March 16, 2009: For those of you who read along on one of the sites I frequented last year, you have already seen this story, but for those of you that are just now following this blog, I wanted to post this last excerpt from my hunt journal last year. This last hunt took place on the property we will be hunting this year. I definitely want to keep this lesson fresh on my mind this year: patience, patience, and more patience.
Here is the story:
Like I always say… I LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY TIME I GO HUNTING!! Yesterday was the last day of turkey season in Alabama. I was unable to go in the a.m. because I had to be at work extremely early for appointments. Thinking I wanted one more peaceful moment in the woods, I would go home and hunt the final hour. So I rushed home, a one hour drive, rushed in the house changed into my hunting clothes, grabbed my ball cap and flew out the door. I drove up the road to one of our hunting spots where I knew turkeys roost every night.
When I got there I drove a little further into the field than normal to save time on the 1/2 mile walk into the field. My thoughts on that were “no matter what happens, we won’t be hunting these birds again until next year.” So I jump out of the truck, grab my stool, my binoculars, my ThermoCell, my shooting stick and my shotgun; no vest or calls because I didn’t need them on this roost line. First, I glassed the field to make certain there were no birds visible. Then I hurriedly walk along the edge of the field toward my destination all the while putting on my face mask and gloves and glassing the field in between. I was cutting a rug across that field… just about out of breath. The birds have been roosting at 7:00 to 7:10 p.m. every night; it is now 6:35 p.m. I only have a small margin of time to be invisible due to a high terrace that the irrigation rig is perched on… go, go, hurry, got to get there… puff, puff…
I get within 60 yards of my sitting spot and I glass the field once more to make certain no birds had topped the terrace yet. Nothing—this is good!! I get to my spot and set up. Within 3 or 4 minutes, a gobble just out in front of me about 100 yards or better. Wheww—the chills set in… I know they are out there. Good, I didn’t get busted. About 15 minutes later the gobble came from clear across the field. Shoot… I must have gotten busted and pushed them across the field. I decide to stay put and not try to get up and move.
More gobbles came from adjoining lands and one deep on the South part of our hunting property. There has been a big tom down there, I saw him once. Struggling with the urge to get up and go check him out, I decided to stay put. Okay, I am going to wait another 20 minutes in this spot… I am all but sure that I have been busted now.
It is now 7:10 p.m., I raise a little and glass the field, nothing!! All right, I think to myself, these birds made it through this season–I am going to sneak down there and at least get a look at the big Tom and then head to the house. I get up; leaving my stool, ThermoCell, and shooting stick in place–just toting my gun and binoculars.
I stand up, glass the field; nothing. I walk out into the field about 20 yards and raise my binoculars glassing the field before walking out into the clear open, unhidden from any terraces. I drop my binoculars and take a sharp left turn heading to the back field. All of the sudden, like a hard resounding knock on a wooden door, ringing through the air I hear…Putt, Putt!! You got it!! A hen and a huge Tom were 50-60 yards away just 10 yards below the crest of the terrace that I was sitting on the other side of moments ago. Off they went running!! All the wind got knocked out of me. Man, I cannot believe that!! What luck? I definitely could hear Murphy Law giggling in my cargo pocket. Arrrgghh!!
I raised my shoulders out of the slump they were in…and thought; well, they made it this long! Run, Tom, Run!! So, I started walking again. Two steps, just two more steps… and about 15 yards from where the tom and hen took off were two more toms.. now having full visibility of me. They took off across the field… NOW I AM JUST ABOUT IN TEARS.
I raised the binoculars to my eyes and watched them cover about 200 yards of freshly plowed field. I had to chuckle to myself as I watched the small poofs of dust from each stride they took… it really was comical… they looked the Road Runner from the old cartoon series. What a sight—even if it did knock the wind out of me.
My husband told me that I probably mistook the last gobbles to be far away because they may have been in full strut facing the other direction causing the sound to bounce off their tail feathers and also due to all the leaves on the trees surrounding the edge of the fields… sound bounces off of those trees also.
My lesson on this hunt… PATIENCE, PATIENCE, and MORE PATIENCE. I learned that when I get to where I can’t stand it and I am ready to get up and go…wait another 10-15 minutes before you make that move. Yep, I learn something new EVERYTIME I go out in the field.
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009