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Turkey Hunting is stupid. Part II

Turkey Hunting is Stupid Part II

“Honesty it the best policy” Benjamin Franklin

I’m a pretty honest guy. I mean, I have a lot of shortcomings, but for the most part, I’m honest. (Unless you want to ask me about a new hunting spot I found or how many fish I caught on a certain day.) I bring this up to say while I have been an unrepentant, dyed in the wool, somewhat obsessed turkey hunter for much of my life, turkey hunting is pretty stupid.

What? How can I say this? Just to utter these words could get me excommunicated from various brotherhoods of hunters and outdoor writers. But, like I said, it is best to just be honest about it. For reasons known only in heaven the pursuit of the wild turkey affects those who chose this path like no other bird or animal on the face of planet earth. Deer hunters can be more than a little off, duck hunters get crazy points for some of the weather they endure, and bird hunters are sometimes thought to have gentlemanly characteristics that other hunters lack. Turkey hunters though, are definitely in a class by themselves.

Why is this? I really don’t know, and being one of the afflicted members of this tribe I may not be the one to ask anyway. One reason may be because of the nature of the bird itself. Anyone with a lick of sense would tell you that this creature, thought of as the king of game birds, is just plain loco. Turkeys do things that often seem to be no rational explanation for, everything from paying no attention to your plaintive calls right in the middle of mating season to remaining on the roost at ten o’clock in the morning. Maybe the crazy nature of the bird that we pursue starts to affect us.

So all of this said, and even though it pains me greatly, here as usual in no certain order, are some of the reasons that turkey hunting is stupid. We talked about this about this time last year, but I felt it needed another round.

A butterball is a lot tastier and a lot easier. I started not to bring this up. This one could get me ousted from the National Wild Turkey Federation and banished from a few hunting camps I know. But the fact is while I eat wild turkey, I like wild turkey, and I will continue to eat wild turkey, the frozen variety found at the supermarket may be tastier. Now I didn’t say the wild turkey is not tasty, but for tender and juicy qualities the domestic bird will often run off and leave his wild cousin. Remember that the wild turkey spends his entire life running up and down hill sides, avoiding predators and trying to find some grub every day. All of this may not lead to the best table fare. So you can get a scrumptious turkey right out of the store without getting up too early, climbing steep hills, and dealing with bugs, snakes, bad weather and nutty hunting partners. Like I said, turkey hunting is stupid.

The turkey you drag home isn’t cheap. The actual basic gear needed to hunt wild turkeys is really not very extensive. You need a shotgun, and most any shotgun will do, fancy turkey specific guns are nice, but you can bag turkeys with most any shotgun you may have. Camouflage hunting clothing may make things a little easier but it is not necessary to have entire sets of matching camo from head to toe. Any camouflage or drab colored attire will work, and you need a few turkey calls. This is what is actually needed, but most of us go way beyond that. By the time the average turkey hunter buys everything from a new shotgun and the latest kind of camo, and of course we must have two of each kind of turkey call in our vest, we have spent more on turkey gear than the family car. The average eighteen pound gobbler most of us bring home ends up costing about two hundred dollars a pound! Turkey hunting is stupid.

Make sure you have good health insurance. No other form of hunting can be as physically taxing as turkey hunting. Spring gobbler hunting involves getting up at inhuman hours of the morning, drinking way too much bad coffee and then staggering through the dark woods with a crazy hunting buddy so you can get to a “good listening place” before sunrise. If you are lucky enough to get a gobbler to respond to your calls you may be sitting in one place, not moving, for a very long time. O, and did I mention there is always a rock or two where you sit? You cannot move, and soon legs, arms, and your back begin to ache and the aforementioned rocks start to grow as you sit there. And you absolutely can’t move! Turkey hunting stupid!

Well there, I said it. Turkey hunting is stupid but there is no way I am going to stop. Lord willing I will be chasing those crazy birds around some hillside for a long time. Don’t hold my turkey hunting mania against me, I mean it’s not like I’m going to take up golf or something.