Turkey hunters know the season is a grueling period of early morning wake-up calls, travels to and from hot hunting spots, and runny noses and sore throats from sitting out in the weather that can be warm and sunny one day, and pelting cold rain the next.
Our family or co-workers that do not understand our obsession may see us as ill-tempered, sleep deprived and strung out from too much caffeine and not enough shotgun blasts to wake us up. Yup, we may come across as downright grumpy or inefficient at our jobs.
But the diehard turkey hunters know what’s up. We are a walking dead brethren rising before first light with coffee in hand and sporting full camo. We approach a new spring day ready to outsmart one of God's finest creations, no matter how bad the birds beat us up the day before. And no matter how good of a turkey hunter we think we are, the birds do beat us up. That’s inevitable.
I am not complaining about the punishing taxes our bodies, minds and even relationships go through during turkey season. I am just recognizing they are there, and they are not enough for us to take up another sport like golf. We are hunters and we play through the pain until our foe is defeated.
Don’t get me wrong though, our labor is rewarded. It is rewarded by the feeling you get when you strike the right notes on the turkey call and finally get that dad gum bird to quit hanging up. Your early morning walk of jumping through creeks and hopping fences in pitch black darkness is rewarded when a tom hammers out a “good morning” gobble before flying down from the roost and making a bee line to your decoy. You are rewarded when you make all the right moves, combine all the right tactics and finally flop that huge gobbler you have been chasing all spring. These are the fruits of a turkey hunter’s labor.
Yea, turkey hunting can be hard work and torture on our bodies, but I still think hunting Thunder Chickens is the most fun you can have in the woods. As I look forward to this season, I do not remember the trying times of season’s past, but rather the heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping and high-fiving moments. Some major turkey floppage is on the horizon and I can’t wait!