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Dear Editor:I recently attended the complete hunter safety class with my grandson, Brennan. It was an interesting, very informative and worthwhile class, nothing like so many of the “mandatory” classes we all know and love. During the class Brennan took advantage of the opportunity to sign up for a youth turkey hunt. This is one of many programs the DOW offers to help introduce our youth into the rewarding world of hunting and the outdoors. I was delighted to be advised Brennan had been one of the lucky ones drawn to hunt his first turkey. Unfortunately I was unable to accompany him on the first weekend, but he was well taken care of by Brad Bauer.Apparently they had an interesting and exciting weekend, including having a couple of mountain lions scaring off the flock of turkeys they were working! A lot of excitement and much learning took place, but no turkey. The next weekend I was able to join in the hunt. Bailey Franklin and Mike Swaro were our highly professional guides. After several hours of waiting and Mike talking very seductive turkey talk, a small flock of two very large Toms, some Jakes and the rest hens came to the decoys. With Mike coaching, Brennan was able to wait for the right opportunity and make a perfect shot for his first trophy! It was easily as exciting for me as well, as this was my first experience with hunting turkeys, too!I can not begin to express my gratitude for the professionalism demonstrated by Mike and Bailey during the hunt, as well as all the DOW instructors at the hunter safety class. But even with the dedication to working with young sportsmen and women shown by the DOW, these types of hunts could not exist without the enthusiastic support of the private landowners. Brennan got his turkey on private land made available by Sparky and Rocky Pappas. Greg Norman makes his Seven Lakes property available as well and Mike Clark of Petrocks Resources has graciously joined in the effort to provide these opportunities to our youth. I would like to publicly thank the landowners and the DOW for providing these great opportunities.
Mike BrennanMeeker, Colo.