Four weeks from today begins a magical season here in flyover country. That's right, from April 10 through May 31, it is turkey season. We have two turkey seasons here, the fall and the spring (with some limited winter hunting). Although it records an experience during full turkey season in 2011, I thought I would share it once again.
As this blog post is being published, yours truly will be "getting out of Dodge."
Translation: "I am leaving here and going somewhere else." It's a Kansas expression, I guess. The origins likely date back to the hit television series "Gunsmoke" with Marshall Dillon, Miss Kitty, Festus, Doc, Newly, et al.
So, if you are reading this blog post today, then you may have discerned that this is not my typical post. I just need to get away for a bit. From everything.
You see, I need to breathe some really fresh, crisp, chilled Kansas country air. I am writing this on Thursday night with publication automatically scheduled for 5:00 a.m., on Friday morning, Central Daylight Time (emphasis on "Daylight"). Tomorrow and Saturday mornings are the last mornings for a spell (i.e., an indefinite period of time) when it will remain dark later into the morning around here. In short, we "fall back" an hour on Sunday morning, along with most other Americans.
Here is my plan. I am going to wake up at 4:45 a.m. and turn on the coffee maker. Check. I already have ground the beans and filled the old Braun coffee maker with filtered water. Check. Next, I will don appropriate layers of Under Armour, topped off with appropriate camouflage from head to toe. Check. Next, I will grab my Remington 870*, some 3.5 inch shells (Winchester Supremes, with #5 shot), a travel mug filled with the aforementioned coffee and hit the road toward our 164 acre "little slice of heaven" about 50 minutes south of the garage door. Check.
The further south I drive, the greater my anticipation with every turn of the wheel. Why? One glance at my calendar reveals this to be my only opportunity to pursue the "majestic bird" before Thanksgiving. Yes, I am off to pursue wild turkey of the "eastern" variety that roam freely in much of the eastern half of Kansas. Since I was unsuccessful in bringing home a bird this past spring, Gretchen is hopeful that we will not have to default to a "butterball" turkey in a few weeks. Once you have had a wild turkey for Thanksgiving, well, a "freezer section" turkey just isn't the same.
Oh, by the way, for those of you who really do not approve of hunting, etc., take heart. The odds are really not in my favor tomorrow. Fall turkey season is the hardest on many levels. For instance, there is less foliage for cover (God gifted turkeys with incredible vision) and the trees have lost most of their leaves. Moving around quietly in the woods is almost impossible.
But, that can be a blessing, too.
Since moving about is impractical, the alternative is to sit and wait. Patience is a virtue to be learned.
While waiting before daybreak, deer will nearly step on you (provided you are downwind from them). And, even as the owls are making their last calls of the morning, Mr. Coyote begins looking for breakfast. In short, should the "harvesting" (of the "majestic bird") be poor tomorrow, I know the "hunting" will be spectacular from my front row seat in God's creation .
Did I mention the sunrise? Oh, truly it is something to behold, especially as it rises over the recently harvested soybean field.
Well, I best get ready for bed. Morning will come early.
* I finally wore out my old Montgomery Ward/Mossberg 12 guage last Autumn. Gretchen bought the new Remington for me this past Valentine's Day. Yes, she is a legend at Bass Pro in Olathe, Kansas.