One Shot, One Kill (part one)

Turkey Hunter04/20/06


Article written by:Turkey Hunter

If there is one tidbit of knowledge I can give you, our readers, it is this universal truth: turkeys, quite simply, must die. This week, the bluegrass is in the midst of its annual 3 week turkey season. A time in which any man, woman, or child with $35 dollars, a shotgun, and an alarm clock may go after turkeys in a manner G. Gordon Liddy himself would envy. What follows, is the recap of my latest adventure in the sports-world that is killing turkeys.
Let me begin by stating I am not a woodsman. I grew up on mean streets. Mean streets backing up to a County Club. Specifically, a short par 5 in a neighborhood about as threatening as Sesamee Street. The only woods I ever wandered through as a youngster involved searching for mine and my father’s continuous, errant golf shots. However, over the years I have developed an affinity for spending time outdoors that goes beyond playing cornhole(for our readers over age 28, this game is not what it sounds like). I think part of this comes genetically from my father, whose country-boy heritage still sometimes shines through with comical results- most noteably when he chased a member of his golfing 4-some down with a black snake he’d found near his ball, causing the least surprising three putt of all time. (I for one would like to see a little more of that on Tour). Now that I have taken up residence in a rural area myself, the opportunityhas arisen for my inner Ted Nugent to develop as well.
This year, I was invited by the PREMIER turkey hunter in my region to accompany him on the holy quest for a gobbler (a male bird for you novices). Of course, i could not refuse as this afforded me the opportunity to live by the maxim i spoke of in the the first sentence of this recap: turkeys must die. The first thing one needs to know about turkey hunting is that it begins early. Real early. Alarm clock going off at 3:45 in the A.M early. Now, I have seen 4 a.m. on several occassions. Most of the time it has involved trips to the ER for bourbon related stitches and even the occasional girl of questionable morals. However, I can say this is the first time I’ve purposefully risen at such an hour not to puke. I am not sure what a turkey’s schedule entails, but I am almost certain they have the whole day free.The purpose of attacking at dawn escapes me, but this seems to be a very important rule: the hunter must be the first thing awake in the woods or else.
By 5:15 a.m., I am listening for gobbles alone in the woods in a county where my body would not be discovered for years should my guide decide to ditch me. I am in the land of Timmy Touchdown, stumbling down a gravel road illumintated only by moonlight, listening for sounds I haven’t heard since the last singing of Old MacDonald’s Farm. I am to give a “hoot” like an owl if I hear something and my guide will meet me. I am not sure how to give a “hoot”. I can give a “whoomp”, but there it is. Luckily, he hears the first gobbles and gives an appropriate hoot that takes me back to the truck where we suit up as if Charlie is out there waiting on us. The hunt is now on. At this hour of the morning, i do not feel comfortable operating a razor. I am now given a 12 gauge shotgun. I decide this will be a most successful trip if i do not shoot myself or my guide. I take one last sip of Diet Coke (the choice of all dedicated woodsmen), and I’m off to make my kill (to be continued)

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