My Turkey Hunt
(Hoot Gibson)

 

                I never really turkey hunted before, simply because I didnít want to hunt on public ground. I didnít want to be part of an accident. It seems that if you accidentally shoot a hen turkey, itís a $500 fine, even though they do look a lot like a gobbler. But if you shoot another man itís called an accident (ďI thought he was a turkeyĒ, seems to be the excuse).  But I can understand that because Iíve seen a lot of gobblers down at K-Mart buying camo clothing.

            I have seen several turkeys this year thanks to two very dear friends of mine and there is no excuse to shoot at anything but the real thing. Nothing I seen looked anything like a turkey in the woods but a turkey. But anyway, with a little prodding from a friend of mine, I bought a license. It seemed really easy after what this man showed me. Turkeys everywhere. All you had to do was sit down, scrape this stick against a chalkboard or hum on this piece of balloon wrapped in tape. Man, turkeys everywhere!

            Well, the first day of the season was spent with John Brewer. He called me on the phone and said, ďHoot, you wonít believe it (but I did!) there must be 250 -350 longbeards roosting right above my trailer. I couldnít believe it (but I did!)! So I went out and bought some camo clothes, a large bag of calls, new boots, and a pack shovel to build pit blinds with (youíll hear about that later). I kissed the kids, slapped my wife, and Iím on the way. Pulled into camp Sunday afternoon. Man was I ready. But before I left home I called my turkey expert in Athens County to get a last report. He wasnít home. Anyway, there was John and his friend, whatís his name. I wasnít sure what I wanted to hunt with, so I grabbed my Doc bow, my John Bow, and my Jimbo. I know youíre only allowed to harvest one bird per license, and since it takes about 10 to 12 shots to hit one of those stupid turkey targets, I thought it might take a few more if itís moving. So I didnít think 3 dozen arrows was too much. John laughed, but what does he know, just because he hits everything he shoots at doesnít mean heís good. Anyway, I wake bright and early the next morning, made coffee, and when it was done I woke John up for breakfast. He brought the shotgun down with him, but he took his bow the first day. He came out of the trailer and put the motor on the boat (it had been raining a little). I was trying to get the last dozen arrows into my quiver. I kind of felt bad because when I looked at Johnís quiver he only had one arrow in it. He said that was all he needed, but I think that was all he had. Anyway, we get in the boat and head up the hill. I heard turkeys that day, but the only thing I did was about choke to death on my home made mouth call. I couldnít find a balloon, so I had to use a piece of car inner tube. The more I think of it, it sounded more like a commode flushing than a turkey call. Iíll have to practice. On the way home I found a store that sold these mouth calls, what luck for next year! I enjoyed trying to use my homemade mouth call, but every time I blew on it the valve stem poked me in the eye. Anyway, John and whatís his name didnít see anything either. I hope it wasnít that funny kerplushing sound they kept hearing. I remembered a fellow years ago talking about a pit blind for deer and I thought Iíd give it a try. So I went over to Johnís friend Ed Anderson to borrow a ladder. But all Ed talked about was some great hunter named Sonny Buck and all of Sonny Buckís accomplishments with his bow and arrow. I would like to meet him someday. Anyway, I started back up the hill to where I wanted my pit blind (things dried up some so we had to carry the boat back down to camp). But to keep a long story short, I dug a hole approximately 17 feet deep. They say the higher the treestand the better the hunting, so I figured the deeper the pitÖwell you get my drift. I stood the ladder to the side. The next morning I looked for my ladder but couldnít see it anywhere; then I looked in the pit. It seems someone was in my blind, so I ran him out. He didnít like it, but once he found out whose property he was on he didnít argue. Heís heard of John Brewer. So down in the blind I went. The object of a pit blind is to set patiently and when a deer steps over the hole shoot him. But donít kill him dead because there is a possibility of him falling down the hole and you could suffocate to death. Anyway youíre supposed to put mirrors up so you can see whatís coming. I forgot my mirrors so I figured Iíd just pay attention. The last time I looked at my watch it was 9:30 in the morning. I must have dozed off but I did learn a lesson; when digging these so called pit blinds consider what youíre hunting because the hole for turkeys should be a lot smaller because turkeys take shorter steps than deer. Well back to the story. What a rude awakening. A big gobbler fell in my hole. I think if it wouldnít have knocked my bow out of my hand and stopped flogging my face I could have got a shot at him. But all I really wanted was to get out of that hole and I did. I ran down the hill to camp and told John what happened. I asked him if he would take me to the hospital, but all he wanted to know was where the bird was at. I told him it was still in the hole; he told me to go ask Ed to take him to the hospital. So after two turnicates and 43 band aids Ed and I went to the hospital. They said I was gonna live, but I spent the night and so did good ole Ed. The next morning I borrowed Edís shotgun and went to the blind to get the bird. I found the blind empty. He must have escaped, there was feathers everywhere. So I went down to retrieve my bow, arrows, chair, cooler, shovel, sleeping bag, and cot from the small pit blind. When I got it out in the light I noticed that all of it had been shot with a shotgun. It seems someone didnít like my stuff so they shot it. But anyway John got a bird early that morning. Congratulations John. If you want any information on pit blinds, contact Gary Caillouet. I didnít get a turkey, but it was 2 of the greatest weeks of my life! Wish me luck next year.