Short Story of Hunt:
Twofer One Newt, "The Closer"
Got to say, even though
my 2006 turkey season has been one of
my best, it was lackin' some of the
joy I always look forward to and that
was some time in the woods with my boy,
Will. Ya see he took up the sport of
paintballin' right before the season
and was head over heels with it. Made
a website for his team, had a sponsor,
whole nine yards. Even was makin' a
little dough, buyin' and sellin' paintball
equipment. That, with baseball season
made for little time in the woods. Just
between you and me, I believe, for Will
it takes a bit of mind manipulation
to get in the mood to go trampsin' through
the woods with ol' Dad. He knows he'll
get his legs plum walked off and ah
huntin' we will do. He won't admit it
but I'd bet he don't enjoy those long
walks as much as I.
I haven't really pressured
him into going although I did give him
a bit of a hard time for skatin' out
on one planned four day hunt in mid-season.
I think it may be good that he not get
addicted like his ol' man, at least
not at the young age of 14. Heck, if
he gets auge fit fever like me, he's
likely to never get anything accomplished.
Yet, when he announced paintballin'
was too expensive and that he wanted
to hunt the last four days of the season,
I was thrilled. Didn't hold out much
hope for turkey action, as I hadn't
heard a gobbler in a couple weeks and
those I heard were right before the
shotgun blast of another hunter.
Not to worry though, it
was a full moon weekend and the bream
should be beddin', had some good ponds
to fish and fishin' has always been
our game ever since he hooked a nice
3 pounder at the age of 3. Even though
it got off at the boat, I can still
remember his excitement and his immediate
words, "I gotta tell Mama 'bout
that". After all, we are the BOOYA
Boys, phishin' buddies for eber and
eber, another sayin' we always have
said since way back when he couldn't
even talk clearly.
So off we left on Thursday
for a 3 day, maybe 4, father and son
adventure at Redbeard's Roost. I think
he was lookin' forward to seein' the
new shower I'd fashioned and all the
other improvements, such as a genuine
fire pit and the new "totem"
We get there early enough
to scout and even though it'd rained,
we couldn't find a turkey track anywhere.
Friday morn proved that again with nothing
but silence. Took him to another nearby
club and no luck there either. Nothin'
happened that morning 'cept a good nap
in the woods. He woke up from a sure
enough good 'un and marveled at the
trees and immediately said, "Man,
I love sleepin' in the woods".
Like Father, like son.
Afternoon came around
and we stopped by a friends home and
asked permission to fish which was easily
granted, even could work a bird if we
lucked up on seein' one in his tree
orchards. So fishin' was the order of
the day for the remaining four hours
of daylight and I was eager to win the
See, ever since they came
out with that golden dollar with the
Indian maiden that helped Lewis and
Clark discover the Northwest, we've
always said the first catch or kill
of the day gets the golden dollar. I
tell ya, I got a leather sack full of
them dollars earmarked for Will when
I pass from this world. I hope he can
just hold that bag, feel it's weight
and recall all the grand days afield
we've had together.
Sure enough, spinner baits
were the order of the day for bass and
I hooked the first of those fighters.
HA! I gloated that I was a little richer
now and smiled at Will. He said, "What?".
I said, "I just got the golden
dollar", with a chit eatin' grin.
He said, "Dangit", smiled
and sorta sulked a bit. That is until
he remembered he'd shot the armadillo's
that mornin'. I laughed and said, "Yeah
but I handed ya the .410 and then you
shot it". He laughed and smiled
bigtime sayin' "Don't matter none,
I killed the first 'diller." Well,
he had me. Even stevens for the day.
We wrapped up the day
with a quarter basket of bass and bream.
I anguished over the best of a 5 pounder
that got away at the boat, as we left
the kissed two pounder's off for freedom
at the boat trailer. You know you gotta
kiss a bass you let go iffn you ever
wanna catch him again, don't ya? We
sacked up the remainin' bream for fish
Twas a good Friday, indeed,
as we closed out the evening over a
nice small fire on a usually cool evening.
The moon was beautiful that clear sky
night and Will told me all about the
Harvest moon, whilst the whippoorwills
serenaded us with their never ceasin'
calls o' de night.
