First Gobbler: 86-year-old hunter bags a trophy

  • Updated: May 1, 2013 - 10:02 AM

At nearly 87, Dave Conger was one of thousands of hunters in the woods — each with a tale to tell.

hide

Dave Conger, 86, of Lake George, Minn., with his first-ever gobbler, which he bagged last week while hunting with his son-in-law, Tom Anderson, of North Branch. Conger turns 87 this month.

For Dave Conger, who turns 87 this month, the outdoors is his Fountain of Youth.

“I’ve hunted and fished all my life,’’ he said the other day. And he continues to do so.

“I don’t have the strength and stamina I used to, but I can still get out,’’ he said.

 

So last week, Conger hunkered in a portable ground blind with his son-in-law, Tom Anderson, when a huge gobbler strutted into shotgun range, enticed by Anderson’s calling. Conger, of Oak Grove in Anoka County, fired once, dropping the 23-pound long-beard.

Long-beard indeed. The whiskers measured 11.5 inches — a true trophy. Not bad, for his first gobbler ever. “I shot a jake three or four years ago,’’ said Conger, who took up turkey hunting in recent years.

“He was like a 9-year-old kid after he shot it,’’ said Anderson, of North Branch. “He had a big grin and his whole face lit up, he was so excited.’’

Said Conger: “It was very thrilling.’’

He had hunted alone for two days, without success, before enlisting Anderson.

“He’s a very good caller,’’ Conger said.

When they drove up to Conger’s blind, they immediately heard three gobblers. Soon birds appeared behind them, Anderson said. He peeked out a rear window and watched a bunch of birds hike across a field, the wrong direction. Then a hen and tom appeared, and slowly headed toward the hunters.

“I did some soft yelps and purring, just to let them know we were there,’’ Anderson said. “The tom was strutting, and the sunlight hit him; it was spectacular.’’

The tom then spotted their jake decoy and approached it, enabling Conger to see it for the first time out his window. He slipped his safety off and fired, killing the bird cleanly at 25 yards.

“It was just a privilege to be part of his hunt,’’ Anderson said. “I told him that when I’m 87, I hope I’ll be as active as him.’’

Conger plans to try again next year.

Seeking turkeys in Wisconsin

I was huddled in a ground blind in western Wisconsin in the predawn darkness Sunday, hunting turkeys on the edge of a field and woods that gradually sloped into a ravine. A loud gobble at 5:45 a.m., maybe 40 yards in the woods, signaled I was in the right place.

Or was I?

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
NY Yankees 0 Top 3rd Inning
Toronto 0
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Mets 0
Boston 3 Top 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Miami 0 Top 1st Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 14 1st Qtr 2:15
Connecticut 0
(6) Jacksonville St 0 1st Qtr 11:13
(8) Michigan State 7
Bowling Green 0 1st Qtr 13:25
Western Ky 0
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 0 12:18
Montreal 0
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close