The Driven crew had quite the spring so far with good experiences and special moments, Nicole says, and they're still hitting the ground hard. Contributing to their spring successes is Nicole and Pat's five-year-old son Cashton who participated in his first spring turkey hunt this year. On his first morning in the blind, Nicole says they watched a group of gobblers and hens from a distance before 3 mature toms came into their decoy presenting a shot opportunity for their son. Sitting on Pat's lap, they coached him through finding the bird in his scope and then waited for him to take a shot. Nicole says they were all equally shocked and thrilled when they saw the gobbler hit the ground. At just five-years-old, Cashton is the youngest of their kids to shoot a turkey, but Nicole says he was ready for the challenge. Making it a positive first experience was important to them so they made sure they had the right gear to help him succeed. They outfitted him with a Browning .410 shotgun which is small enough for kids to handle confidently, yet still very effective and capable of knocking down a turkey. They topped his .410 with a Vortex red dot scope, a very straight forward and visually simple scope for beginners to use. The other vital piece of gear was a BOG FieldPod Max Shooting Rest Tripod that Nicole says is the ticket for kids as it has a sled for the gun to rest keeping the shooter steady.
Part of teaching kids about hunting, aside from actually killing an animal, is also making them aware of everything that goes into making a hunt possible and everything that comes afterward. Nicole says part of their requirement for taking kids hunting is that they be old enough or capable enough to help clean, process and cook the animal they kill. The field to table aspect of hunting plays an important role in their lifestyle and their kids have a solid understanding of where their food comes from. The real reason Cashton wanted to go turkey hunting, she says, was so he could shoot a bird and help his mom make homemade turkey nuggets with it. Making that connection and understanding where your food comes from is important and Nicole says it also is a source of pride and accomplishment as their kids can feel good about providing for their family. Everything they shoot throughout the year they process personally and put in their freezer. Particularly right now, during the uncertain times we've been navigating, Nicole says she couldn't be more thankful to be a hunter and be able to provide for her family.
Be sure to watch "Driven with Pat and Nicole" on Outdoor Channel, Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET. A new season of Driven will kick off this summer, so watch for that! You can also catch previous seasons and episodes with the MyOutdoorTV platform.