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Turkeys I Have Known — Including Myself

Hunting

Turkeys I Have Known — Including Myself

Take up the sport of wild turkey hunting, and you’ll soon be humbled by a bird with a brain the size of a walnut. A small walnut.

For instance, I was once attacked by a pair of adult gobblers. Well, not exactly, but my two hen turkey decoys were, and for a turkey hunter that’s close to the same thing. Maybe worse. Here’s how it happened.

The two gobblers in question liked to come into an open field to strut every day about mid-morning. I’d sat well hidden at the edge of that field for several days, from before first light until my backside just couldn’t take it anymore. That’s when I’d get up stiffly to stretch my legs and, of course, that’s when the two gobblers would show up, spot me, and run off, laughing.

After several days of this game of hide and seek, I eventually got smart—or so I thought. My plan was to get to the field well before first light and set out my two hen decoys, as usual, but then move about a quarter-mile away up into the woods surrounding the field and try and work a third gobbler down off the roost at first light. I’d heard him gobble on the roost the evening before, so thought this bird was a near slam dunk. And even if I didn’t get a shot at him, I could still beat feet back to the edge of the field and arrive there in plenty of time to greet the two toms that always arrived punctually at mid-morning.

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