In my travels I have seen my share of interesting and out of place animals. I’ve managed to kill a few as well. I cannot be held responsible for the mass suicide by the squirrels this past spring, I swear they would wait until I was on the street and driving before they decided it was time to “end it all”.
In recent weeks I have seen a few foxes. I’ve not seen many foxes before and I just found it odd that I saw two in one week. The same week I saw two tortoises that I managed to avoid hitting. I turned green with envy last winter when, to my surprise, I turned a corner on a lonely country road and found a flock of turkeys. At first I thought they were buzzards swarmed around some road kill but as I got closer I realized that it was the elusive North American wild turkey.
Why green with envy you ask? Well, I’m a bit obsessed with it to be honest. A quick channel surf on Saturday morning through the outdoor channels will reveal any number of fishing or hunting shows. I could care less about white tail deer or large mouth bass, but if there’s a show about turkey hunting, I’m all over it. But I am dismayed at all of the stealth and camouflage needed to bring down, what amounts to, a large chicken with a brain no larger than my big toe. According to turkey hunters, the wild turkey is a cunning, elusive creature that has evaded many a skilled hunter. In my world, I’ve seen turkeys standing on the side of the interstate and even had a flock move through my yard.
My dream is to have my turkey stuffed and standing by my door when guests enter my home so they can pat it on the head. Then I will regale my audience with tales of wild hunts through swamps and woods so that I could bag the fierce beast you see before you. I would barely make it out alive!
The reality is I have made very little head way in my quest to kill a wild turkey. If I had been a little quicker that day I may have been able to impale one with my Jeep. But in my pea brain, I was avoiding them since I figured they were buzzards and the last buzzard I hit left a greasy spot on my windshield (yes, I hit a buzzard).
But home health affords you the opportunity to meet a wide range of people and learn from their past experience. I had the pleasure of serving and meeting such a man, a feared turkey hunter in my area. After all the necessary work of my visit was complete, he would school me for several minutes on the necessities of getting my first turkey kill. At the end of his care, he gave me a wing bone turkey call that he made himself a number of years ago along with a turkey paper target that I could practice on until it was time for me venture into the woods and get my first kill.
So next spring I shall venture forth with my camouflage, shotgun and turkey caller and get my first kill. I shall endure hoards of mosquitoes, snakes and brambles and in the end, emerge victorious with my trophy bird. My friends should prepare for stories of harrowing escapes and cunning stalking, you’ve been warned.