News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 11, 2011

REDNECK QUAKER: The Breitweiser family loves the outdoors

Kenny Bayless
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Hannah just got woke up from a sound sleep at 5:30 this evening; no she didn’t sleep in that late, the senior prom took place last night, need I say anymore.

She has a beautiful smile and full of spunk, living live to the fullest. She is truly a lady of the outdoors.

Hannah and dad went to Jefferson County in southern Indiana to try their luck on a turkey bird! No scouting was needed for dad grew up there.

It was the youth weekend, which is wonderful thing for the kids to get a head start. They showed up on a Friday with rain from all the last week, and they hunted Saturday in the rain, only leaving the woods to eat. Sunday morning produced more rain but she hung in there and didn’t give up where most men would have. In heavy rain, birds stay in bed a long time. Dad’s phone kept them tuned in on the weather, with a four or five hour break in the weather that afternoon.

Sitting up on the edge of a field was a good choice because two goblins and two jukes came walking across the field. When dad called, they veered toward them. With Dave’s calling they came over to see who was there.

Hannah sat facing her dad when the birds came in behind him although he could tell what was going on from her eyes. The birds made it within 50 yards when she picked her bird and the gun was in front of dad but so close he had to put his fingers in his ears.

Dad says this gun kicks like a mule but really gets out there on those birds. When the gun went off two bodies hit the ground, yes, Hannah’s rear-end left skid marks in the dirt, but it was sure worth it, to take that turkey. The bird sported 39 MM spurs, a 101⁄2 inch beard and weighed 231⁄2 pounds. A wonderful bonding experience that will never be forgotten.

This was Hannah’s first gobbler and won’t be her last, great going sweety.

There was a group of rednecks at the check-in station that turned green when this 17-year old lady walked in with the bird over her shoulders.

I should mention this took place on Easter, they were in God’s country.

At nine years old, Jackson Breitweiser started his turkey hunting this year with dad in Jefferson County also. The rain was not in their favor. Jackson’s been napping on the couch while we were hearing about his sister’s hunt and with sleepy eyes he is getting the wheels turning on his hunt so his first turkey hunt can be told.

Jackson says we got up before daylight to go to the woods and when they left the house it was raining.

What a tough nine year old. They did a lot of walking to get to their ground blind.

Jackson, in his shy voice, admitted after sitting for a while he got sleepy. They did not hear or see any birds while in the blind so they moved to the edge of a field after calling a while.

Two jukes and two hens came out into the field about 300 yards off. Not responding for 45 minutes, a juke finally got interested to come straight in. Jackson says he wasn’t nervous and only had to move a couple times to be ready for his arrival. The rain had stopped but the turkeys were still not gobbling. Jackson says if he was a turkey, he wants to be a hen, so he wouldn’t get shot. The juke slowed down and got very cautious so dad judged the yardage at about 30 yards when it was actually 45 yards so the 20 gauge shot a little high without touching the bird. It was fortunate the turkey was not wounded for its offspring someday may give Jackson an opportunity to take a trophy of a life time.

This was a major learning curve that will not be forgotten, and a wonderful bonding experience with dad.

Another Breitweiser child, Morgan,  is an avid fisherman and mushroom hunter. I cannot put in to words any better than she did with the poem she wrote at 11 years old. The heart she put into it is outstanding.

I pushed the boat onto the glossy lake and hopped in with Dad.

We were going fishing, just the two of us.

It was quiet and peaceful.

A woodpecker chipped pieces of bark from the tree above us.

Splashes from fish hitting the surface of the water startled us.

Water ripples broke the surface of the water.

Breaths of cool wind brushed against my cheek.

I casted my line into the lake.

It jerked.

A small bluegill was on the end of my line.

Turtles bathed in the sun.

Turkeys gobbled in the distance.

Geese glided on the water.

It was warm and gentle here.

A deer crunched on leaves while walking on the island until it disappeared in the woods.

Then all was silent.

Dad paddled to the bank and I unloaded and pulled the boat up.

This trip with my dad will stay in my memory  for a lifetime.

Micah Breitweiser is the horse lady of the family, from purchasing her first mare from some Amish in Parke County for $50. She is a morgan breed. She is taking riding lessons for the western style so some horse shows may be in the future. The trail riding and leisure time riding is the most enjoyable.

Jessica Breitweiser has claim to fame of being the best mushroom hunter of the family. Dad says she can really find them because she is low to the ground. She is a very pretty eight year old and loves the outdoors.

Jessica found dozens of morels this year. Last year, she found the biggest mushroom in the family.

Dad says he and Jessie were looking for morels early last season when Jessie said daddy you just about stepped on one, so Dave knew he had met his match on finding mushrooms. When times get tough, Jessie can feed the family with all the mushrooms she found. Another lady of the outdoors.

Last mention, Jessie has a picture of her with over 80 bluegills she caught under the ice, dad couldn’t get a pole in the water, too busy baiting her hook. Great job little lady.

• Gander Mountain is offering the next Safety Hunger Education course Sept. 12-14 from 6-9 p.m. You must attend all three meetings. You can sign up at the firearms counter.

• Outdoor tip — Bridges are not access ways for the public to enter waterways. They are there for maintenance right of way for state workers.