There are plenty of mushrooms to be found over most of the Ozarks where this column will be read this week, but they are smaller this year on average than ever in the history of the world. Well, I can’t say that for sure, but it is what I suspicion. A friend of mine found the smallest mushroom ever… the size of a man’s thumbnail. If you don’t believe it, you can see a photo of it on my website, given at the end of this column.
White bass are finally running pretty good, after several weak efforts over the last month, set back by cold nights and too much rain. The best of it, typified by the big females being caught in equal numbers to the males, is still ahead in most Ozark waters. As for the mushrooms, I figure this week is it. I think it will be over by the weekend. As usual, I am still selling mushroom seeds, in case you might like to scatter some in your woods for next year. For some reason I didn’t sell any last year. But a mushroom seed is good for years and years. They are terribly small. I put a hundred or so in an envelope and you can’t even see them with a microscope!
I will fish hard for the next couple of months, and fishing will dominate this column for a while, but first I have to tell one more turkey-hunting story. In doing this, I realize I am causing most hunters to say, “Heck, I had a better story than that one.” That’s why we publish the outdoor magazine, ‘The Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal’… to publish stories from readers, whether hunting or fishing, that will top mine. So, if you have some really great outdoor experiences, write them up and send them to me.
I killed my first gobbler a week ago, when he came readily to my call, gobbled a couple dozen times, then got behind a big rock the size of a boar hog, and began to strut, where I could only see his fanned-out tail. That kind of thing shows me that I haven’t got enough patience to fill an empty shotshell hull.
I was tempted to jump up on that rock and blast him as he ran away, but remembering how many times I have tried such a thing, only to find out turkeys have faster reflexes than me, I waited. Finally he looked up over the rock and I was rewarded for my two or three minutes of agonizing wait. It was thirty minutes past noon, and I had been hunting since daylight.
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The most enjoyable hunt I had was the day I watched a big gobbler come gobbling and strutting through the woods, convinced that I was a hen. He must have spent an hour moving slowly toward me, breast feathers glistening in sunlight between the trees. He circled me, fifty yards away, almost in range. What a sight that was. He never got inside my shotgun confidence distance, and then retraced his steps, leaving as he had come, gobbling and strutting.
Sometimes there are greater rewards in just missing than there are in killing something. The one I didn’t get is the one I will remember most from this turkey season.
My website is www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com. Write to me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613 or e-mail me at email@example.com