Finally! A weekend free from obligations, where Josh and I were able to get out turkey hunting. I have to say that I was less than enthusiastic about the 4AM wake-up call, but he did manage to get me out of bed. I still do not understand why those darn birds don't like to sleep in. Josh and I got set up next to a small open field, with a high sloped hill in front of us that led to a small platform. To the right of us was a small deep valley. Most of my view to the right was obstructed by trees, so I could see the road but not much else. Literally a minute after we set up they started gobbling. Josh was situated behind me on the tree, and was calling pretty hard. Following his directions, I kept my eyes to the right (where the birds were gobbling from) but also scanned the small field from time to time (to my left). I kept an eye on the platform in from of me, but couldn't see much due to the steep incline.
Anyone who has gotten up early to hunt knows how difficult it can be to stay awake while you are waiting for the sun to come up. This morning was no different. I was trying to scan the area around me since the birds were gobbling so closely, but it was getting difficult. Suddenly, something caught my eye directly in front of me. A field mouse! He looked pretty cute, jumping and tumbling up the hillside in front of me-just trying to get some breakfast. Suddenly he turned, locked his beady little eyes on me, and made a beeline straight towards me. Now, I am not afraid of mice, but I certainly do not want one crawling on me. The little monster slammed straight into me.
"What? Do you see a bird?"
"A mouse just ran into me and is crawling around under my legs!"
"DO NOT MOVE."
It took everything I had in me to not jump up. Everything. According to Josh's timekeeping skills, those birds (2) continued to gobble to us for over and hour. There was another group of turkey hunters on the property next to us who were also calling to them. The birds appeared to be hung up in between us. He made the decision to leave me at my tree, confident in my hunting skills, and move away from me in hopes of pulling the bird across the valley to me. He explained to me where he would be headed and where it would be safe for me to shoot, depending on where the turkey came from. Off he went.
A tip for women hunters. Do not wear overalls to hunt in. You will have to pee at some point, and you will not be able to do it inconspicuously. I was in the middle of deciding how this was going to occur when a velociraptor flew across the valley on my right and landed on the high platform in front of me. I froze. The turkey I had been after for three years was three yards away from me. The problem....I could only see about two inches of his feathers due to the raised elevation he was standing on. Son of a gun. I slllllooooowly pulled my gun up and got myself adjusted. The only positive thing about him being up there was that I could see him, but there was no way he could see me. I stealthily adjusted my shotgun and myself and waited. Every time he gobbled it felt like an earthquake under me. He must have been square dancing up there because he would be drawn towards Josh's calling, but then walk around in a circle after he gobbled. All I needed was for him to move about one yard to the left. Just one yard. Of course you know how this went. He was a dancing queen....all the way off the platform straight ahead of me. Which meant he never poked his naked little head out for me to get a shot.
As he danced around up there, the calling from the other property got closer and louder. Now I do not know the boundary lines very well, but I do know how close I am to this bird. If I can't see the other hunters, they cannot see me. Depending on which direction they are shooting from I may be in the line of fire. PANIC. I do not have my Blackberry with me, I can hear Josh but know that he is very far away, and there is still a chance that I may shoot this bird. What am I going to do?
My turkey hasn't gobbled for a good ten minutes at this point, so I decide to do some research. I slowly stand up until I can see the top of the platform....no turkey. (This would not be the first time this season that there have been trespassers on the property. Josh and Tim missed being shot by a few feet the previous week). Grabbing my gun, I sneak off behind me to find Josh. Once we reunited I told him of the perils of my hunt. He explained to me that while they sounded close, they were indeed on another property. So we packed up our things and headed off to another spot. Turkeys 3-Me 0