Saturday rise and shine
came a short four or five hours later
and Will sleepily laced up my old Russell
boots he grew into this year, abandoning
those ol' clodhopper ground thumpin'
Rocky boots he used to say were so much
better than Russell's. Just a side note
that's crossed my mind a time or two
and I think I'll use the above as a
lead in tip for any aspirin' turkey
hunters readin' this; Go buy you a pair
of footwear that allows you to feel
the ground as you walk and I guarantee
ya, you will become a better turkey
I've hunted with a far
too many men that wear their deer huntin'
boots or those so-called Rocky turkey
hunters and Ah'll swar by hook that
ever turkey in the woodz can hear them
comin'. Plus, when ye get as old and
poor of hearin' as me, you'll see that
your feet need to get quiet in order
to hear those turkey birds.
Always told the boy that
woodsmanship should come first in his
skills, the rest will follow. And I
must say, after 6 years of trampsin'
the woods he's a pretty good Indian.
Once in the woods we set
out for this beautiful abandoned pecan
grove whilst offerin' crow calls, cuttin',
etc. to try and get a gobble. Nothin',
not a peep. Will was more than disappointed
that the birds weren't talkin' and he
fully realized that he shoulda come
earlier in the season. We found lots
of fresh scratchin' in the oaks surroundin'
the meadows and vowed to be back there
Sunday morn. We'd just have to get up
earlier to make the 2 mile walk. Will
mentioned the walk back would suck after
I'd said, "Now, that walk wasn't
so bad, was it?" I replied, 'Hell,
we're huntin' ain't we? What's so dang
hard about puttin' one foot in front
of the other?". Makes no sense
to me at all, hear it all the time,
"Dang, you walked a long ways or
How'd you get back here?"
I showed Will a turkey
track and asked him, "Now how in
the world woulda we seen this if we'd
been in the truck?" He nodded agreement
and only mentioned he wished they'd
talk back to us. Yeah buddie, me too,
We moseyed back the 2
miles to the truck and about two hundred
yards from the truck I hear a four wheeler
comin'. That always gets under my skin,
here I've walked a country mile and
some yahoo's comin' down the woods road
on a dang ol' four wheeler. I told Will
to follow me and we stepped inside the
wood line and let him pass. I don't
even wanna talk to 'em. It was Todd,
a deer hunter down to bait deer with
salt blocks and the like. He passes
and we get to the truck and agree on
a bacon and dirty egg breakfast back
Will fried up some tasty
Boar's Head bacon and I whipped up some
fine scrambled eggs and we cleaned house.
Short nappin' followed until we hooked
up the Skiff again for another evenin'
We had two choices of
ponds, either go back to Alan's or try
the Land Of Promise pond behind camp.
It's a nice old lake from probably pre-civil
An old white columned
mansion sits above it that was once
the Yankee's hospital. I hear those
Culloden soldiers were a tough outfit.
Musta hurt up some of those Yanks when
they were trekkin' to Macon. Anyhoo,
it's now a retreat for recoverin' drug
addicted poor ol' souls of the Negro
Mostly city fellas that
have taken the Lord as their savior
and come to this small farm to repent,
learn how to survive via hard work and
such. They grow their own food, slop
their own pigs, butcher their own beef.
Just become good ol' country folk, hopefully.
The place has got it all
right there for them. Even has a prayin'
wall just behind our property line.
A concrete brick wall with a marbled
cross. You can hear them sometimes just
ah wailin' away at the wall, clear down
the line three miles to camp. They also
have a place my friend Cornbread say's
ain't right, says it must be haint'd
'er somethin' fishy 'bout it since it's
way back hidden by pines on all sides.
What it is, is the shape
of the cross Jesus died on in a short
pine forest. It's got three old wooden
crosses in the middle with many many
little white crosses at the ends. My
friend George was the first to notice
the grassy parts amongst the pines was
shaped also like a cross. After that,
it made sense.
Brings to mind a good
hearty laugh I had at Cornbread's comment
when we saw a fellow turkey huntin'
just off the side of the main cross.
He said as we passed, "There's
a fella sittin' against a pine out there".
