For three days last week, 17 of our nation’s veterans, all Purple Heart recipients, prowled the woods of Gates County hoping to bag the elusive wild turkey.
The Gates County Wounded Warriors Turkey Hunt partners each veteran with a volunteer guide and caller, forming a team for hunting as well as friendship.
Several eastern North Carolina electric cooperatives came together for a third year to donate $1,000 for this year’s 6th annual hunt, held April 20-22 in Gatesville. The co-ops included Albemarle Electric Membership Corporation (Hertford), Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (Buxton), Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative (Newport), Edgecombe-Martin County Electric Membership Corporation (Tarboro) and Roanoke Electric Cooperative (Aulander). Roanoke Electric Cooperative serves Gates County.
Albemarle EMC Engineering Technician III Travis Riddick and Lineman Kevin Bailey also served as a guide and caller for Wounded Warrior Sergeant Jeff Davis of the United States Marine Corps. The trio bagged a 32-pound turkey, one of just seven caught during the event.
“I’ve been volunteering for five years at the hunt. It’s my way to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for us and our country,” said Riddick. “We had a great time with Jeff, and a highlight for me was just getting to know him over those few days. Very glad Jeff was able to get a turkey!”
The June issue of Carolina Country magazine will feature more information about the event.