Bighorns, big dreams

TFT’s Wyoming raffle hunt is a special opportunity for one east coast hunter.

The beauty of the white-tipped fans featured by Merriam’s wild turkeys pairs well with the majesty of the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming – two factors the winner of TFT’s hunt there won’t take for granted.

Benjamin Waugh, 29, of Statesville, N.C., won the TFT Merriam’s hunt to be hosted May 14 to May 16 by calling champion Joe Drake, and by outfitter Rangeland Hunting Adventures.

“Ever since TFT started doing raffles, I’ve picked one hunt each year to put in my tickets,” Waugh said. “There’s just something about the Merriam’s wild turkeys that is especially beautiful. The turkeys, and the scenery itself, were what drew me to try for this one.”

Waugh’s turkey hunting resume reaches all the way back to his single-digit years. 

“I’ve been going since I was a little kid,” he said. “My dad is an outdoorsman and introduced it to me at a really young age. As I grew up and got older, I added fuel to the fire he’d started.”

As he’s matured as a hunter, Waugh has seen his own emphasis on what’s most important in a hunt change.

“When I first started getting into it, it was the success that meant everything,” he said. “As I’ve matured, though, visiting new places is starting to take over. It’s enjoyable to travel and see new parts of the world.”

That maturation helped lead him to take a shot at this hunt, set for Wyoming. 

“Since I live in North Carolina, this is probably a hunt I’m not going to do very often in my lifetime,” he said. “The experience is something I’ve wanted for a long time. Hunting the West in general is something I probably won’t experience many times in my life. That, and the Western trip itself, are apt to be rare. I’m certainly not taking any of it for granted.”

To learn more about hunting the West, visit

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