10 June 2009

Stalking a Tom Turkey Indian Style

I was making music on the ole Lynch Box that should have brought every gobbler within a few yards from where I was sitting early that Monday morning many years ago. I was on Roscoe Massey’s place near the Mount Ida Methodist Church in Crenshaw County, where I had seen several turkeys and had harvested a few of them. But this old bird that kept on answering my yelps and purrs was as stubborn as the day is long. He wouldn’t come cross a fence and he stayed hidden from me because of the underbrush. So I let him be and finally got up and left for home having to eat crow rather than killing a Tom turkey.

A week later an IRS agent would have found me in the same location using every call I knew on the ole box. In the distance I could hear that old bird coming off the roost along with some hens. I just knew it would be the morning when the Tom would come looking for one of his girl friends but no, he just kept gobbling and not taking one step toward me. I started to say that I was mad as a wet hen but you don’t want to be one when it is spring turkey season when the gobblers are on the prowl.
“Well”, I said to myself, “If you don’t want to come to me I will go to you.” I was determined to get this fellow before I left for home. So I crossed the fence and began to slowly take one step at a time. That dab of Cherokee blood was only a drip but I was sneaking so quietly that would have made an Indian Chief proud of me. I even considered becoming an Army Ranger. I was so close that I could hear that gobbler a-drumming and a- gobbling.
Slowly, I got closer and closer to that Tom and all of a sudden I saw a couple of hens nearby and I knew then why he had not paid any attention to my amateurish yelping. At a distance, yet within gunshot range I could see the old boy and he was really putting on a show. The problem was he was only going from point A to point B and then back to point A. I knew also if one of those hens saw my movement that would be it. I thought I was only going to enjoy the floor show amongst the beautiful hardwood trees and nothing more. But having an eagle eye I saw an opening through which that bird was strutting over and over and I thought to myself that is the only chance I have to shoot at him. I kept one eye on the turkey hens and the other one on the movement of Mr. Tom and I raised my shotgun ever so slowly and pointed it toward that opening in the underbrush. It seemed to me that it took me 30 minutes to shoulder that gun and point toward that opening but eventually I did and when that old Tom turkey came strutting by I let him have with a load of number magnum 4s from my Remington 12 gauge.

While the gobbler was not the largest one that I have killed it was a nice size one. It weighed 18 pounds and had a 10 inch beard. I thought it was time that I had a gobbler mounted so I could look at it every day and remind me how those yesteryears were, a wonderful time for a preacher that had one major addiction and that was hunting for wild turkeys. Say, would you like to look at the bird? He is still trying to fly and get away from me but without success.

No comments: