My last turkey with Dad

The last turkey I shot while hunting with my dad was on a friend’s Fayette farm. Dad couldn’t walk far so we had put a chair behind a stone wall in the forest not far from where we parked.

For some reason that morning he left the chair and walked further up the woods to sit on the stonewall. I had walked up through a couple fields, and entered the woods hoping to chase some turkeys back towards dad.

Quite quickly I spotted a big group of turkeys and stated pushing them towards dad. One gobbler hung back so I shot him and he dropped. I continued pushing the flock of turkeys toward dad before I decided I better make sure my gobbler was dead.

And sure enough, as I went back and stepped up to the gobbler, it jumped up and started running, so I shot it again.

By that time the group of turkeys was passing by dad, down near his chair and out of range of where he was sitting. He did see them go by.

And that was the last chance we had together hunting turkeys before dad went into the hospice unit at Togus. But dad’s chair is still there, left in his memory. Over the next few years hunting deer there, I saw hunters sitting in dad’s chair several times. I think he would have liked that.

The photo with this column is dad and I with our last turkey.

The next spring were sitting on the outside deck of the hospice unit when across the driveway about 2 dozen turkeys wandered out onto the lawn. Immediately, dad asked me go back to his house and bring him his shotgun!

I had to say, Dad, it’s a felony to have a gun on the Togus campus. And yes, he was quite disappointed!



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.