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Turkey Season

Turkey season is upon us, and if you can’t walk up on a flock or call in a bird to you, there’s a lot of aimless walking around involved while you’re looking for birds and scaring them up into the air. But the truth is, they scare you up into the air. They wait until you’re under them and then they take off with all their glory and thunder, and it literally sounds like a helicopter just took off from the tree you’re standing by. My grey hair is not from my kids; it’s from the wing span of those huge birds that echoes in the empty woods through your soul and scares the ever-loving life out of you! There’s no way I can compose myself to shoot after that sound. I’ve consistently seen them wait until you’re directly underneath them before they take off because that’s their defense mechanism: to surprise and scare you. It works. Deer are bigger and easier to see on the ground; these birds can be anywhere! It’s similar to watching a scary movie when you know something bad is going to happen and you brace yourself, but the loud “jump scare” when it’s quiet still makes you spill your popcorn. We used to have an old call box that you used by scraping the lid across the chalk on the open top of the box to make a turkey call noise to try to bring them to you, but that just never worked out for me because my call sounded like a bird was dying instead. It kind of sounded more like Irish bag pipes playing a song at a funeral. That horrible noise never attracted a single bird; in fact, I think it repelled them. They thought to themselves that they didn’t want to meet the same fate as the dying “bird” making that horrifying noise, so they went the other way instead. Another problem is that we’re not sneaking up on them. Every single step we take in the woods is as loud as humanly possible. We’re ridiculous out there. Have you ever tried to walk quietly in the woods? It’s impossible. The Indians were barefoot or wore moccasins for a reason…to sneak up on the animals they needed to hunt for food. We’re out there with our ginormous Dick’s Sporting Goods insulated big foot specials that snap every loud twig within a 3-foot radius of ourselves. The birds can’t help but notice that there the hunters are, not sneaking. I even look where I step, doesn’t matter. There’s something always there super loud underfoot. I’m in awe of the Indians too because they had to walk through briars, vines, scratchy twigs, downed trees, barbed fences, etc. because that’s where the animals were hiding, and they did it with bare legs!! I’m walking like the hills are alive trying to attack me as it shreds my thick clothes, and they’re out there in their loin cloths and headbands, killin’ it. I’d be the wimpy Indian in the field, waiting to see how everybody else made out. I’d be content just eating corn and going vegetarian just to avoid that thick brush that pokes your eyes and scratches every inch of your skin. If I went into the woods as an Indian, I’d come out looking like I lost in a fight to a briar patch as the other Indians would be asking, “What the? What happened to you?” Good luck to all the turkey hunters this year and stay safe!

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