The following is a story I wrote and was published in an Outdoor Magazine,
Hope you enjoy........I feel it embodies what hunting is all about!
The True Essence Of A Turkey Hunt
by: W. Wayne Kendrick
The day starts early, well before the sun has even thought of rising, backpack and gear in the truck, fence posts and hi-way signs ripping past as the hunter speeds his way through the darkness for an appointment with nature.
Truck parked, backpack in place, gun on shoulder, the trek through the dark is consoling as-well-as exciting! Easing through the woods and down to the overgrown fields edge, slipping as silently as one can without the use of a flashlight, he makes his way to the destination of what may be a rendezvous with a Tom turkey.
Easing through an old barbwire fence, careful to make as little noise as possible. THE SPOT is just to left about 30 yards, a small place between some myrtle bushes on the old and abandoned fence row. There, his backpack is silently placed on the ground and he eases out into the field and sets up 2 hen decoys and a jake decoy. Checking to make sure they move with the slightest touch, on their stakes.
Silently slipping back to the place of concealment, he carefully and quietly rakes away any leaves on the ground that might make noise and possibly spook an approaching gobbler.
Cushion placed on the ground, he sits down. Eyes adjusted to the dark he silently breaks any small limbs that might impede the movement of the shotgun should the need to take aim arise.
He leans back against the old sweetgum tree and closes his eyes, listening to the chirping of the crickets in the dark, and way off, the sound of a big bullfrog, bellowing it's spring mating call into the darkness.
The mosquitoes buzz a little but they are not biting. As a turkey can not smell like a deer, the insect repellant is doing it's thing. Somewhere way off a screech owl emits it's eerie call into the night, and a rabbit makes it's last breath known as it sounds a dieing squeal as some predator catches it.
In the East, the horizon takes on a weird glow, the morning sunrise strains to make it's presence known to the world around him.
The faint clouds on the horizon take on a purplish hue as the first streaks of light find their way into his part of the world.
Small night creatures scurry about their way as they head for their daytime lairs, where they will slumber through the daylight hours, safe from predators and birds of prey.
In the thickets behind him, birds begin to chirp, welcoming the coming day as their quest for food and survival begins anew.
A huge owl glides on silent wings as it heads for an ancient cypress on the bayou. To find the limb in the highest branches where it has sat through uncountable days waiting for the evening sunset to come and begin it's nightly ritual of hunting small creatures in the old field.
As the morning light grows, the silhouette of a red fox crosses the field. Moving gracefully on silent pads, it's footsteps never betraying it's presence, like a ghost in the morning light it comes and goes.
The sun rises halfway over the horizon and somewhere way off, a hen turkey makes a fly down cackle. And as if to answer her declaration of a new day, a gobbler sends his powerful call wavering through the woods, rattling the dried, brown leaves still hanging on the oaks since last fall.
Carefully he makes a few purrs and cuts with the mouth call, and two gobblers behind him cut loose, making him almost want to jump out of his skin!
Using the slate call, he makes a few putts and then leaves the call alone.....to much calling is far worse than not enough!
The minutes lag on, his nerves on edge, scared to make a move to look. The birds stay silent...10 minutes.....15 minutes.....20 minutes.....slowly he makes a few purrs on the slate. They gobble somewhat closer and still behind him!
Then nature kicks in! Some hens over the ridge behind him start calling and he can hear them gobble farther away as the male birds go off in pursuit. He puts the calls at his side as he could never compete with the real thing.
He refrained from further calling as he would rather let the gobblers get out of range and sit here in hopes of calling some other gobblers in from another area later in the morning.
The morning wanes on, the sun rises higher, he calls every now and then, but to no avail.
Watching, he spies a speck in the sky, hovering, riding the air currents without moving a wing, a peregrine, majestic ruler of the skies.
On a tree limb across the field sits a red tailed hawk, patiently waiting for some creature to make a mistake. After some time it launches itself off it's perch and swoops to the ground, lost to the hunters sight in the tall grass. The sounds of the dyeing prey tells the hunter it is a squirrel, caught unaware as it made it's way down the edge of the field.
The patient hunter makes a few more calls, then about 10:30 eases up from his front row seat too GOD's great play called life, gathers gear and strolls easily back through the woods to his truck, a pleasant feeling in his soul, a light spring to his step, a slight smile on his lips!
On the drive home he gets a cell call from a friend who asks "How was the hunt?"......He replies......"Man it was phenomenal!"
Such is life, enjoy the true beauty of nature while you can, a kill is the bonus!