Monday, April 9, 2007

04.09.07--Alabama Turkey Chase I

Three turkeys, all hens, were feeding in a large wheat field. Long, gangly legs supporting black and bronze bodies shimmering in the afternoon sun. I glanced at my watch, 4:00pm (3:00pm ‘bama time) as the truck whizzed down Highway 17, my friend, Emory, at the wheel. A moment later, on the other side of the road, another turkey was feeding, this one appeared to be a jake but at 65mph who can be sure. Two minutes later, in a field way off the highway, a mature tom was blown up, in full strut, displaying his grandeur for all the world to see. My trigger finger was twitching, my mouth was salivating and that little voice in my head, the one it always pays to ignore, was telling me to unbuckle my seat belt and roll out of Emory’s Ranger. How much longer??
By 5pm we were fully camoed and set up in the wild. Emory was on a hardwood ridge adjacent to a food plot, I was in a swamp bottom paralleling another plot. Our intent was to scout a bit, maybe call a little and listen for roosting birds so that we’d know where to set up in the morning. A recent cold front had brought spring to a screeching halt and clamped shut the mouths of gobbling toms. And other than some sparring squirrels and the repeated bites of no-seeums (mental note: put Thermocell in turkey vest.) it was a beautiful but eventless evening. Emory hadn’t made out much better. Some deer and a rabbit “large enough to put a saddle on” were all he’d seen.

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