Are We There Yet?

Posted on April 28, 2015

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It is with great pleasure for me to once again introduce my long-time friend and part-time hunting partner, Hart ‘Silverback’ Daley as today’s guest blogger. The following should serve as a primer to get us all ready to salute those grand bronze kings of the spring.

 

 

 

 

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While we impatiently endure this brutally frigid arctic winter as it lingers on and on, most turkey slayers can be found staring blankly out their living room window, daydreaming about the upcoming season while repeatedly pondering, “Are we there yet?” The comforting thoughts of green grass fields caressed by a gentle spring breeze, laden with insects for which turkeys can forage, drift in and out of our consciousness. Visions of clear crisp sunrises that gradually transform into bone warming temperate days permeate our minds. Last year’s recollection of ridge-line stalks and roosting missions are still fresh in our minds. Our thoughts drift back to cherished hunts as we relive them from the comfort of our warm abode. We marvel at memories of regal displays showcased by mature toms flexing their feathers in grandeur like the billowing wind filled sails of a noble pine masted flag ship.

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Blissfully you reminisce about countless hours spent searching for mature gobblers, sneaking into striking range of his chosen roost or preferred strutting grounds and how the painstaking effort to perfect your camouflage is finally realized. With clarity you envision the drumming, spitting, putting, strutting, gobbling bright red mossy head nearly within view and can feel your heart pounding in your chest in response to his relentless electrifying thunderous gobbles. Your arms and knees tremble as adrenaline courses through every ounce of your being. Slowly a fanciful realization creeps into your mind. Is it remotely possible that this feathered fowl is completely oblivious to the raspy sound of your sporadic breathing as air rushes erratically in and out of your lungs?

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Briefly, yet naively, you convince yourself that luring him in to your impeccable setup was effortless, almost too easy. Having been in this situation countless times before, you are guardedly confident that the calling sequence was flawless, creating the epitome of deception, the illusion of a sultry receptive hen. Then you experience a fleeting tinge of guilt, for clearly this poor unsuspecting bronze warrior did not stand a remote chance against your superior intellect, polished calling techniques and experienced woodsmanship. Or so you believed.

For just when you were certain this Tom was cleaned, stuffed and in the oven, something inexplicable happened. Sometimes mishaps can be readily explained and are easily identified. Other times, there’s neither rhyme nor reason, but regardless the cause, this longbeard you thought you’d be dining on, decided to dine out. He is nowhere to be seen, or heard, for that matter. Could his beak have fallen off his face? Not a flicker, not a flutter, not a putt, not a cluck. It’s as though the bird mysteriously evaporated into thin air, silently slipping away like wood smoke carried aloft on a stiff October breeze. This overwhelming poignant feeling of frustration is equally as palatable as the insatiable sweet taste of success. It is unequivocally this exhilarating feeling of being alive among God’s creations that keeps us coming back to these turkey haunts season after season to hunt this evasive and challenging quarry.

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Suddenly you realize you are back staring out your living room window gazing upon swirling cyclones of snow. Are we there yet? Is the season upon us? Not quite, but the expectation of waiting for Spring to officially, well, spring is not nearly as nerve wracking as the anticipation felt when that big old longbeard is mere yards from the end of your shotgun barrel. It’s just around the corner ladies and gentlemen. Get your gear and game-plans together because the show is about to begin!

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Posted in: Guest Blog, Turkey