If I was psychic, I might have understood the meaning behind the fecal calling card left by a coyote on the wooden platform we use to step into our camper. Being in a glass-half-full mood, I decided it was meant to warmly express “welcome to hunt camp!” While setting up camp for our inaugural adventure of the 2009 turkey season, we also ran across evidence a hen had stopped by to leave her salutation as well. So had the deer. Okay. So maybe this wasn’t the work of a greeting committee. Instead, our camp site had become a wildlife doo doo station.
Seeing turkey sign was actually good, though, since that was the quarry my husband Wes and I were after. And where there are hens, there are gobblers. So I set up on Saturday morning with great expectations. I had killed many a gobbler from where I sat and was feeling pretty confident. As dawn began to break, it was like God had turned up the volume. Every bird residing in mid-Georgia began to make a racket. I heard pileated woodpeckers. Canada geese. Barred owls. Blue Jays. Crows. A red-tailed hawk. Wood ducks. And songbirds of every stripe. But not a single gobble. Nary a yelp, cluck or fly down cackle. That figures. They poop near my crib and then won’t talk to me.
The next morning, I set up in the same place. Except instead of a bluebird day, there was a far off storm making some noise and sending up fireworks. It had started to gently rain and as I debated whether I should stay or go, I heard it. Music to my ears. The gobble of the wild turkey. Like little kids who wet their pants because they’re having too much fun to quit, I settled in for the show.
Fortunately the storm was short lived but the gobbling wasn’t. I threw out a sexy series of yelps and clucks and that’s when it happened. The henervention. This situation is much like an intervention. Except the hen, in no uncertain terms, yelps back “kiss my tailfeathers” before she stalks off to intercept the gobbler. So, I’m sitting there, like a fool, listening to the gobbler as he moves farther away. Oh well. It was time to go and anyway, I really was about to wet my pants.
There’s always next weekend, I told myself. But it feels like waiting for recess when you’re a second grader in math class. But maybe that’s what I love about turkey hunting. It brings out the kid in me.