Proposal in the turkey field

Story by Craig Nyhus, Lone Star Outdoor News

Photo by Gaines Slade

Jana Lee didn’t get a turkey on opening day, but she probably doesn’t care. Her boyfriend, Gaines Slade, became her fiancé just after the hunt.

“I wanted her to be able to shoot one, but we only took one gun,” Slade said. “She had never been turkey hunting with me. I had permission to hunt on a small place near Kerrville. We started in a ground blind but it was really cold and nothing was moving.”

The pair went back to the vehicle to warm up, but he knew he had to get her back out in the field to accomplish his plan.

“We walked the perimeter of the property, I would stop and call,” Slade said. “We had almost finished the loop when I got a tom to answer.”

The tom came in, strutting, but flared from the hen decoy Slade had placed.

“I had overcommitted Jana to one side to shoot,” he said. “I was on her right. The tom hooked in on us and she couldn’t see him. He went behind a prickly pear and I had to grab the gun and shoot him.”

Jana enjoyed the show, though.

“She was really excited — she had never seen one strut,” Slade said.

The couple has been dating “three hunting seasons,” and she has killed a buck and a few does with her now fiancé.

Once this bird was on the ground, Slade put his plan into action.

“I shoot video for the Tecomate Wildlife Systems TV show, so she was used to being in front of the camera,” he said. “I had her hold the bird on her knee to get a good shot for the camera. She was getting tired of holding the bird — she said it was heavy — but she stayed with it. When I went to adjust the bird and tail for the camera — that’s when I got her.”

With Jana posed with a Rio Grande turkey on her knee, Slade kneeled and popped the question, on video, of course, and her reaction was caught on film.

“She didn’t even know I had been ring shopping,” Slade said.

The marriage date hasn’t been set, but will be next year.

“But not in one of the hunting seasons,” Slade said.

Thought NWTF might like this! Opening morning in Texas and then I surprise my Jana with a marriage proposal she never saw coming. Because I video hunts for work she didn’t suspect a thing, her reaction is priceless. Turkey hunting brings us together!

Posted by Gaines Slade on Sunday, March 20, 2016