The wind is gusting to 40 MPH. The temperature may make 30F by this afternoon. We keep getting snow squalls so heavy it is sometimes hard to see the truck in the driveway. So why am I starting to think about turkey hunting? Well, for one thing, I tripped over the box of calls the other day– first time I’ve even noticed them since May or June. For a second reason, I finally got all the deer rifles put away for the year. That meant I also had to pull out the turkey guns. That got my juices flowing.
For a third reason I was digging around in my unfinished audio projects and found my Opening Day hunt from last year. I had a few hours to kill, so I started editing it. The next thing I know I’m starting to get a powerful jones on. Out the window it was snowing, and the wind was whistling. In my headphones, it was mid-April and the clouds were growing dark with an approaching rain storm. Water dripped everywhere from the rains overnight. The gobblers were hot– not so much at fly-down, but over at the Honey Hole about an hour later, you nearly had to beat them off with sticks. There were hens calling from clear over in the other pasture, but for some reason these gobblers wanted everything I was throwing at them.
Everything. I did not realize it that Saturday morning, but I thought was a simple sinus problem quickly spiraled down into pneumonia. Tuesday morning I called it quits and drove back to town with a fever. I don’t remember anything of Wednesday, and I was still having trouble clear into late July. That morning, I could not keep from coughing, but the gobblers were responding like it was the Siren’s Song.
I had about 4 hours of material to start with. I figured you did not want to hear me hacking my lungs out. What I left in has some heavy breathing. Yeah, I was excited, but not like that.
From my journal:
By midnight, we were taking rain by buckets and 40 MPH gusts. I distinctly remember being wakened by one that moved the house.
0500 came all to quickly. However, there was a good surprise: a setting full moon and a clear sky. It was warm too! About 52 F as we packed up and left for the blinds. Angus and SuperCore went off toward Broken Corners. I went to the Honey Hole.
Let me give you the set-up: I went out to my favorite place, The Honey Hole. It is a high spot between two pastures running to either side of a long ridge. There were hens roosted to either side of me that morning, but they went somewhere else. Flydown was sort of a bust and I was just getting to feeling the fact that I’d been sitting too long when I spied three jakes coming up my blind side on the right.
They hung around until the boss showed up at about 0845. I bagged him, and barely made it back before 3 more gobblers showed up. I was starting to pack up, and I gave the box call one last good crank before putting it away. That was all it took. They came up and checked me out for about 20 minutes, before moving off far enough for me to escape. Towards the end, it was looking pretty gnarly out. I barely made it back to camp before the skies opened up.
The tale of the tape: 24.5 lbs, 10.5″ beard and spurs starting to hook– I’m guessing a 3 year old. He was fat enough that he broke the stick I was using as a handle for my turkey tote.