Hunter’s first wild turkey helps her follow the family tradition in outdoor accomplishments

Tsion Epley kept up family tradition.

The 14-year-old from Flossmoor earned Turkey of the Week for a tom taken during youth season in Door County, Wisconsin, between Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay.

Nick Epley, her dad, emailed that her tom appeared around dawn in front of their tent blind during their first hunt together. Six jakes came by, but were scared off by a red fox, which did not scare the tom.

“The tom continued circling us, coming in behind us about 15 yards away,” Epley emailed. “Tsion was a bit nervous and couldn’t get in a great position for the shot, so she held off. I was proud of her for that. The tom then turned around to retrace its tracks. At about 25 yards, Tsion got set up, felt comfortable, and took the shot. She was right on target.

“Most of our experiences in life fall short of the best we can imagine because we imagine such ideal outcomes. This one, however, was better than I ever imagined.”

She joins her older brothers in outdoors distinction: Ben, a junior in college, earned Mushroom of the Week (Oct. 23, 2019 Sun-Times) and Nathan, a sophomore, earned Buck of the Week (Jan. 2, 2019 S-T).

Tsion Epley prepares to walk out with her first wild turkey. Provided photo

Tsion Epley prepares to walk out with her first wild turkey.

TOTW, the celebration of hunting wild turkeys in Illinois and their stories (the stories matter, as this one shows), runs Wednesdays in the paper Sun-Times as warranted. The online posting here at up at varied days of the week, depending on what is going on the wide world of the outdoors.

To make submissions, email ([email protected]) or contact me onFacebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or Instagram (@BowmanOutside).

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