That's all he said. Struck me as odd,
so I backed up and sure enough, Earl
Mickel was sittin' agin a pine in the
wide open, all camoed up and turkey
Twern't really Earl but
Bread said he sure looked like Earl
looks when he's huntin'. I told Bread,
"You didn't say he was camoed,
I wouldn't backed up", as he promptly
got up once he knew he'd been spied.
I busted a gut, when Bread exclaimed,
"Heck, if he hadn't been in camo,
I'd be outta hyar. Dang spooky is what
this is, way back hidden in the woods".
I fear Bread's seen too many Klan movies
Never had seen anyone
turkey huntin' that land and never had
even seen any turkeys on it either,
not in 13 years of huntin' this land.
Bread said it was good reason too, turkey
gobblers were scart of the place. Figured
they'd be sacrificed 'er something.
To close out this little
sidebar tale of the Promise Land, last
weekend I was headin' out to the main
dirt road via the gas line road, which
twists and turns throughout the cross.
I see this truck coming
from the Promise Land and this ol' colored
feller stops and nicely asks me if it
was me that's been drivin' back through
here. I told him yes, that I turkey
hunted the property on the other side
and since the timber company sold the
land, the other clubs had dropped our
lock off the chain earlier in the season.
I told him I liked to come to Culloden
via the back way from time to time and
until I could get the lock back on,
the gas line was the only way. He was
quite understandin' and I got to askin'
'bout fishin' the pond next weekend
with my boy. Asked if they still let
folks fish. He said yes and for me to
just let 'em know Charlie gave me permission.
That was good, cuz you usually gotta
stop at the office and make a donation.
Last donation I gave them
was 'bout 6 years past, when I donated
a whole basket of bass me and one of
those addicts caught in about 4 hours
of fishing. I swear we caught a 100
bass or more than day. That basket was
slam to the top with bass. I told Richard
I needed to get gone to roost a bird
and we trailer'd my boat and he showed
me the way to the cookhouse. They dumped
all those bass into a big ol' bucket
and not one of them offered me a single
bass. I didn't mind, I enjoyed the banter
they started up in amazement of the
number of fish. They was going on 'bout
how Richard was the King of the lake
now. Heckfire, they thoughts they was
only catfish and carp in dat lake.
I took my empty basket,
thank'd 'em for the permission and went
and kilt me a nice double bearded tom
than eve. Named him King Richard in
honor of my fishin' buddie of the day.
Dang, I get side tracked
reminiscin', don't I? Well, I said dat
to say dis, I asked Charlie if he remembered
Richard and he said he probably did
but there were far too many folks passin'
thru the Land of Promise to remember
many. I then asked if this nice deer
stand was theirs that was just inside
their property off the line. He said
no, it was a fella's they let deer hunt.
That response was a great lead in for
my next question, "Mind if I get
after a turkey, iffn I see one up there",
I slyly slipped in. He said, it was
alright by him, just tell 'em Charlie
said it was ok, if asked. I thanked
him bigtime and headed off to Culloden.
Now that ya'll know all
that and the story behind the Land of
Promise, back to the question at hand,
which lake to fish? Will said Alan's
with half arsed enthusiasm. Believe
the boy was tired, real tired. Ever
time the truck was on pavement, he was
snoozin'. So Alan's it was to be, which
would prove to be prophetic.
Spinner's hitting the
bank again and I again got first fish.
Ah ha, golden dollar time again. Will
just mutter'd some cussin' and swarin'
while shakin' his noggin' in disbelief.
Mentioned something 'bout takin' trollin'
motor foot operation classes when he
got back home, something 'bout the front
of the boat. Boy's getting quick on
me, dat's for certain.
That afternoon was fine
for bassin' but poor for bream. I hooked
a good 7 pounder that I carelessly lost
at the second jump. Geehebubamus, was
he a big ol' bucketmouth. Will was more
upset than I, as that one woulda made
the stringer of memories I have planned
to bestow upon him one day. Dang, more
I think about it, the more I shake my
head too. But that's phishin'.
