CacheCrazy.Com: I have a FEVER

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I have a FEVER

By Big Al

Grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and catch the fever.

The other day was a nice spring day. It was actually sunny and quite warm outside. The birds were singing, our daffodils were blooming, and the leaves on the maple trees in our front yard were starting to emerge. With the nice weather coming on I knew it was bound to happen. I was coming down with a fever. 

It seems to happen to me every year and it’s always about the same time. My wife is usually bothered by it more than I am. Matter of fact she has never experienced a fever of this magnitude. It comes on quite quickly if my recollection from last year serves me right. Sometimes this fever hits and it just seems to hang on forever. And you know I really don’t mind. Of course I’m not talking about spring fever, or even cabin fever, I’m talking about Turkey Fever.

With the onset of spring time comes turkey hunting season. The Eastern wild turkey is a very illusive bird. Sometimes they can seem like ghosts. They come out of nowhere and then they disappear back into the woods, and they can do it without making a single solitary sound. At other times they can make a racket that is loud enough to wake the dea… I’m mean those who are sleeping. Like this past Saturday morning.
I woke up at 4:30 a.m., got dressed in my hunting garb, and headed out the door.  I was supposed to meet my friend at 5:00 a.m. sharp. Our #1 standing rule is that at 5:05 if one of us is not there the other doesn’t wait, but heads into the woods. That way you’re not standing around trying to figure out if the other guy is coming or not. I arrived and my friend had just gotten out of his truck. We put our gear on and headed up into the woods. Once we had found a spot that seemed like it could produce a turkey we sat down and got comfortable. As we sat there a distant gobble broke through the quietness of the morning air.

Gobble, gobble, gobble.  Then we heard it again. Gobbleobbleobble. Gobbleobbleobble. (That’s how they sound to me.) Then a second gobble erupted. Now we could hear two birds at once. Wait, there’s a third gobble. Three turkeys and they sounded really wonderful, but there was one little problem. They were across the road on the other side of the valley in a farmers pasture. It’s only about 4 tenths of a mile from where we were at.  My friend reminded me that we did have permission to hunt over there and he asked if I wanted to sit where we were or get up and move. “Well it’s Saturday and I don’t have all day so let’s move” was my response.

We got up and headed back down the hill towards our cars. We unloaded our guns and then crossed the road and headed down towards the pasture gate. My friend told me to be aware that the fence was electric. Wow! That could have been a shocking experience. We went through the gate and made sure it was locked back in place. No one wants a cow roaming around loose at 5:30 in the morning. We reloaded our guns and headed up the hill listening to them gobble all along the way. (Just thinking about it now gives me chills.) We found a spot and sat down. They were still in the trees and we knew we did not have much time to get ready before they flew down.

 My friend started calling with his mouth call and he would switch to his box call every now and then. He was sounding pretty enticing to me, but the real question to be answered was did he sound enticing to them. As we sat there we heard a hen start clucking. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck, cluck. She was in a tree too.  This could be bad news, especially if she got between us and them. The gobblers flew down and began walking around gobbling like mad. My friend would call right back at them and they would respond with even more gobbles. As they were talking back and forth the hen flew down out of her tree. Now you’re probably wondering how I knew they flew down out of the tree when I actually did not see them fly down?  A good hunter can tell the difference between a Tree Gobble and a Ground Gobble. That’s how you tell. I guess you’d really have to hear it for yourself.  Anyways, both of us were ready with our guns should these ghost like birds appear. At least they seem like ghosts when you can hear them, but you can’t see them. Then all of a sudden my friend said the birds were coming up the ridge towards us. I could hear them gobbling and then they both appeared with tails spread out in a full fan. It was awesome! They both kept gobbling as they approached us. My friend said we were to shoot on three. I told him “No, I can’t make out the second bird”. Rule #2: when two of us are hunting you shoot the turkey that is on the same side as you are. That meant I would take the one on the left, but he was right behind a big tree. I told my friend to wait. He kept calling. Then I said we had better shoot before they went into the woods and down the hill. I told him he could take the one on the left and I would take the one on the right on the count of three. One, two, three, BaBOOM the guns went off and the birds flew away. It was a clean miss. We laughed. We had misjudged the distance to where they were. They were a lot farther away then what we had thought. Chalk that up to another lesson learned.

We watched them fly away as they soared right down the hill, across the road, and into the field where we had started out the morning.  Go figure. Now we have to go back down the hill, unload the guns and try and find a way to them. We decided we would go around this big pond and up through a field to get to where we needed to be. We got there and as we walked along another turkey took off. My friend went out to the field to see if they were still there and I went up the other trail. Well guess who was waiting there for me. Yes it was another turkey and I watched as he ran off. When is this going to end? My friend joined me and we sat down again and as soon as we were in place a gobbler broke out into his song. We again were in the wrong place. We moved ever so slowly to a more open area and got set up. Then we both began calling and scratching our hands in the leaves to imitate some more birds. The gobbler would respond, but he just did not want to come any closer. That was when I looked at my cell phone and realized what time it was. It was 7:30. I told my friend I could only stay until 7:45 because of an eye appointment I had scheduled for today over two years ago. Boy, what a bummer. Those last 15 minutes went really fast. I then had to leave for my appointment and my friend stayed to see if he could call them in.

I later called my friend back and he did not get a turkey. Well there is always tomorrow. By the way, have you caught the FEVER yet? 



Nice story of an unsuccessful turkey hunt. I know Dodger gets that fever, DctrSpott gets hay fever and I, well I just get the garden variety spring fever. I'm happy with that.
A foiled hunt of a different type so, now you'll have to post a DNF on field&
Great work as always BigAl

sarah saad said...

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