The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


May 14, 2014

Loading up for one final push

BECKLEY — So by now you think that you are getting a little tired. The spring gobbler season has been in for 17 days, and you are actually thinking about quitting. So what if you fell asleep at work for the third time this week and then you pulled into your driveway and couldn’t remember where you were? Now, my turkey huntin’ brother, I am going to be a little hard on you, but this is for your own good. You have only hunted seven days since the season opened, and you are ready to sleep in and then get up and watch Dr. Phil? Shame, shame.  

Is your memory so short? Is your faith so small? Can you not remember the immense girth of your optimism before the season? You lived in a haze of turkey land. You dreamed about huge gobblers with spurs like daggers and a gobble so loud that it blew your hat off. You actually dreamed about turkeys more than you did about Raylan’s ex-wife on “Justified.” You spent hours (just ask your wife or girlfriend) practicing your calling and going over your equipment. Is everything ready in your vest? Do I need another call? How about gloves? You may even have gone all the way this year and bought a new shotgun.

And now, just because you spooked a turkey on the opener, one you should have had, and haven’t worked a turkey since and the boys at the barber shop are telling you they’ve quit, you are ready to go home with your tail tucked. This isn’t how we do things, my brother in camo. That is not how you were raised. OK, here is what we are going to.

If you need to take a day off and rest, go ahead. This will give you energy for the campaign ahead. Take those camo clothes that have not seen soap and water for two weeks and run them through the washer. Get those boots dried out, and wipe that new gun down with a little Hoppes. Go through that vest and clean it out. Remove all sticks, leaves and Little Debbie wrappers. Organize everything and have it ready to go for a new day (don’t forget to load up with fresh Little Debbie cakes), While you are at it, shovel that truck out. More wrappers, Skoal and Diet Coke cans and about a dozen empty water bottles, out they go, Now, one more thing, take a fresh shotgun shell, not one you have loaded and unloaded 20 times, out of the box and put it in your vest. When you go to load up tomorrow morning, put that new, fresh shell in the chamber.

Alright. Are you starting to feel better already? Things are not so bad, after all. Just wait until you get out there and face those turkeys this time. You are now going to be a more seasoned, wisened, hunter. All the easy turkeys are gone. Now it’s you and the wise ol’ gobblers that are left. (Who will be no match for your predator like cunning). When you get on a turkey that is gobbling, (and you will), take it easy, just a few little yelps and clucks. He heard all that supersonic calling the first two weeks. Play it cool.

I think you are about ready; almost everyone goes through this sometime in their turkey slaying career. You just needed a little guidance and a swift kick in the seat cushion of your vest. Now get out there and do what turkey hunters do. Pursue those longbeards to the ends of the earth. No thanks are necessary now; you can thank me when you put a bead on that red head in a couple days. I really didn’t want you to sleep in. You never cared for Dr, Phil to begin with.


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