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I Hate Field Turkeys

cuz_blog_photoAnyone who knows me will tell you that I’m pretty laid back. I get along with just about anybody and can think of very few people and only a few things that I really dislike. Of course snakes rate at the top of my dislike chart. Actually hate would be a better word to describe that emotion. For some reason milk has always been a big problem for me. I don’t know how I got so big without drinking much milk as a youngster. I guess I made up for the lack of liquid diary with ice cream and cheeseburgers. Another problem area for me was new clothes. I hate starch, tight collars, new underwear and especially cheap socks. I’m not sure where this problem was birthed but Mom said she might have dressed me in clothes that were too tight when I was a baby. I later learned to deal with clothes when she started shopping in the Husky department at Sears. I still prefer well-worn loose fitting items such as faded jeans, T-shirts and Mossy Oak camo. When it comes to hunting there is certainly one thing that seems to aggravate me on a regular basis, (field turkeys). I’m not going to say I hate ‘em but I know I’ve had that thought in my mind many times after a couple of rounds with a field turkey. I’ve often wondered why they make me so mad. Maybe it’s the fact that they are so visible and so many times un-killable. Maybe it’s the sheer amount of time one can waste while pondering, watching and thinking about how to get into position to slay one these aggravating gobblers. Whatever the reason, field turkeys can make for some frustrating hunts and lifelong memories, or nightmares depending on the turkey.      

Field turkeys just seem to hold all the cards. Most often they can see for hundreds of yards in any direction. They have hens, food and water nearby and generally have settled into a routine that has kept them alive for an extended period of time. They don’t have to come to hen calls from just inside the wood line where hunters generally have to set up.

They have made large open fields their chosen sanctuary because it works. Some of the most memorable tales I can recall center around field turkeys and the shear aggravation they can cause a hunter. One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard about hunting field turkeys came from the late Ben Rogers Lee. I was sitting in on one of his seminars back in the early 80’s. He had finished his talk and was taking questions from the crowd. One fellow raised his hand and asked Ben, “I’ve got this gobbler that stays in a big field all day. He has lots of hens with him and won’t answer a call and never moves much, what should I do?” Ben Lee’s response was swift and to the point, "find another turkey to hunt”. To this day that remains some of the best advice I’ve ever heard.

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