A good four pounder made
up for it later and we boated that bad
boy. Will wanted to keep him to eat
and we might have if I'd remembered
my filet knife. Let me tell ya, right
here and now, a bowie knife just ain't
cut out for a filet knife job. Proved
that the night before beheadin' those
We took pics and released
him for a fight another day. Got the
boat back on and eased out into the
orchards, bangin' that boat all the
way on the rough dirt roads. Now comes
the part that really perked up the boy,
the tale of "Joe Dirt, The Good
Just as we turned the
corner into the orchard what did we
spy but a huge tom in full strut for
three hens. Two jakes accompanied him,
flankin' both sides of the boss. Sorta
bodyguards, I reckon. The truck seemed
not to bother any of them. Alan doesn't
turkey hunt and I reckon they see a
lot of human activity on the tree farm.
But we were caught just the same. Couldn't
get out of the truck, so we just watched
them. He was a beautiful strutter. Red,
white, and blue adorned his top like
the brightest flag you've ever seen.
Took a good hour for them to feed to
the wood line.
Whilst we watched I told
Will to come up with a name for him,
as we'd definitely be at his doorstep
in the morn. Ended up taggin' the bird
with a handle Will had used to describe
his look after I made him tuck his hair
behind his ears. "You look stupid
with long hair in front of your ears,
dem ears stickin' out. Fold that crap
'round the back of your ears, boy",
I jokingly said. He did and commented
he looked like he had a mullet going
on, like Joe Dirt. HA! So, the tom would
become known as Joe Dirt, the Good Day
Gobbler, as this turned out to be a
good day, indeed.
Once Joe Dirt flew to
roost, just into the heavily foliaged
oaks along the orchard, we got out and
enjoyed a beer and a short coke, waiting
for dark thirty to insure he didn't
change trees. The next really stood
the hair up on Will's arms. Mine too.
It commenced to lightening
and thunderin' something fierce. With
every thunder boom, ol' Joe would holler
his lungs out. Dang good gobble too.
He musta gobbled 30 times in a 30 minute
span. Only thing he didn't gobble at
was some peacock down the road. Everything
else, he roared, including gunfire from
All was fine and dandy
at that point, then Will said, "What's
that". I spy it right away and
dang if I could figure it out. Big ol'
black and white tail, solid black body.
First thought was a fox squirrel, then
his actions weren't right for a squirrel.
He never hopped or took notice of the
barkin' I tried to pull off. Will got
the nocs out and dang if it wasn't a
pole cat. Right smack dab in front of
where the gob was. Uh uh, that ain't
good. I'm a pro at smellin' those, growin'
up on a poultry farm and all. I told
Will, we better watch our step in the
morn or we'll be smellin' to the high
Once dark thirty fell,
we eased out and headed to camp. Fire
was cut short by a pretty good downfall
of rain that evenin' and we called it
a night early with expectations of being
under that tom a good half hour before
I musta been more excited
than Will cuz I woke every hour on the
hour after a possum outside my window
awoke me at 1:30 am. He musta been gettin'
his daily fix of Mountain Dew Will had
left over, as he was bangin' cans bigtime.
Sugar drunk possum's make a racket,
I'm here to tell ya. 'Bout 4 am, he
woke me up again and I told Will it's
We gave ourselves plenty
of time that morn and a good thing too.
Once we got right to where the tom flew
up at, we couldn't find a place to set
up. A little island of bushes, poison
ivy, couple of oaks was just outside
where Joe was sleepin' but Will gets
that stuff easy.
Couldn't even make it
into the woods due to a bunch of tangled
masses of vines. We were at a loss.
Out in the orchard some great big holes
were about three foot deep, once home
to some good size maples. I told Will
to get down in one and see how it fit
him. He obliged and dang near sunk arse
deep in water. Evidently the irrigation
lines were still feedin' those holes.
Day was breakin' fast,
so I set him just in front of the tom
against a small maple with some sort
of bush in front of it. He could see
all the open areas from that vantage
but there was no room for me. Will said
I should move and quick. So I melted
into the ivy patch. Couldn't see Will
but could see where the hens had flown
Morning was met with a
multitude of thunderous gobbles from
Joe Dirt. If he gobbled once, he gobbled
dang near 150 times. At one point I
expected him to fall right off the limb
from the lack of oxygen after a series
of gobbles one after another. A good
thirty minutes passed while he hollered
his lovesick squalls.
