Search least I saw a lot of stuff

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Published on: Apr. 2, 1998

Last revision: Oct. 28, 2010

no one answers. It's as if Michelle Pfeiffer walked into an Army barracks and asked if anyone were interested in a date and they all said "Naah, we'd rather spit-shine our boots."

A great horned owl drifts across the field ahead of me, and meadow mice cower as if the Angel of Death were close by which, for them, it is.

A stately squadron of five great blue herons floats past, flying as precisely as the Navy's Blue Angel aerobatics team. But no turkeys.

Ten o'clock comes and goes, then 11 o'clock comes and I go. I feel like Joe Dimaggio practiced his swing on my lower back for the legendary 56-game hitting streak. I go home and vow that tomorrow will be different.

Day Two is different; it is worse. I took a 2-mile hike listening for throbbing gobblers on opening day. Today it's three miles, and most of it is uphill. It is an axiom of hunting that if you're tired, the vehicle will be uphill for the last mile, even if you parked it in the Grand Canyon.

I jump two deer and one stops to look at me as if it can't believe its eyes. This tottering wreck is a hunter? I am walking hunched over because my back feels as if someone is playing "Dem Bones" on my vertebra, using a jackhammer.

A box turtle, covered with dried mud, looks up at me with a suspicious eye. What a way to greet spring after a long hibernation in the ground-dig out and the first thing you see is a shambling creature right out of 1950s horror movie.

A woodcock flushes at my feet, and I track him with the Model 12 and mutter "dead bird." But he isn't, and neither is the imaginary turkey that I expected to call in front of the elderly gun.

Day Three: "Okay," I mumbled to the Kingdom of Turkeydom in general, "if that's the way you want to play it..."

I rise in leisurely fashion (5 a.m. rather than 4), have a cup of coffee, yawn until I hear the bones cracking in my jaw, then drive to a new area.

This is the first day that the sun actually comes up. The first two were cloudy and drizzly, and if the sun came up I sure didn't see it (possibly because I was asleep). I find a soft rock and sit on it, my back nestled against a

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