April 27, 2009: That title is definitely not what you are thinking, so let me explain. I have, in my entire life through 29 years of showing horses and the past three years in the woods hunting, picked approximately three ticks out of my skin and maybe six off of my clothes or boots…it is going to happen when you are an outdoor enthusiast. What I experienced in North Carolina actually brought me in from the woods early–and that, my friends, is a first for me. I have been known to sit ALL day on stand or in a blind when it was not even necessary and I have spent entire days in a shooting house in the rain.

This past Saturday, on the afternoon of my last hunt, I sat on a Cabelas Turkey Lounger at the base of a tree just off a two rut trail. It was 82 degrees out and the sun was beaming strong making me appreciate the shade. First came the mosquitos….no problem….the ThermoCell came to my rescue. About 45 minutes into my sit I noticed a tick crawling across my thigh. Shortly after that I felt something at my collar, a second tick. It wasn’t 15 minutes and I saw one on my shin and another one scampering across the toe of my boot. Then I saw one on my shirt cuff. At this point I was thinking… only an hour and a half has passed and I am covered in ticks. I have to get up off this ground. I packed my stuff and was sneaking down the road to a gas line hoping to find an ideal spot to regroup and hunt. I felt a pinch on my elbow. You guessed it!! Another tick; five ticks!! I finally found a promissing place to sit and settled in. What I found though is that I absolutely could not sit still for the fact that every nerve ending in my body was imagining Ticks, TIcks, TICks, TICKs, TICKS…. I have to get out of these woods my mind screamed!! Now!! I headed back to the lodge, working up a sweat on the walk only making the sensation of something imaginary crawling on my skin… the minute I returned to the lodge I headed to the shower, only to find a tick crawling across my bare shin. This was an experience.

Even with my experience of the “Invasion of Ticks”, Wendy and I enjoyed our trip and our hunt with Cutawhiskie Creek Outfitters. We were not successful at bringing home birds but that is hunting. Wendy did take a shot at a great tom and it made all the right signs that it was down for the count. However, when she was trying to get out of the blind, he up and ran. The guides looked for it but could not find any signs of him. This would have been her first successful harvest so I felt bad for her, remembering my first hunt in Kansas. Crazy birds!!

On the morning of my second hunt, I was able to call in a tom that had pitched down about 350 yards from me on a green field. One-third of the field had been freshly bushhogged in hopes that the turkeys would come in to feed on seed and such. I made some calls and he was gobbling his head off about every fourth step he took. The corner of the bushhogged field made a sharp hedge at the edge of the field. I could see his head for the last 40-50 yards that he walked on the other side of the tall grass. My heart started pumping as I laid my Lost River Game Calls slate down and grabbed my bow off the ground stake. My arrow was already nocked and my release was now hooked to the D-loop. He gobbled again as he was about 5 yards from the edge of the tall grass hedge. I had hopes that he would round that corner and see my hen decoy and come in on a string trotting. Well, that wasn’t the case. He came around that corner, fixed his eyes on the decoy, clucked and veered left and took off trotting to the cut-over. Shucks!!! So close but yet so far away. He was at 62 yards at the corner of that grass hedge so I didn’t have a chance with my bow. I set my bow on the ground stake and picked up my call, but all I saw was him trotting off down the logging road.

I did get to witness an awesome fight between three jakes and a tom. Actually only two of the jakes participated, the other one sat on the side line rooting the other two on. Those birds were bouncing up in the air chest high, if not head high, spurring at each other and flapping their wings violently. They were making the worse ruckus that even stirred up dust. Finally, after about 4 or 5 minutes of that, the two jakes started bumping into each other as if they were sizing each other up and the tom went to strutting and gobbling. So I guess in the end the tom really did win.

We ended our hunt Saturday night with an awesome ribeye dinner and decided to head out getting a head start on the next days eleven hour drive home. We really had a great time hunting with Clay McPherson of Cutawhiskie Creek Outfitters.

© Nancy Jo Adams 2009

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