The Journey to My Single Season Slam: A Lifetime of Turkey Hunting

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Anna Richardson

May 18, 2023·3 mins read
The Journey to My Single Season Slam: A Lifetime of Turkey Hunting-image

Hey guys! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Anna Richardson. I wanted to share a journey that I consider deeply personal. Ever since I was a little girl, decked out in camo and toted around by my dad, turkey hunting has been a huge part of my life. The turkey woods were the first I walked into as the little girl that could barely stand up on her own two feet. It's by no means “just a hobby” to me, it is truly a part of who I am, an enduring passion that has shaped my character and worldview for many years. And today, I’m pretty pumped to talk about a dream I've always had – completing a single season slam.

For those who might not be familiar with the term, "single season slam" is a turkey hunting challenge where a hunter attempts to harvest all four U.S. wild turkey subspecies – Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, and Merriam – in a single spring season. It's a formidable task, a challenge that requires planning, skill, and a whole lot of dedication.

Growing up, the concept of the single season slam seemed like a dream that was unreachable. It represented a pinnacle of achievement, something only the most skilled and passionate could hope to accomplish. As a young girl listening to all the stories, I found myself dreaming of the day when I could pursue this challenge all on my own.

But life has a funny way of throwing obstacles in your path, doesn't it? As a full-time working professional and a former athlete, time has always been an obstacle for me. I had to juggle both full time careers, and my love for turkey hunting all in one season. There were times when I questioned if I could pull it out, but I know me, I’m gonna get it done if I say I am. 

However, life also has a way of teaching us patience and determination in ways we can’t get inside four walls. With every passing turkey season, my eagerness to complete a single season slam only grew stronger. I learned to make time, to plan meticulously, and to persevere despite the odds that seemed against me.

At a young age, I learned about a longbeard’s behavior, roosting patterns, and habits in greater depth. I’ve spent countless hours scouting, preparing for trips, and planning things out. I’ve always spoken with other hunters and great friends, seeking advice and guidance, sharing my experiences, and learning from theirs.

The more time I spent in the turkey woods over the years, the more it dawned on me that the single season slam wasn't just about the hunt; it was about the journey. It was about pushing my limits, learning more about the birds that I loved so much, and connecting with nature and God in a way I never had before.

Over the years, there have been countless early mornings when I would be up before the crack of dawn, ready to head out into the woods. There have been many disappointments, close calls, and failed attempts. But with every setback, I learned something new, and with every failure, my passion only grew stronger.

Completing a single season slam is not easy. It takes a lot more than just skill and luck. It requires patience, dedication, resilience, and a deep respect for nature and its inhabitants. It's not just about the glory of the achievement, but the journey and the lessons you learn along the way. 

But, I did it. With each bird this season, I found myself sitting aside them, just staring. I was able to witness this bird gobble for the very last time, and that is something no one could ever take away from me. The day they stop making my heart beat out of my chest is the day I will hang it up – and I pray that day never comes. I am excited to share with you all the story behind each bird this season, and I hope you will follow along with me as I look back on this journey. 

The good Lord was a turkey hunter.

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