I sat beneath the oaks and watched the meadow. The morning song birds were chirping and I could hear the water gently bubbling over the creek bed below us. The early morning was cold and the tom turkeys were sounding out their gobbles from a not too far off distance. Our warm breath streamed from our mouths and nose in the frosty spring morning.
The morels were up and the and spring flowers carpeted the forest floor. The wonderful thing about hunting is it makes you get out of your lazy bed and enjoy all natures wonders. The sounds , the smells and most of all the sights .....are absolutely joyous.
The toms kept gobbling and Frank was calling with a soft yelp. We hoped one would come our way. When I thought my fingers and toes were almost frozen the sun rays hit the sky and the warmth made me feel warm and sleepy. But now was not the time to sleep. A gobbler just might be coming to the call.
As the geese honked overhead they flew to the pond below us. The Toms quit gobbling and everything was quiet. I saw a movement about 80 yards at the corner of the meadow. A Tom had just come into view and had no idea we were there. He had one hen with him. He spun and drummed and showed off his stuff as he strutted across the field. This was just like the hunting videos . We had a decoy above us and he was headed our way. Frank gave another yelp and he gobbled and strutted . He put his head down and here he came. When he got to within 50 yards he stopped. The hen kept coming. She was 15 yards from us totally oblivious to our presence. Just about then the gobbler turned and went back to where he had come into the field. We watched and waited. It looked like he was leaving for sure so Frank gave a loud YELP YELP YELP. He stopped turned ...put his head down and back he came. We sat without moving a muscle. He strutted and spread his feathers and around and around he went. I had never seen such a show before. This made all the cold fingers and toes and early mornings out of bed worth it all. I wasn't going to get a shot at him but Frank surely would. He was sitting about 20 feet in front of me with brush on his right and left but surely he would get a shot......Surely. The tom came to within 45 yards and stood there looking at the decoys . He'd back up .......go side to side but always stopped right in front of the brush pile. Finally he started to move away . It was now or never. He turned to the side and Frank could finally see him but it was a tricky shot. He had to take the only shot the tom had given him. "Shoot!!!!!! shoot !!!!!!!," I was repeating in my mind. Couldn't he hear me? The tom was starting to edge further and further away. Kaboom.................Rats! Rats! Rats! He missed. Ol tom flew away and the hen followed.
What a thrill!!!!!!! Just like all the books you read on turkey hunting.
Just like all the stories you hear and all the videos you've see
. It was perfect. Just perfect. No we didn't get the turkey...........
but it was still PERFECT.
It is now the 7th day of turkey hunting and I still have no turkey.
We have seen turkey everyday but they have not been coming to the calls
since Frank got his turkey thursday... I am tired of babbling brooks, singing
birds, flowers carpeting the forest floor , honking geese and warm sun.
I am tired of watching deer and fox and squirrel. And I am getting just
plain tired. I WANT to kill A TURKEY. I am becoming obsessed . I
heard people became obsessed but I never thought it would happen
to me. I am up at 4:30 A.M. every morning and yelling at Frank to
get up so we can get in the woods before the turkeys start to gobble. I
have become a crazy woman. I haven't washed dishes or put on make up or
curled my hair for 5 days. ANd cook? We have lived on balona and donuts
all week. Maybe this is the reason I am becoming a crazy woman. My eyes
are starting to glaze over. I am dreaming about turkeys If I can only get
my turkey today we can get some rest and eat a good meal...... but FIRST>>>>>I
want to KILL A TURKEY.
We left at 5:00 am for the valley. I knew the turkeys would be or should be roosting there. We slipped in by the cover of night. We sat down and got fairly comfortable and started to listen. About day break we heard a gobble about 60 yards from us. This is great. Then I hear a gobble about 20 yards from us. I am practically under his tree. Ok..... I will sit still. This should be good. We sit and sit and it seems like they are never going to come down. My butt is numb and I have to go to the bathroom. .No matter how I sit my legs cramp and my fingers and toes are frozen . It is day light now and I am watching the second tom ....the close one still in his roost. I can see the little booger plain as day. Man if I could only shoot him with my flintlock rifle..........Oh well....... Finally he flies down . Then hens start going nuts.They are everywhere. Yelping and yelping. They are flying out of their roosts everywhere. We are in turkey hunters heaven.
