Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Goo Goo For Gobblers

  For some people when Summer gives way to Fall an urge grows within them. A somewhat primal urge that drives us to the great outdoors to hunt wild game. Now to some the thought of hunting is a barbaric and outdated practice but to others it's a tradition or maybe even a way of life. This feeling is not lost on me and even though I'm working in California I wasn't going to let that stop me from taking part in that tradition. But I didn't have to wait until Fall because right now is Spring turkey season. 
  Until this year I had never hunted turkey before and from the research I had done they sounded like a challenge. So when my friend called me and asked if I would be interested in trying it out I had only one answer. Absolutely. So we started planning our trip to the family property in Fillmore, Utah.
These decoys would be the closest we would get to a turkey
 We had to practice turkey calls, pick up new camouflage (because mine was missing from the move) and research where to find these wily birds. The research is a fun part of the hunt that to me is much more meaningful and important than just going out and shooting an animal. Learning an animal's habitat and behavior is fascinating and is essential to a successful hunt and it adds to my mental data banks. For this trip, however, we found out just how unprepared we were.
  We used our new found knowledge of turkey's to attempt to find them in the mountains above Fillmore. With the exception of seeing one hen turkey crossing the road in town we saw no signs or sounds of turkey's for the first two days. Contrary to popular belief turkey's aren't a dumb animal. They are very skiddish have excellent vision. They even see in color. This is what makes them such a difficult animal to hunt. We searched high, low and drove through multiple canyons with nothing and it seemed our trip would be a complete bust until on the second evening we sat upon a ridge and listened. Low and behold as the sun crept lower in the sky we heard something. A gobble. We had found them.
  We headed back to that spot early the next morning and once again listened. As the sun came up I saw turkey's hopping out of their roosts through my field glasses and soon we heard turkey's gobble from every direction. I answered back through my box call and listened to them call back. Unfortunately for us nothing but small talk came from our banter as they would remain elusive from us for the duration of the hunt. I just couldn't convince them that I was a turkey. But that's okay. It was cool to talk back and forth with them. It was worth the time to hear them come alive in the morning. It was fun to see them, even at a distance, as they flew from the trees. You may ask if I was disappointed and I would tell you no. In my mind I had a successful hunt. I got to spend time in the mountains where I'm happy. I got to spend the weekend with a good friend and we had a good camping trip. Yes, to me a successful hunt doesn't always end with the harvest of an animal. No, there are far greater things that take place during a hunt and these are the memories that last.


Camp hijinks 

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