Next thing I hear is a
gobbler on the ground a good 100 yards
down the wood line away from Will. I
hadn't heard any fly downs, so I'm thinkin'
maybe it's another gobbler coming in.
I don't move, just wait for an expected
A hen pitches down right
in front of me and goes to feedin'.
The tom is still gobblin' down the line.
My thoughts fade to it being Joe Dirt.
Not good. The hen feeds out far enough
for Will to see and I'm hoping he sees
her. 'Bout that time, that hen gets
real alert and I start purrin' and cluckin'
tryin' to calm her down.
I'm hoping if she stays
there the tom will come our way. Well,
she was having none of a sister in an
ivy bush, so she started hot footin'
it toward the tom. I threw out a loud
putt hopin' she'd turn and head the
other way, but no luck.
A few minutes later another
hen starts her pitch down and abruptly
uplifts again and sails to a far away
tree. I'm thinkin' Will's up and moving,
so I get up and ease out into the orchard.
Will's amblin' back my way all wet and
disheveled. I ask him if he saw that
hen that just bolted towards him and
he tells me she ran right past him at
ten yards, got in front of the gobbler
and took him off into a clear cut.
Then Will filled me in
on the happenin's. And they were some
more happenin's too. Will's sittin'
there listening to all the mornin' music
from Joe Dirt, at the ready for his
shot at his first longbeard. Hearts
pumpin' hard with every gobble.
If that ain't enuff to
stir the blood, the two big red foxes
gallopin' right past him into the woods
right towards the gobbler, shoulda caused
him to have a small stroke. He thought
about shootin' one but decided correctly
and didn't for fear of messin' up the
tom. He said he heard the tom pitch
down and the next thing he saw was Joe
Dirt come out in full blown strut with
the two jakes at his sides. Problem
was it was 100 yards down the orchard
and they headed the other way. The distance
didn't ease his heart beat any though.
Joe strutted and gobbled, just doin'
the figure eight in about a ten yard
space, waitin' for his hens.
Will makes up his own
mind to see if he can use the holly
bush row to close the distance and starts
a belly crawl keeping the bushes between
him and the toms.
Unbeknownst to him, that
hen was watchin' him and dang it all,
reckon it was because it was Mother's
Day that gave that hen the courage to
save the day for Joe Dirt and perhaps
their offspring from last season.
She certainly did something
I've never seen. She hauled butt right
past crawlin' Will and started puttin'
as she passed her family and they wasted
no time in following. Will was just
returnin' from his adventure when I
eased in view.
I must say the boy took
it well. Seemed like a sure thing, seemed
like slingin' bird would definitely
be the order of the morning. I was proud
nonetheless, for Will's remarks and
actions proved to me he was well on
his way to truly enjoying the sport
of turkey hunting.
He wasn't sullen, depressed, mad, or
disappointed. All he could remark on
was how hard and fast his heart started
beatin' when Joe popped out of the woods
in full strut.
I gave him a pat on the
shoulder and mentioned he got the best
outta the bird and he was still alive
for another hunt. He agreed but did
admit he wanted to do the dead bird
We rounded the property
in search of Joe and his clan but found
nothing. Rather than stay and bugger
them up, we headed to Huddle House and
hatched plans to skip school and work
for another try Monday.
After a warm dry breakfast,
poor ol' Will dozed immediately once
Lorrie Darlin' hit the pavement. I ran
into Ben on the way back and stopped
to tell him the tales. He said he'd
heard nuthin' nor seen nuthin' and was
callin' it a season. I bid him farewell
and decided to take the back way into
the property via the Land of Promise.
