I told you last week about the fabulousness going on so far in 2014, and about how Saturday was going to be the big day. In case you’re new, Saturday was opening day for the spring turkey season.
You may be wondering “how does that tie in with diabetes?” Well, it’s like this… my diabetes totally took a back seat a couple years ago when I decided to be the boss, the alpha, the controller. This time 4 years ago I didn’t even think about walking around the yard, much less hiking through the woods and trying my hand at turkey hunting. 80-some odd pounds later, and stellar blood sugar control (for the most part), I’m a different person. I’m pretty active now and have decided to step out of my “comfort zone” more often. If you are a Type 2 Diabetic like me and are getting tired of being sick and tired, maybe you too could try giving up the things that spike you and taking hold of the reins also, but I digress, this post is about how I didn’t get a turkey, but then again I was gifted one…
We woke up at the butt crack of dawn, ok, it was 5:30 am, the sun had not yet risen, so I fixed bacon and eggs for me and a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit for my honey. Yeah, he said “we can get something on the way” and I was like, “yeah, but”….
While he checked the weather and called his buddy, I ate my breakfast of champions. After that, we got dressed, me in his old camouflage overalls, an old beat up pair of sneaks and one of his hats. Since it was cold, I got a pair of camo coveralls too.
Since Hot Stuff is a gun man, he brought his big gun, and me being a girly girl who thinks guns are wayyy too loud, loaded up my crossbow into the back of the car. By the time we pulled out of the drive, the sun was up and we were on our way to the adventure awaiting us.
Silly, silly girl, me, thought it was a good sign when we saw a couple of handsome turkeys foraging on the side of the highway “I love you turkeys!! It’s a sign, I just know it.”. Now, if you’re a seasoned hunter like His Hotness, you may be thinking “yeah, a sign that you’re not going to see a gosh darned thing in the woods…” (but, he loves me and didn’t want to burst my bubble. He kept that thought to himself.)
We arrived at Leon and Tina’s house and started our hunt for “gear”. Leon and Michael have been friends forever and Leon is a super avid hunter, fisher, electrician even. When Michael told him that “Shannon got her hunting license” he told Michael that he had all kinds of goodies to help in my endeavor.
Now, I’ve got to tell you that there had been a swift change of plans. We were originally scheduled to hunt at his friend Jeremy’s house, but with the weather change and conversation with Leon, we went to Leon’s instead for opening day. In addition to the perdy girl I’m holding in the picture, he also let us use his Tom decoy, a pop up blind, chair, back pack cushion, and a big ole turkey gun. (I stuck with my crossbow though)
After getting all the gear together, Leon took us back to “turkey heaven” and yea, if I was a turkey, I would live there. We popped up the blind, set out the decoys, and the rain came down. It was freezing. Our feet were wet, because it had rained all night previously. Not wanting to burst my opening day bubble, he also didn’t tell me that turkeys are a lot like our chickens, they don’t like to get their feet wet. Still though, he sat out with me for hours while I played turkey tunes on my Tom Coffin. Lookie there, what’s that over in the field?
We didn’t get a turkey on Saturday, but we enjoyed the sounds and smells of nature at it’s finest. Yeah, it would have been finer warm and dry, but I was just thankful that my health is good enough these days to even sit in the woods for hours. win-win. On the way home, he told me about how “my sign” had been a bad sign, and that we could go again Sunday.
It was not a complete loss though, Leon sent us home with the gear, a few pounds of venison (they love my jerky), and some smoked sausage a friend of their’s had made (and yes, it’s so good, it’s pert near gone).
Sunday Morning we awoke not so early, around 6:00 am. We ate some vittles, loaded up the car and headed to Jeremy’s house. We quietly followed the trail to and through the woods when we happened upon a posse of turkeys who flew up into the trees when they saw us. Not another bad sign I hoped, when Sir Hotsalot got the home-made blind made of forest parts (I couldn’t take a picture, had to be quiet) and I got the pop up blind. He sat out the decoys and told me I had to call those turkeys back. I got busy talking turkey with my Tom Coffin.
It was so cool just sitting out in the woods. I saw some hawks and crows. There was a lady bird talking to me, so I talked back to her. I heard a strange noise, past the blind he was in, but couldn’t see what it was. Then there was a clanking noise like someone was banging sticks around and a whoooooosh! “did you see that?” he asked. “See what?” I said. “It was two Toms, a big one came out of nowhere, then a little one came over to him and they were fighting”. (They were fighting over me of course, thinking I was a perdy girly bird…)
We waited a while longer, those two were out of range (about 75 yards, Leon had told him the furthermost distant for that gun was 60 yards, so he didn’t take a shot and they flew off anyways). On the way back to the car he told me about how pretty they were and he wished I could have seen them. I told him it was ok, yeah, I was heartbroken, but at least I saw the decoys lol.
Since I was down in the dumps, he decided to take me back to the woods that afternoon. We didn’t take the pop up blind, both of us used the diy one. Talking turkey, I managed to get some gobbles. “Do you see that?” he asked “Is it a stick?” I said as it turned it’s head, it was watching us at 65 yards away. “Cover your ears” he said, but I didn’t, BOOM!
I got to tote the turkey part way out of the woods. I petted his soft feathers and thanked him for the nourishment he would be providing our family.
It was a lot different than heading to the market to buy a frozen turkey. Some folks tend to think hunting is a bad thing, and well, I don’t think hunting is bad, but there are bad hunters. Folks who look for a “trophy” rather than “food”. Thinking back years ago when the deer population was so dense that they were dying of starvation, not a humane way to go btw, hunters are needed so that things like that don’t happen often. Plus with hunting food, you know that they had a “normal” life, free of cages, antibiotics and other unsavory things you can read about mass produced livestock.
I learned in my first time being a huntress that this is something I want to one day teach my grandchildren. I don’t want them growing up on genetically engineered foods, I want them to know where food comes from and not be afraid to step out of their own comfort zones. I want them to see the world with their own eyes rather than surf the net or play video games. I want them to enjoy nature at its finest. Because of that, we picked them up a couple of bows (plastic, no points) to start practicing with. I’m picking them up this afternoon for an extended weekend of general goofiness.