Frank starts to call. About 20 minutes later we see a tom come off the hill in front of us. I do not have a very good view of him but if he keeps coming I might get a shot. He gets to the bottom and runs across the path and out of my sight. What a disappointment. He heads up and away gobbling all the while. We sit and call some more. We got up to make a different set up and we hear the other one. Wait the first one is coming back. Man this is so exciting .I don't know which way to turn. We run up the road and don't even have time to pick up our decoys. HE sounds like he is coming in quick. Hear he comes down the hill. "You see him?" Frank asks me." No....No....Yea I do now.....If he gets to the creek is that close enough?" I asked . "Yea.....just barely." Frank answers. Ok......When he gets to the creek if I have a good shot I will take it....Here he comes. I slowly pull my gun up . I put the bead right on his waddle. Squeeze......Squeeze. Is this gun ever going to go off ?. Keep pullin....He is at the creek......Pulllll.BANG. The shotgun rocks me backwards and the turkey is gone. In the creek bottom? He has to be there. Frank jumped up and ran to look. I hadn't caught my breath yet and the turkey comes hauling A_ _ out of the creek and down the valley. Frank looks at me and asked,"Why did you shoot him when he was jumping in the creek?" "What ?What?" He was standing on the creek bank when I shot at him." "Well just as you shot he jumped in the creek bottom".AUGGGGG !!!!! &*%$&)*$*)_(#+
I never realized hunting was so much like gambling. One minute you're
so high. The next you are so low. Today was the most exciting and
most depressing day I ever had during a hunt. I had so much fun and
I was so disappointed. You put forth all the effort into preparing
for the hunt. And when I finally get the shot.....I blow it.
Maybe you are suppose to miss you first turkey so you can really appreciate when you get one.
You can bet if.......no, when..... I get one, I will REALLY appreciate it.
We were checking Franks bird in at the local carry out. A small boy was waiting to buy a candy bar. I looked down at him and gave him a friendly smile . He seemed to be a little afraid of the two old people dressed like Rambo. Frank told him to go ahead of us. We were in no hurry. His dad looked down and told the little boy as he kept a close eye on us," These are very patient people son.......they are
Patience .......ah yes................ It
was the 11th day of hunting and I had not gotten my turkey . I had decided
it was time to solo. I got all my gear together and ready for the morning.
I awoke with out an alarm and started the coffee. I would wake Frank before
I'd leave. It got day light quickly. As I headed towards my place to hunt
I heard gobbles from the other direction. I changed my plans and headed
to the other end of the farm. I set up close to the tom still gobbling
in his tree. I called but he just seemed to get further and further away.
The deer were so close to me that I was afraid a little doe was going to
step on me. They finally moved away and I got up to check the field above.
As I approached I saw a long beard strutting in the field about 200 yards
away. I took all my extra gear off and crawled along the edge in the cool
grass. It had gotten hot and the crawl in the wet grass felt god. The turkey
just kept moving away . I made a call but he wasn't interested.
I backed off and retrieved my gear. I would circle below him and come up in the valley . Maybe I could head him off and call him down to me. I Had fences to contend with so I took off all my extra gear and crawled under the barbed wire fence taking only my call ,gun and decoy. I kept low and went to the center of the field to set my decoy. I looked up the road and saw a gobbler strutting at the top. I tried to push the decoy in the hard ground and ran towards the edge. As I got into position the decoy fell over. Rats!!!!! I needed that ! I sat quietly for a few minutes and decided to set it again. I again crawled over to it and as I was setting it again I could see the turkeys along the crest of the hill. If they don't see me it will be a miracle!!!!!
I got back into position and made a call. A turkey gobbled. I kept quiet. After a while I heard them gobbling further away. I thought I would make another call. Just a few yelps. Now I would wait. It was about 20 minutes later I saw a hen come into the clearing above me. Then 2 .Then a nice long beard. I would need to wait for them to cross the road and come into the field I was in. It a short time they had done just that. Four deer were feeding with them. Oh I would never get a shot! The deer would surely wind me. "Just be still and wait for your chance." I advised myself. I waited. The deer jumped the fence and went on into the woods. That was good. The turkeys were feeding up the field. But I was down the field !!!!! I will wait. Just A little call...to let them know I am interested. I wait. ANd wait. I had all but given up and I see the tom coming back down the field. He sees my decoy. He looks and looks. I put the barrel up and hold it. ANd hold it. God my arm is killing me. If I can just get him past the corner I will get a shot. He is there . He stops and looks at the decoy again. I guess the time is now. BOOMMMMM. He drooped like a rock. The 2 hens flew up out of the field. I rushed over to make sure he wouldn't get up. 45 paces away.I had done it. A fifty year old grandma. By myself. What a nice bird !19 pounds 10 inch beard 1 1/4 inch spurs. I was told he was probably 4 years old. A nice mature bird. Maybe in my 50 years of living I had learned PATIENCE.
Frank and I really enjoyed this turkey season. WE felt like kids again experiencing life and all its wonders. We all get locked into our everyday lives and forget that nature offers so much fun and excitement.The trick is to get out there and enjoy it.I learned so much this turkey season. You are NEVER too old to learn something new.But most of all you are never too old to feel that youthful newness of life experience.
So go ahead and get cold fingers and toes,loose a little sleep, and even if you don't get a turkey you'll have a
PERFECT SPRING TURKEY HUNT !!!!
Till next time
KEEP ON TREKKING,
Want to know how to cook that wild turkey?
Apple Baked Turkey