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Turkeys hard to come by during recent father-son hunting trip

Van Voss, left, and his son Nathan Voss were scheduled to be featured on Mossy Oak’s “Hunting the Country,” but they were unsuccessful in catching a turkey, so the show will not be aired. (Eric Shelton / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Four local turkey hunters went out two weekends ago in hopes of having their hunting adventure broadcast on Mossy Oak’s “Hunting the Country.”

The turkey, however, refused to cooperate and the hunters had to just settle for a fun, family weekend.

At last year’s Miss-Lou NWTF banquet, John Hicks purchased an opportunity to take his son, John Ashton Hicks, his cousin Van Voss and his god son, Voss’ son, Nolan on a turkey hunting trip that was to be filmed and aired on the TV show “Hunting the Country.”

The four went out and were unable to nab a turkey the entire weekend, so the show will not be aired. But, the hunters enjoyed their experience all the same.

“It was (kind of) an uneventful trip, with no kills, but it was good experience for the youth, especially the youth and everyone really to see how much work is involved in making hunting shows. You spend so many hours out there trying to get something on film for people to watch that only takes 30 minutes to watch.

We spent three days out there and we aren’t even going to have a TV show.”

The filming even carried over to Monday in hopes of getting footage for the show. John Ashton Hicks was confident about their chances Monday morning but they again had little luck.

“I ended up skipping some school Monday morning to see if we could get some (turkeys), and when we went Monday morning it was really good weather and I thought for sure we were going to kill one because they were gobbling all over the place but they wouldn’t come in (close), they were frigid and scared and they wouldn’t come in,” John Ashton Hicks, 12, said.

“You don’t always kill something when you go but it’s nice to get out there and I enjoy going,” John Hicks said.

“Of course I was a little disappointed (that we didn’t get a kill),” Nolan Voss said.

“And next year I won’t be able to go because I’ll be 16 and won’t be a youth anymore. But, my dad bought the package again so he can take my younger brother and hopefully John Ashton again.

“I will always remember the fact that it was my first turkey hunt and I got to go with a camera crew and Mossy Oak. Me and my dad always watch the Outdoor Channel and I got to see how they do it, so I will remember that part.”

“The thing I will remember most is the first day when we went out and the camera man went out with us. (Nolan) leaned over to me and said, ‘Dad this is the best hunt you’ve ever taken me on,” Van Voss said.

Nolan Voss had been deer hunting before but never turkey hunting.

The family is going to try again next year, however, because Van Voss purchased the same package at the NWTF banquet this year and plans on taking his younger son Hunter and is going to try to take the Hicks family, as well.

“They are going to save the footage for next year and Van bought the package this year at the banquet and hopefully we’re going to try again next year and maybe with some of the combined footage we can actually make a show,” John Hicks said.

The television hunting experience was, of course, new to all the hunters and they learned a lot about how shows are made, John Hicks said.

The crew goes out and there is a caller, a camera man and a hunter (or in this case a hunter and a dad), Hicks said.

The group did have one good chance to kill a turkey, but the hunters decided not to shoot.

“A bunch of jakes (young turkeys) got within 10 yards from me and that was pretty exciting,” Nolan Voss said.

“I’ve never been turkey hunting before and wanted my first turkey to be a long beard, so we didn’t shoot.”

The group went to Pinecrest Plantation to do their hunting and got to stay in lodges there for the weekend.

The group ate real well the entire weekend and enjoyed their stay at the lodges and the time away from their busy schedules, John Hicks said.

“It’s nice to get away from cell phones and everything. (John Ashton) and I are actually going to try to go (hunting) in the morning,” John Hicks said.

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