As I enter the pipeline
road, I spy a hen out in the stubble
field up from the prayin' wall. Noc's
told me she was the same hen I'd been
seeing over in the food plot. She was
never scared of my truck. I eased on
thru Bread's favorite haunt. Just clearing
the crosses, what do I see but a 55
gallon drum dancin' out behind the prayin'
Sure enough, looked to be ol' Moses
the Holy Roller tom I'd missed earlier
in the season, showin' off for three
hens. Will was groggy but awake when
he looked thru the nocs at him. He excitedly
said, "Heck, he's bigger than Joe
Dirt." Ol' Moses wore his beard
in a nice fashion that actually made
it appear very long. Ol' grey beard
I asked Will, "Wanna
hunt him"? , it was drizzin' rain
now. He said, "Shoot yeah, I'm
already wet." So we ease the truck
outta sight, which may have spooked
his hens, as we saw them depart into
the woods. No fear, I figure they are
headin' to feed in the wheat anyway.
So food plot bound we
are, we run off a hen while setting
up but still no worries. Calling sparingly,
I could tell Moses was still struttin'
his buns off somewhere near, as his
drum filled the misty air. Hour and
a half passes and nothing. Now I'm wet
and miserable and what does Will say?
"Let's round 'em and see if we
can find him." HA! Dang, I've created
a turkey hunter for sure, ain't I?
Well, I know the land
real well, so we rounded the long field
and came in via the back side. We spy
a large hen out in the middle just preening.
We sneak up and get set for another
hour wait for no show Moses. It's rainin'
a bit harder now and the sky is darkenin'.
I'm about ready for Camp Redbeard myself
but decide another vision of the prayin'
wall is in order. Easin' 'round the
hedgerow, I glass the field and see
nuthin'. Pannin' right to the nice stand
of tall pines, nicely manicured, I see
the 55 gallon drum movin' thru the pines.
Good Lord evidently figured
if we were to take Moses from the Land
Of Promise, then we'd have to earn it
as the skies opened wide and the floods
from Noah drowned us and the heavy rain
blackened our vision as well.
We sopped our way to the
truck and I removed all my turkey callin'
neckwear, put on a dry shirt. Dried
and oiled up Will's gun and we waited
the storm out. Poor Will was cold, wet
and shiverin', dang near whipped. He
had no extra camo. He did put on a dry
t-shirt under his camo shirt though.
The deluge of rain didn't
last long and the sun broke up the clouds.
Will asked, "Now what". I
said, "Well, I'm gonna ease up
to the top of the hill and see if I
can see 'em". I figured they would
have flown up in those pines and waited
it out also. I told Will he could come
if he wanted to but I was coming back
if I didn't see 'em. Dang if the wet
soul didn't follow me, gun in hand.
Noc's were empty but since
Will was at my side with gun in hand,
I figured one more roundin' was in order.
We were both wet ducks, sloshin' pant
legs for the whole world to hear. Will's
Russell's were boat shoes to say the
None the wiser, onward we trudged.
We had three cut roads,
more like grass paths, thru the short
pines to choose from and picked the
middle path. As we headed down hill,
Will gravely asked, "Do you think
we have a chance?" I paused and
considered the shape we were in and
replied, "Yeah, I think we do,
they are probably just makin' a big
circle to get to the food plots. Let's
go down this road and if we don't see
'em we'll call it quits". He cut
me a half arsed believin' look and followed.
'Bout fifty more yards, I put Will to
a halt by my side and whispered, "There
he is". I saw wing and breast but
no beard. It seemed just to be standing
and preening. I felt certain that it
had to be one of those three hens.
Mother Nature had placed
the perfect brush pile between the pines
she was standing behind and Will insisted
on trying to edge closer than I had
wanted, to a pine with no obstruction
around it. We eased quietly into place
and I readied the call I'd borrowed
from Will's vest, a Graveyard glass
slate and hickory peg from Primos. I'd
left all my calls and vest in the truck
when I changed shirts. Didn't even have
One by one, the hens moved
into view with one nailin' us to the
very pine us two stump headed fools
were sittin' against.
Me just over Will's shoulder
on the back side of this skinny pine
and him musta looked like a mess of
weeds and grasses pretty well cuz she
eased into her comfort zone when steady
Will, with gun at ready, moved not a
muscle nor blinked nary an eye. I'd
told Will that the pretty purple and
white flower 'bout 5 or 10 yards in
front of the birds was his range. The
tom would have to come to that mark
before he could shoot. Come he did,
but not far enough. He strutted, twirled
and glorified that dome of his with
the brightest of white while his neck,
cheeks and waddle made up the rest of
ol' glory. God, he was a site for happy
eyes. Not a bit wet, either. His feathers
glistened in the sunlight. His beard
bounced as he danced, causing much anxiety
to our impatient souls.
