By Jack McShaneTurkey season will be over by the time the Gazette editors accept and print this rambling. What drives a rational person to get up at the crack of dawn, coffee up, clamber up a mountain, sit in camo gear by a large tree and chirp like a hen turkey for two or three hours while all the time fighting off attacking black flies? I said rational person but quite possibly it is a form of dementia with which I am inflicted.
As of this writing, May 14th, no tom turkey has succumbed to my feeble attempts to lure one to my ambush. One of those early mornings as I filled my thermos with coffee there was a big guy strutting his stuff on the front lawn for the benefit of two very indifferent hens and I guess, me also. Being a sporting soul, and also a fool, I snuck out the back door and headed up the mountain. That morning at about 9 am I finally had a response to my vocal enticements, a gobble way off to my right and then another closer. OK, get ready; he’s coming, five minutes, ten minutes, not a sound, no sign of him, oh well I guess I did not sound quite right. All of a sudden that bird, I had another name for him at the time, let out the loudest gobble I think ever emitted by a wild turkey that jolted me out of my sitting position which of course spooked him into hurried flight. He had snuck silently around behind me and was only about twenty five yards away when he decided to try to give me a heart attack. He lived to tell his buddies about his fun adventure.
Another morning I did have a responding threesome, two jakes (I call them teenagers although they are only a year old) along with a nice big tom who was doing all the gobbling. OK. This time I was ready and could see them moving in, the big tom my turkey goal. They were out about fifty yards with the big tom in the lead. I won’t shoot until the bird is no more than twenty five yards to ensure a solid kill. In my mind I had this guy all dressed, plucked and in the freezer to await Thanksgiving. As luck would have it, one of the trailing teenagers, a wise guy, attempted to jump up on a leaning dead branch which immediately broke and came crashing down alarming big tom and the other enough to send all three into a panicked and safe retreat. Oh well, teenage son saves dad, so be it. ~