Saturday, May 02, 2009

Hunting with Ben

Thursday I packed up a pop-up blind and Ben and we spent a rainy afternoon sitting in the woods listening to turkeys gobbling. Although none came into our decoys we still enjoyed the day out!This excursion marks the beginning of being able to take Ben along on our hunts again. In the long-gone days before he could walk we would sometimes pack him along, but these last few years we couldn't count on him to sit quietly long enough to join us. This Thursday we were out for several hours and he was really good for a 4 yr old boy. He had his goofy, restless moments, of course. He also enjoyed drinking all the water we brought along so that could enjoy the novelty of peeing in the woods often, but all in all he was good.

He brought along his own "gun" and from time to time he would tell me to cover my ears as he was going to shoot a "deer" - he was so serious that I had to fight to keep from smiling while listening to him.

Here he is trying to "smile" for the camera, but it came out looking a bit ferocious instead! It was exciting when after a few hours out we actually got to hear a turkey gobble - it sounded like he was getting closer. Unfortunately because of all the rain these past weeks, a good bit of water is pooled in the woods. I suspect the bird didn't want to come to us and risk getting his feet wet. Still, it was great to hear the gobbles on and off for over an hour.

We used decoys to try to lure them in - 2 hens and a jake (an immature tom). It was interesting to watch Ben try to wrap his head around the concept of what a decoy is. I thought he had a grasp of it until at the end of our afternoon when he looked up at me very seriously and said "we're having decoys for supper"... I almost fell off my chair! In case you're wondering, "decoys" taste a lot like mac & cheese... :)

In spite of the rain (we were pretty dry in the tent-like blind) it was a great afternoon. On the walk out across the field into the woods we spotted deer & raccoon tracks, turkey poop, worms trying to get out of the rain, corn cobs that had been scavenged by the coons... all interesting stuff to investigate and talk about. As much as I often miss the days of being able to hold little baby Ben in my arms, this age of questions and discovery is wonderful and I really enjoy being able to share the things I love so much with him!

Tim was up well before daylight to go hunting this morning but he had no success. In a few days I'll be getting up shortly after 3 a.m. to meet a friend out of town for a morning turkey hunt. I'm not a morning person (the understatement of the century) but since I'm a turkey-hunting-rookie I'm excited about getting out for a turkey hunt with someone who knows what they're doing. I'm sure I'll learn a lot. In the meantime, I'm going to see what I can do on my own this afternoon. No matter what the outcome, it's wonderful to be out in the spring woods, to see the lilies coming up, the trillium blooming, the wild leeks everywhere, the birds singing. Venturing out to sit quietly in the woods is never disappointing!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.
~St. Bernard


  1. Ben is such a cutie Mo! Glad you enjoyed your day out and that Ben is able to join in with you! Happy hunting girl!!

  2. Sounds like a fabulous time, Mo!!