Over the years I have written hundreds of stories about wild turkey hunting, and you may have seen them in Outdoor Life, Field and Stream or other outdoor magazines I once wrote for.
Over the years I have written hundreds of stories about wild turkey hunting, and you may have seen them in Outdoor Life, Field and Stream or other outdoor magazines I once wrote for. If you like to read about turkey hunting, you can find more stories in my book, “The Greatest Wild Gobblers, Lessons Learned From Old Timers and Old Toms.” The latest turkey hunting story I wrote can be read in my outdoor magazine, “The Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal”, April-May issue. It is a true story about two men I hunted with, one a beginner, and one an old time hunter who was the most knowledgeable and capable turkey hunter I ever knew. It is entitled, “Gobbler Mountain” and it will take you to a beautiful forestland in the Ouachita Mountains of west Arkansas, and two men who hunted together once without ever meeting each other.
I was just thinking recently about how truly simple the hunting of wild gobblers can be. Three or four shotgun shells get me through a season, with an old beat-up pump shotgun with a tight choke and a sling to carry it with. All I really need is a back-pack with turkey calls I make myself, enough to eat, a canteen of water and a mesh bag for mushrooms, and some comfortable water-proof boots.
But there is one more thing I like to take along, and if you are going to walk back into wild country, you should have one. It’s a string hammock. You can tie it between two trees and get yourself up off the damp cool ground, so that the ticks can’t reach you, and relax for an hour or two when things slow down about mid-morning. If the gobblers quit gobbling and the sun climbs higher in the sky, find a good place on high ground to tie your hammock and relax. Stretched out in that gently swinging hammock, I seldom have to wait long to hear a gobbler sound off somewhere.
But heed my advice… don’t call much from that hammock, because as sure as the world, while you are about half asleep and your shotgun is leaning up against a tree, a gobbler will walk up unannounced and all you can do is look at him. If you can perfectly imitate a barred owl or a crow, try that every twenty or thirty minutes and you can often get an old lonely tom to answer with a gobble, but don’t use your turkey call unless you are sitting somewhere well hidden ready to shoot.
Over the past year or so, I have lost my father and two cousins and three uncles. On the night of Easter Sunday, my uncle Roy McNew of Eminence, passed away. What memories I have of the times on his farm east of Houston playing with his three sons in my boyhood. Uncle Roy was a strong, fine man, the last of my mother’s family. On Sunday evening a week later, my mother passed away, after months of poor health. I have to figure there is quite a reunion in heaven this week.
Page 2 of 2 - Remember that no matter who you are, or your age or your health, you are here for a reason, and in the eyes of God, you are important, and have much left to do. I have to believe those who want heaven to be a place of mansions and gold streets will find them there. But if you and I would be happiest where clean rivers and high mountains and big trees can be found, heaven has to be big enough for such places, with fish and flowers and birds. Wild gobblers too! And gold found only in spring sunrises, and fall sunsets.