Spring turkey hunting is over for 2007 for me. My last weekend found me and my hunting buddy Mike May in the swamplands of northeast Louisiana waiting for daylight. The coldness of the Saturday morning had us dressed like we were deer hunting.
A little after daylight Mike “owled.” Sure 'nough, a mature bird “gobbled.” After getting a pretty good head on his location, off we went, only to go too fast too far. We flushed him off the roost.
After a failed calling session, we hit the trail. Around mid-morning we set up an ambush site at perhaps an ancient log set. Five “spurs” fed the opening.
Mike commenced calling, while I commenced napping. Boy, the breaks in the clouds let the sun warm things up, which was exceptionally conducive to sleep. A little after 1 p.m., Mike spied a turkey. Mike was facing the turkey with me off to his right 6 or 7 feet and my back to the turkey. Having been “back-doored” so many times by mid-day turkeys, I stayed put, waiting on the proverbial silent stalker.
Mike's subtle calling eased this old gobbler slowly, ever so slowly, nearer our ambush site. I was now twisted at my waist to my right with my neck twisted hard right to see all the goings on.
Nearly an hour after the first sighting, this old bird reached gunshot range. At perhaps 30 yards, a 3.5-inch dose of 6's was expelled from Mike's double barrel. Dr. Turkey simply turned and proceeded to exit stage left. Mike had flat out missed this apparent “chip shot.”
Another round of 6's got some fleeing results. He was sure 'nough running then.
By now I had gotten un-distorted, re-arranged, abandoned my original shooting solution, and reacted with cat-like reflexes. I double tapped my over and under, sending all kind of stuff down range, but by then that bird had rotated and had the afterburners on.
I really wish I could have filmed this little episode. How a first stationary bird could have dodged so many pellets is almost beyond belief. If anyone ever gets a shot on this turkey again, he will be using a rifle.
Farm chores will now be the norm as our part of the world will be on a “can to can't” basis. I really don't know how we do what we do. In just a few days our wheat crops will be harvested. Already our corn is well-established, fertilized, sprayed and ready for polypipe.
Cotton will be up in a few days and soybeans are being planted daily. Heck, some might be through planting by now.
Pastures are being cared for, hay meadows are being sprayed and the things that we do daily go on. From daylight 'til after dark and we are not even near the longest daylight day or the hottest day of the year. And the beat goes on.
If you are reading this, perhaps you are like me. We like the outdoors. You know, hunting, fishing, shooting, just being outside. Like me, you probably have a firearm in your vehicle for snakes, armadillos, coyotes and other pests that make life difficult for our daily ventures.
We can surely get ready for some “quick fix” gun control due to the terrible shooting in Virginia. I recently heard some female student from a local university on a TV station make the statement that “the only reason to have a gun on campus is to kill somebody.” Poor little girl, ain't gotta clue. But she was the one that was heard.
During my tenure at Northeast Louisiana State College (now Northeast Louisiana University), a rifle or shotgun was the norm in hunting season. Pistols were in our presence year ”round.
Can you imagine what the Virginia shooting outcome would have been if just someone in that class, student or teacher had been armed with some kind of self-defense firearm? Please, don't let your local senators or representatives pass some “quick fix” legislation that will forever hinder our legal lives. My humble prayers go out to the victims' families.
If you get a chance, take a kid hunting or fishing. For that matter, take anyone.