The hens actions made
me uncomfortable as they seemed to be
pointed up the third cut road thru the
pines, so I started purrin' and cluckin'
on the slate Leland Keith made and gave
to Will, free of charge. A good man
was that Leland. I only wish he were
alive to see Will and his bird. Would
be our first using Leland's Graveyard
Calls. Only problem I had was the hickory
peg was slightly damp and I couldn't
get any volume out of it.
I planned on pullin' a loud putt out
of it at the opportune moment and that
moment was coming fast as our anxiety
was getting the best of us. Me mostly,
I must confess.
One hen passed by probably
at the range of 40-45 yards, I was going
to chance it and told Will to be sure
to get the red level and between the
green and on his head. I tried to anticipate
his crossing in the brief opening the
hen had just went by and desperately
tried to get a putt outta that peg but
no luck. So I started poppin' with my
lips, probably sounded like a dodo bird
but one hen did raise her head. The
tom unfortunately strutted his way by
on the other side of the brush.
I keep cluckin' and purrin'
and the hens did take notice of the
calling and that may have been our saving
grace. For the next time we caught glimpse
of them, they were 30 yards out behind
some thick brush.
Again, the hens crossed
in plain view, one after another. Folks,
know I was dang near 'bout bustin' a
heart vessel in my chest with my heart
beating so fast. Will's breath was short
and fast, I could feel his excitement
heaving via our touching shoulders.
Out pops Moses in half strut, head poked
out enough for a steady shot. Will looks
steady, I'm whisperin' shoot him, shoot
Boyz, I oughta learn some
self control cuz I hurried the boy when
it wasn't necessary and once he shot,
it appeared Moses lunged forward instead
of rollin' over. I hollered, "Shoot
him again", but instinctively took
off like a bat outta hades and accordin'
to Will, went airborne about 5 yards
from the wing walkin' tom and landed
belly square on top of him.
Later, Will laughingly
said the tom probably died from a heart
attack seein' me sailin' thru the air
like a cat. I laughed and told the boy,
"I can move pretty quick fer a
fat boy, can't I?" He said, "Shoot,
it was like I shot you outta the gun,
I didn't even have time to shuck another
It was all well and good,
dead bird rodeo time, no doubt. The
sharp spurred boss of the Holy Lands
got me pretty dang good on the back
side of my knuckles. Will's shot mussed
his feathers up a bit and my Bubba Smith
tackle done some damage too. Never the
less, the boy had his first longbeard,
third lifetime turkey and during the
last weekend of the season, same as
his first two.
Gonna give him a new nickname,
"The Closer", no more "Left-Eye
Blind" for Will. "Left-Eye
Blind" ye say? Reckon I'll leave
that lay for another tale, although
it be a good 'un.
No doubt about him livin'
right, to be able to go the last weekend
on a club I've dang near chased or kilt
every turkey off of 'tis surely a sign
of livin' right by the very Lord we
thanked graciously for our blessing
in granting us the privilege of takin'
one of His finest creations.
The walk back to the truck
was one surely turkey huntin' Dads treasure;
rebel yellin', thankin' the Lord and
for some reason sangin' some of the
Dukes of Hazzard theme song, "Just
good ol' boys
Ol' Moses the Holy Roller
boss of the Promise Lands weighed out
at 18 pounds and 4 ozs. Sported a nice
thick grey beard of 9.5 inches with
some beard rot beginning. One sharp
arse spur grew to 1 ¼" and
the other needle was 1 and 3/16".
Dang sure 'nuff trophy, no doubt.
Know what else? Will evened
up the golden dollar score for the weekend,
as he won back his golden dollar. HA!
Yeah man, good day for sure, be callin'
my buddro Bread fer a trophy mount for
Thanks ya'll for lettin'
a proud Daddy boast. I know I rambled
a bit in this story but it is what it
is and a tale that I'm proud of havin'
the privilege of telling.