'Amazing feeling': Blind Dongola hunter bags wild turkey - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

'Amazing feeling': Blind Dongola hunter bags wild turkey

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UNION CO. (WSIL) -- It was a successful turkey season for Illinois hunters, but one of those turkeys was extra special for Dongola resident Jeremy Holderfield. 

Jeremy grew up hunting. He's been able to successfully hunt deer and duck, but for ten seasons, he's had trouble getting himself a wild turkey. 

Friend Steve Vasicek wanted to help. In late April, Vasicek took Jeremy and his wife Carla to a private residence in Union County.

After more than five hours, the trio was about ready to call it quits.

"They were gobbling some, but once they hit the ground, they were kind of being quiet," Vasicek recalls. 

It's a good thing they didn't quit. "A big old gobbler gobbled, and it felt like he was right on top of my neck," remembers Jeremy. 

Normally, Carla helps Jeremy shoot. "Ill get behind him. I'll tell him left, right, up, down, when to shoot, steady," she explains. 

Jeremy needs the guidance because he went completely blind 14 years ago due to glaucoma advanced by diabetes. 

"There's nothing doctors can do to help me with my eyesight. I just take a step forward everyday. Lead God to where he wants me to go." 

This time Vasicek gave the directions, and Jeremy was able to harvest a turkey. It had a 10 and 3/4 inch beard and spurs that were an inch and a quarter. 

Jeremy says he's glad that he decided to keep at it and not give up. "Amazing feeling I just couldn't quit laughing and smiling." 

His hunting partners were just as happy. "We were just all hugging and high-fiving. It was just an amazing feeling," Carla says. 

Vasicek also harvested a wild turkey and says it's a day he'll always remember. "This year, I only harvested one, but I would take that turkey over any other turkey that I've killed in my life." 

Jeremy took the turkey to a taxidermist the very next day, so that he can soon display it in his home. 
 

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