Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And Then a Turkey Fell From the Sky. . .

Firearm deer hunting started last Saturday.  I've been hunting hard, every morning and evening that I am not at work (so, twice each on Saturday and Sunday, once Monday, and plan to head out soon for this afternoon's hunt).  DH has the whole week off, so he's been hunting harder: twice a day every day.

Yet neither one of us has venison to show for our efforts.  The deer have been scarce, to say the least.  I have seen, in a total of 16 hours of hunting, exactly three deer.  One that never came out of the brush for me to get a shot at (she was pushed by another hunting going into the woods), and two that didn't come out until after dark.

So, I've been back to my usual hunting season activities of looking at trees, trying to take pictures of birds and squirrels, and generally enjoying the quiet and solitude that is unavailable in my home since I share it with six other people.  Seven if you count DH's friend who has a (nasty, in my opinion) habit of moving in with us during deer season (perhaps a topic for another post some other day).  Out in the blind I might be freezing my ass  nose off--we are having a January-like spell of weather currently--and not killing any deer so far, but at least no one expects me to wait on them and I'm having some uninterrupted quiet time to think!

Generally, during hunting season I think through my holiday gift list and prioritize which gifts I can make and which ones I need to purchase.  I also spend more time reading than any other time of the year.  And, of course, I observe the woods and its' inhabitants.

So far, the woodpeckers have been abundant, but camera shy.  I watched a rabbit for about half-an-hour on Sunday morning, but did not have the camera with me to take pictures with. And, I confess, as I was watching the rabbit, to mentally figuring out how much damage a 20 gauge slug would do to such a small animal, and wondering if I just shot it in the head, which I wouldn't eat anyway, if there would be enough meat left to cook for dinner; justifying the taking of the rabbit's life.  In the end, I kept my gun down and just watched the rabbit.  Perhaps I will take up rabbit hunting next year, after I buy some game load.

The strangest thing that has happened so far was when I was sitting out yesterday afternoon.  I had been out in the blind for about twenty minutes when DH walked out to go sit in the maple stand.  As he walked to the far eastern corner of the woods, I could hear crashing around between me and him.  Getting excited, guessing that he'd spooked up a deer or two, I got my gun up and started peering intently out the windows of the apple blind where I was sitting.  Surely soon I would see a deer coming my way.

Body tense with anticipation, I leaned forward, scanning to the northeast.   Looking, looking. . . watching for deer. . .

And then a turkey fell from the sky.  Right in front of me.  Literally not more than 25 feet away.  And because of the way the windows in the blind are designed as short wide slits in the wall, (about 5-6 inches high) I had not seen the turkey up in the tree that it must have been in.  Nor did I hear it at all--usually you can hear turkeys flapping and crashing when they go up to roost or come down from the treetops.

So, imagine how much I jumped when suddenly this full grown turkey hen silently falls directly in front of my blind!!

To say I was surprised would be an understatement.  As quickly as possible, I unzipped my coat and pulled out the camera (I keep it inside my coat so the cold doesn't wear the batteries down) in order to get pictures.  The turkey, meanwhile, nonchalantly walked a semi-circle through the brush, coming out to the west of my blind, where I was lucky enough to get one picture of her during the split second she was in a clearing.

I might not have any cool stories of monster bucks or harvested does to tell so far this hunting season, but I do have a story about the turkey that fell from the sky.

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