Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Reprise: No Kinda Hunter

I once posted on the misadventures of my hunting exploits, or lack thereof, back when we first started The Realm of Possibility. Yesterday morning I was driving my kids, and we were talking about hunting for some reason. One of the boys asked, "Dad, did you ever kill anything?"

"A snake," I told him.

A lot of hooting and hollering came after that. "Yeah, Dad hates snakes!" "Was it poisonous?" "Didja blow it's head off?" Until the noise quieted and Davis asked, "No, did you ever kill anything real?"

They waited, and I said, "No. I came close once, I suppose. It was the only time Zack really ever got upset with me." (Zack was my "f-i-l" in the other story).

"Really? He did? What happened?" they asked.

We were turkey hunting in the Spring, and it was my first time at that. I was with Zack and my brother-in-law at the time, Mark. Zack, while a great deer hunter, was really just learning how to turkey hunt at the time. The dawn had gone and it was into mid-morning, and we were heading back to his cabin. As we walked, Zack used his turkey "screecher" caller box (I forget what they're called) to call out - the female turkey sound - to any straggling gobblers. Suprisingly, at least to me, he got an answer that sounded something like: gggrrrrrbbgggrrrrlll!!! Hey! was the look that passed between Zack and Mark. They told me to wait in a certain spot near a dirt road, and they'd try to circle around where they had heard the turkey reply and try to get him to come my direction.

I planted myself a good twenty minutes behind a bush aside the road, gun at the ready, sweating like a melting snowcone in a sauna, to wait for a turkey I didn't think was ever going to come. Across from the road was a clearing that sloped down away from me with just a couple of trees in it. Then, suddenly, after about a half an hour, I did hear something. I figured it was probably a squirrel or rabbit, but I raised my gun just in case. Now, remember, I had never shot anything, but I didn't think it'd be a big deal. Lo and behold, a real, 100% actual wild turkey strutted out from behind one of the two trees in the clearing, and I had a clear shot.I have to say, it was a beautiful bird.

Then... I thought to myself, "You know, I'll probably have a better shot when it passes by the other tree." However, I also knew it was sloping down the hill as my finger caressed the trigger of my shotgun. If I was going to take the shot, I needed to take it now. So in fine Rich Pearce fashion, I decided that I'd take the shot if it passed by the next tree. The turkey went behind the tree.. and I never saw it again.

Only a minute later, Mark came up and said, "You saw it, right? It was right there."

"Oh yeah, I saw it," I replied.

"Did you have a shot?"

At this point Zack walked up. I nodded. "I think so. It was right there." I pointed twenty five or thirty feet away to a space in the clearing between the two trees." Well, er, yeah. But I thought I might get a better one once it passed the other tree."

"Wait!" interrupted Zack. "You mean you had a shot, and you didn't take it?"

At that point, I don't remember much of what was said except that Zack was upset with me and I should never pass up an open shot. Not one of my fonder moments in life.

Turns out, that was the only game I ever had a clear shot at in my few times hunting before I started creating clever excuses to get out of going.


"Wow, so you had a decent shot at the turkey, Dad?" Carson asked me. "Why didn't you take it?"

I looked back at him and then to Davis before my eyes returned to stare down the road which I was driving.

"Because, guys, there was a slight chance I might have hit it."


Anonymous said...

So you're saying don't come to your house on Thanksgiving and expect to eat fresh turkey? :o) Come to my house. I'll feed you Bambi burgers! *evil grin*


DugALug said...

You had a decent shot at Zack and didn't take it either... wow. TWO missed shots in one outing.