Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bird Down!

Been sneaking out for a turkey hunt when I've been able to these last few weeks. Last Monday a friend of mine, Kevin, offered to take me out to a location out of town. Tim took the day off to stay home with Ben and I got up at 3:00 a.m. to join Kevin and his Dad for a turkey hunt. Was wonderful to hear gobbles and to watch a bird come in, great to see how it all comes together, and to be part of the excitement of a successful hunt even though I didn't pull the trigger on a bird that day.

Tim has been off work all this week so yesterday I got up again before daylight and went up to the same out-of-town woods to watch the sun come up and wait for the birds. After getting off night shift Kevin drove up and met me in the woods around 6:30 a.m. Not hearing any turkeys, he decided we should try another spot. At the next location he left his gun in his truck and just walked with me and called to see if he could get any birds to respond. After a while in the woods we heard a gobble. That was the end of the leisurely walk in the woods. Kevin raced off to a clearing where we could sit and he could call the bird in. Seems like we barely had time to put our backs to a tree before the bird gobbled again, much closer this time. Soft calls from Kevin. More gobbles. Safety off. Then Kevin spotted movement and saw the bird coming in from my right. A few seconds later I could see him too. His head was brilliant neon blue with bright white and red. He was looking for a date. He had his tail fan up and was displaying as he moved closer. A beautiful sight. I would have enjoyed watching the show go on for a bit, but decided it was better to take the next good shot he offered. BOOM. Bird down. From first gobble to the shot was probably less than 5 minutes - it all went very quick. The hunt was over by 8:00 a.m. What a rush! Definitely was worth those 3:00 a.m. mornings! :)

Kevin said it's a nice 2 yr old gobbler. He weighed in at 22 lbs, with 3/4" spurs and a 9 1/2" beard. A respectable sized bird.

The iridescent beauty of the feathers, the size of the wings, and the displayed tail fan amaze me:
Putting the tag on the bird:

Kevin with the bird he had just called in a brief moment earlier. I think he was just as excited as I was...maybe even more:

The carry out shot:

Guide Kevin and I with the gobbler:

Thanks for taking on this rookie, Kev!
Kevin insisted I called home right after we shot the bird. Tim had this waiting for me when I got home and walked through the door:
Ben loved the turkey. He said it was cute and he wanted to keep it for a pet. Here he is hugging it. No fear of him supporting PETA though, not long after this he wanted to help cut the meat with his own knife:

Thanks to Kevin for taking the time to drive to the woods after being up all night working. He's been patiently answering all my rookie questions and I've learned a lot from him these past weeks. While Kevin has always been a gentleman, he's never patronized me or made me feel like I wasn't capable because I'm not a guy. I really appreciate that!

Biggest thanks to Tim for always supporting and encouraging me... even when I drive him crazy practicing turkey calls. He's always been happy for me every time I've headed out to hunt even when I go without him. At this point in our lives we can't hunt together very often as someone needs to stay home with Ben (it's tough to find a good sitter for 4 a.m.), but Tim is never jealous and doesn't begrudge me the time in the woods. He often helps me gather my gear the night before and also often looks after my gun after the hunt. He often sets his own alarm so he can wake me in case I sleep through my alarm. When I'm out early in the morning he keeps the phone by his bed hoping that I'll call and tell him the hunt was successful. I'm a very lucky woman!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~Henry David Thoreau, 1854

3 comments:

  1. YAY Mo!!! So glad you had a successful hunt! Love the pictures! You are a lucky woman indeed! I love the sign Tim had waiting for you!!

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  2. That is truly cool! You rock Mo! Tim and Kevin rock too ;) I'm so proud of you girlfriend!!!!

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  3. Hey Turkey Slayer! I hope that made it into the scrapbook! :D That's awesome! Good for you!!! Nice catch! :D

    There's a little something for you on my blog! :D

    http://amandanewton.wordpress.com

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