Tuesday, May 26, 2020
I have decided to call my turkey season to an end for this year. It is awfully wet out there right now and to be frank I would rather spend my days on easy stuff like golf or fishing. Besides, I no longer have the youth to pursue my quarry to the bitter end. Ahhh, but there was a time way back when, it was daylight till dark and daylight again. Those days have been replaced with arthritis in the hands, sore joints, a bad back, and paralysis in the legs if I agitate them too much. In short, I just do not have the “want to” anymore. Not, that I am complaining, I have enjoyed one of the best turkey seasons every. I got out into the field more this year than last year. I got to hunt with more good friends then last year, and I saw a lot of beautiful nature. No, I would say that this season was a huge success.
Most of you have probably heard me say this before, especially if you were in one of my hunting classes (smile) but every hunter goes through four stages. Stage one, if you take a young hunter out on his very first hunt and he gets to shoot his gun, the hunt has been successful. However, as a hunter gets proficient, he/she enters phase two, “How close to the limit can I get?” We have all been there. In my youth I could shoot two quail on the covey rise (sometimes three) and now if I can get my gun up in time ( a huge amount of effort required) I may get lucky and hit one bird.
From phase two, a hunter moves into phase three “The Trophy Phase”. Now by this, I am not necessarily talking about something you hang on a wall but rather those memories that stand out far and above the rest. I have never owned a dog that didn’t have at least one trophy moment (sometimes, more) and when I think about that particular dog (every dog owner knows what I mean) I am immediately taken back to that moment in time. I can tell you every detail of that moment, what the weather was like, who I hunted with, all the big five (who, what, when, where, and how). It was the precise moment that defined that dog at its absolute best. It was a trophy moment.
Sadly, all good things eventually end and before you know it you find yourself knee-deep into phase four, “the Twilight” phase. The phase that I am now in. The phase that says that if I can get out of bed before daylight, put my pants on and drag my butt out to the field in time to see and appreciate a gorgeous sunrise, I have had a most successful hunt. A few years ago, a good friend (Randy Fernandez) his wife Valarie, and I got out before daylight and sat in a beautiful Sunflower dove field. We did not see one single dove. As I listened to Randy complain, I had to smile to myself because in my mind I am thinking, “Well at least I am not back at the house, sitting in a rocking chair.” “I got to see a beautiful sunrise and I got to enjoy it with two of my favorite people.”
Make it a great day!