the shooting. She shot the gobbler at 41 yards with her Remington 20 gauge and TSS shot at 8:35 a. m.
Take it from Kathy Shortridge, it’s never too late to get started if you have the desire, motivation and a willing mentor to guide you!