Meridian Star

April 18, 2014

Remembering a Dream Hunt

By Mike Giles / Outdoors Writer
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     While many people think dreams can’t be fulfilled, the dream is often the beginning of a fantastic journey to new accomplishments. Rocky Blier had an almost impossible dream to kill a wild turkey gobbler.

    Mature turkey gobblers present one of the toughest tasks that any hunter faces. The obstacles faced by turkey hunters are almost too numerous to mention in one article. To hunt and harvest a wise old monarch the right way is downright difficult.

    That would entail calling a mature gobbler within shotgun range, which in this case would be 30 to 40 yards.

    What makes turkey hunting all the more difficult is the fact that calling a gobbler in to gun range goes against the natural order of turkeys. The wary old gobblers begin each spring morning with voluminous gobbles from above the forest floor, resounding high in the treetops.

They bellow out their gobbles for all suitors, and as a warning for other gobblers to beware. The coal black monarchs sit on their perch and advertise for any and all willing hens that would respond. Then they simply fly down and wait until the hens arrive, and they always do.

By calling the gobblers into gun range with sweet pleadings from turkey calls, the natural mating process is actually reversed. To call up one of these old warriors is indeed quite a feat for any able bodied person, much less for a hunter such as Blier.

    As a result of a construction accident, Rocky Blier was left paralyzed and almost immobile, moving around with the help of a motorized wheel chair.

    After his accident, Blier met local eye doctor, Don Marascalco an avid hunter, and a common bond and friendship evolved. In fact, Blier was hunting with Marascalco when he harvested his first buck and they later made plans to hunt turkeys together. Marascalco was game for the task, but tempered with the knowledge that success was almost impossible.

    As most turkey hunters know, even able-bodied gobbler hunters meet failure day after day.

    In order to hunt turkeys, Blier had to be strapped into a motorized four-wheel drive wheel chair, much like a NASCAR driver is strapped into a race car.

    With the help of a stand that he had designed, the front of the shotgun rested on the stand. The stock portion was fitted with Velcro and attached to another piece of Velcro on his shoulder. By moving his shoulders slightly Blier could aim the gun side to side and increase his shooting range just a little. The gobbler, however, literally has to walk into about a five square yard area to be in the line of sight. An added problem is that limited mobility prevented him from going to the turkey and setting up as most turkey hunters would do.

Marascalco located a hot gobbler and they were soon in the woods before daylight.

    At the crack of dawn, a boss gobbler started gobbling to beat the band and Blier got a sample of an exciting spring morning hunt. Returning to the area that afternoon Marascalco had a plan and went to work making it happen.

    After seven turkey hunts, Blier now had a taste of just how hard it was to harvest a turkey. As the afternoon passed, hopes were slowly fading for Blier but Marascalco wasn’t discouraged as he continued to play sweet music with his turkey calling.

    Suddenly a boss gobbler appeared and strutted straight towards the duo, almost as if being pulled by an invisible string. As the gobbler floated across the field, he came into Blier's target zone at just the right speed and Blier’s aim was true.

    The trophy gobbler sported a ten and one half inch "paint brush" thick beard, long spurs and was the culmination of a dream. With the help of veteran turkey hunter, Marascalco, Blier achieved what many thought to be an impossible dream! Imagine the possibilities and make a difference like Don Marascalco did.

    Contact  Mike Giles at 601-917-3898

or e-mail him at