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Few feathers were ruffled on these hunts
Oct 31, 2012 12:00 am
On opening day of the fall turkey season I joined Roy Denney and Larry Hillis on a hunt on Roy’s Wilson County farm.
Roy and Larry set up on one side of a field adjacent to a wood-line in which turkeys are known to roost. I set up on the other side of the field.
Shortly after dawn a flock of turkeys flew down and began working their way across the field. Naturally, they went toward the opposite side from where I was sitting.
Two shotguns boomed. Roy and Larry, owner of the Reloaders Bench in Mt. Juliet, sent their turkeys tumbling. Mine ran off.
Story of my life: I was on The Wrong Side of the Field. That might make an appropriate title for my autobiography.
Then again, I’m not sure it would have made much difference if the birds HAD ventured my way, based on a second turkey trek a few days later.
This time I was hunting with Clarence Dies in northern Wilson County. Clarence called in a flock of turkeys and we waited until they got into close range, then let loose.
I shot twice and missed.
Clarence shot once and scored.
There are misses and then there are misses. Some are more painful than others. This miss one was a doozy.
To put it in perspective:
I arose at 3:45 a.m.
I drove an hour to Clarence’s house.
We walked a mile through pitch-dark, across a pasture booby-trapped by cows.
We crossed a creek and climbed a ridge, again navigating through the dark by Braille.
It was bitter cold.
We found some comfort in the fact that the cold would keep the copperheads inactive.
We sat down under a vine-covered tree. When it got daylight, the vines bore a close resemblance to poison oak.
We sat there for three hours while Clarence squawked, yelped, putted and purred. On a turkey call, I mean – one of the famous Three Trax Turkey Calls he hand-crafts.
The sun rose higher and I began to defrost. I was getting drowsy when Clarence whispered, “Here they come!”
Sure enough, a dozen turkeys were strolling down the path directly in front of us, bronzed feathers gleaming in the sunlight.
I eased my gun into position and got ready. By agreement, I would shoot first. I waited till I saw the whites of the eyes of the lead turkey, and fired. Missed.
I pumped in another shell and fired again. Another miss.
Clarence fired. Turkey down.
As Clarence retrieved his flopping bird, I thought about perhaps taking up a new sport, bowling maybe, or shuffleboard. Something without feathers.
But at least all three of my hunting buddies were successful, and have the makings for a Thanksgiving dinner.
As for me, anybody know a good recipe for Spam & dressing?