What a fun time had by all this past weekend at the 2nd Annual Ladies in Camo Rio Grande Turkey Hunt in Okemah, Oklahoma. D and Carlee Magness were our gracious hosts for this hunt and Shug Smith, Todd Magness and Hunter Magness were nice enough to volunteer as guides for some of the women.
Saturday mornings weather was much milder than Friday. The wind had died down considerably and the morning started off around 30 degrees; burning off quickly to a mild high 70s. The morning was rather quiet and Richard and I had not heard a turkey in any direction our entire hunt. Checking in with everyone, that seemed to be the consensus. Richard and I finally decided to walk some of the property scouting for signs.
I had one of the scariest moments I have experienced while scouting for turkey; short of the timber rattler that I came within 2″ of stepping on in Alabama pre-season two years ago. Richard was going to the edge of a field to glass the field: having to walk down through a creek bottom and up the other side. I stayed behind with the camera and other gear. I set my turkey stool up and sat down on it giving my shoulders a rest from my heavy turkey vest that was carrying some extra gear and setting my shotgun across my lap to rest my shoulder. I had just taken a drink from my water bottle when I caught movement and heard rustling leaves about 30 yards to the right of me on the edge of the other bank.
As my eyes finally settled in on the movement I realized it was a coyote; a very fat one. I watched the coyote as it picked its path down to the edge of the water in the creek bottom. It had not yet crossed my mind that it was going to come across on the same path that Richard took to walk across the creek and up the embankment on the other side. But that, my friends is exactly what this coyote decided to do.
The trail led directly to me, in fact, I was sitting smack dab in the middle of this trail on my turkey stool. The coyote jumped the stream of water, trotted up the embankment and at the exact moment that I realized I was about to come nose to nose with this coyote as soon as it came over the embankment, I hurried to my knees and raised my arms in the air making a noise. The coyote came to an abrupt stop at exact eye level with me and 15 feet from me. The coyote jumped to the right quickly and ran back down to the water and shot up the creek, never to be seen or heard again. As the coyote jumped broadside, it dawned on me then that this was a pregnant coyote.
Of course shooting it never crossed my mind, one because I did not have my ESP ear protection in and two, for a more personal reason–I don’t eat coyote. This would have been the perfect coyote for a predator hunter to have taken because she was pretty close to birthing some pups from the looks of her swollen belly and ample milk supply. Had this coyote threatened me or had me cornered, I would not have had a problem shooting her regardless. Whew, that was scary and too close for comfort. On our way back into town after our hunt we found a cow and calf wandering aimlessly on the dirt roads…of course I had to make Richard stop and get them in a fence.
While he was cattle rustling, I found the cutest set of bird prints in the road that looked like miniature turkey tracks, so of course, I had to have a picture of it.
After our morning hunt, the women started congregating at the Kellogg’s Cafe aka K-Bar Cafe. As we were placing orders, I asked if anyone had heard from Pat and Tammie and nobody had. Tommie Lea returned to the table and asked if I had heard from Pat and I said no. A big smile crept over Tommie Lea’s face and she asked “so you don’t know that she got her one?” I said “NO! Did she really?” Tommie Lea affirmed that. I was so excited. This meant that Pat only needed ONE MORE bird for her TRIPLE WORLD SLAM. One Osceola is all she lacked. I could not wait to hug her neck.
After eating brunch at K-Bar some of us returned to the hotel to retire for a while. The plans were to take some photos at 2:30 p.m. then everyone was going to head to the woods for an afternoon hunt.
Richard and I were going to be hunting some new ground for my afternoon hunt. Actually a huge hill, a power line and pasture land. The birds were tight-lipped and we didn’t see much sign so we called the hunt early and went back to the hotel to prepare some things for the evenings wild game cookout.
When everyone returned from the hunt we congregated at Okemah Lake for a dinner of grilled bacon wrapped red stag, Wild Turkey marinated bacon wrapped duck breast, gator/pork sausage, venison sausage, bratwurst, and cream cheese stuffed jalapeño peppers. We also had potato salad, grilled potatoes, onions, bell peppers, venison summer sausage, crackers, various chips, a veggie tray, cookies, homemade chocolate-toffee saltine candy, and red velvet cupcakes. Everything was absolutely divine, I just wish I could have eaten another plate…
Several of the women were going out to hunt a short hunt on Sunday morning before the drive home. Richard and I had decided to sleep the extra 2 hours and then hit the road early since we had plans to stop in West Memphis for a late lunch with a new hunting friend. We had the best time with this group during the weekend and the volunteer guides were fantastic. A big thanks to D and Carlee Magness for hosting this hunt again this year and to all the great guides and land owners for making our hunt another great event. One bird was harvested this year and several were seen but the fellowship was priceless and more memories were made. I can’t wait for the next hunt to have the opportunity to be with this group again.