13-year-old bags his first wild turkey while hunting with his grandpa

Ron Siwinski of Village Sportsmen’s Club in Alsip nominated “Little Joe” McRae, 13, for bagging his first turkey during Illinois’ first youth turkey season over the weekend.

“Back-to-back firsts!” Siwinski emailed. “Hunting with Grandpa Ray McRae, this young man harvested his first deer in youth season 2023, now his first turkey during youth season 2024. He waited patiently for five jakes in his decoy spread to separate before he finally got his ethical shot!”

Jakes are young gobblers. The McRae’s were hunting on Village Sportsmen’s Club property in Hancock County.

“The kid is hooked, and his Grandpa (a long-time club member) could not be prouder!” Siwinski emailed.

Turkey of the Week, 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.

To make submissions, email ( or contact me on Facebook (Dale Bowman), X (@BowmanOutside), Instagram (@BowmanOutside) or Bluesky (

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