Gainful Gobbling

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Published on: Mar. 2, 2010

Last revision: Dec. 17, 2010

Preparing For the Hunt

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Meal Interrupted

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not racing in to the hen’s calling. Since the hunt was proceeding nicely without any need for my involvement, I figured I had time for the second scone.

Once again, my meal was interrupted by a massive gobble from behind the fence row 30 feet away. It was time for action! Before I could do anything, a big adult gobbler stepped out in front of me in full display. He was totally enthralled with my decoy. Actually, it was the first time I ever saw a gobbler display for a decoy.

Of course, I wasn’t ready at all. The gun was across my lap, my camo head net was in my pocket and I was only half done with my second scone. Plus, I had poured a hot cup of coffee to help that scone slide down better. Nevertheless, my breakfast had to be put on hold. It was time for me to step up and be a hunter.

All the hen had left me to do was to slowly raise my gun and pull the trigger. I did exactly that, and during the middle of breakfast I harvested my first turkey of the season.

I gathered up my things and tagged the turkey. It was at this point my little voice popped up in my mind to review the hunt and point out areas where I could have improved and been more effective.

My little voice and I go way back. Typically, after a hunt we banter back and forth reliving the day’s events, comparing them to past hunts. Basically, my little voice expressed disappointment in my hunting this morning and concluded that I was lucky to have even seen a bird, let alone shoot one.

I had forgotten my shotgun sling, but I remembered that I could take my double barrel apart and put it into my hunting coat. This would free up both hands to carry the turkey. There is a physical principle important to turkey hunting that dictates that turkeys gain weight as they are hauled back to the vehicle. This weight gain can be described precisely and mathematically. The formula is the number 25 (which is the universal turkey constant), multiplied by the distance from the vehicle in feet, divided by the age of the hunter, times the average number of visits per week the hunter makes to the gym, cubed.

My turkey weighed nearly a metric ton by the time I carried it almost a mile back to the truck. I was surprised it didn’t smash the tailgate when I heaved it up into the truck bed.

As I pulled out of the conservation area parking lot, my little voice suggested that a prudent hunter would complement his wife on her tasty scones without mentioning the scorched bottoms. Maybe I would become eligible for fresh-baked, unburned scones next time. Most of the time my little voice is right.

I hate that.

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