What better way to get ready for prom than to grab your date and your bow and take down a couple of turkeys?
On April 9, hunting buddies and prom dates Samantha Eliason and Frankie Maestri of Big Horn, Wyoming were getting ready for the big dance when they decided to try their luck with a couple of gobblers before getting in the limo. Eliason, a 17-year-old junior at Sheridan High School, had an inkling that she would need her turkey license before heading to her childhood friend’s house. According to the hunter, the plan was to go trout fishing, but she knew there was always a possibility for another adventure.
“When me and Frankie hang out, we’re always up to something,” Eliason said of Maestri, a sophomore at Big Horn High, where the prom was held. “[We’re always] fishing, hunting, shooting.”
Both Eliason and Maestri grew up in ranching families in north-central Wyoming. They quickly became friends after bonding on some of their favorite outdoor activities. Since then, the two have been thick as thieves and naturally chose each other to be their prom dates.
The morning before their prom, the duo spent a few hours with hooks in the water. Afterward, Eliason and Maestri were on the way home when they spotted about two dozen turkeys gathering. With some strategic calling, Maestri pulled one close enough for him to take a shot with his bow.
But the hunt wasn’t over yet.
Prom Dates Pose in Their Formal Clothes with Their Turkeys
Following Maestri’s kill, the two picked up another friend and decided to patrol the property near an old farmhouse. Sure enough, they found an even bigger flock. With some patience, the trio managed to call in some toms and Eliason fired a round off her 20-gauge Weatherby.
“I actually spotted them which was kind of cool,” Eliason recalled. “Usually Frankie has the good eye, but I spotted these ones. So I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, get down!”
They tried to get their third buddy a kill as well, but to no avail. Satisfied with the day’s tags, the group split up to change out of their camo and wash the feathers from their hands.
Once Eliason put on her black, sparkly gown and Maestri his tux, the dates posed for some mandatory pre-prom photos. Of course, they had to pose with their game, too. The only problem was that with such a fresh kill, the blood started dripping onto the bottom of Eliason’s dress, soaking the hem.
“It’s a heavy turkey and, of course Frankie’s got it handled,” Eliason said. “But I’m holding it up for probably five seconds so they could snap that one perfect picture and I got turkey blood all over the bottom of my dress. If it was a white dress I would’ve been done for, but thank goodness it was black.”
Thankfully, the blood came out of the hem with a wet cloth. Once they put away their game to pluck and dress for later, the two hunting buddies headed off to prom just in time.