Hometown: Gonzalez, Louisiana
Hometown Chapter: Blind River Boss Gobblers
NWTF member since: 1998
NWTF Involvement: Thad is a past-president of the Blind River Boss Gobblers and has served as the JAKES committee chair for several years.
NWTF: What do you do when you are not working with children or hunting?
Thad Bellow: I am a taxidermist. I have been doing that for 19 years, ever since I got in an accident that left me in a wheelchair.
NWTF: How did you get involved with the NWTF?
Thad Bellow:I had been a member of Ducks Unlimited for a long time and knew some people who were also NWTF members. One of my friends contacted me because he knew I liked working with youth. He asked me to be the JAKES chairman. I had never been turkey hunting before that, but I figured I could learn.
NWTF: So now you're hooked on turkey hunting, of course.
TB: Yes! It actually has kind of ruined me. I am really fortunate to have some good friends to go with. I have only bagged two birds so far, a Jake and a gobbler. I remember, though, when I first heard a gobbler respond to a call... the hair on the back of my neck stood up!
NWTF: Which of your two birds was more exciting?
TB: It was my gobbler. I swear that bird gobbled 100 to 150 times between daylight and the time I shot it. My friends and I set up on a levy and the birds were down in the swamp. I was sitting in a pop up blind. Finally he came down from his roost and was putting on a show. He kept walking around my blind and I had to keep spinning myself in my wheelchair to keep an eye on him. As soon as he came out of strut, I got him.
NWTF: So did you stuff him?
TB: No, I just made a tail fan. I am waiting for the big bird to stuff.
NWTF: How does your wife feel about your love of hunting?
TB: Well, she likes to eat them, so she's OK with it.
NWTF: What do you like most about being a part of the NWTF?
TB: I just enjoy the whole experience.