Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Long Road to Success

"It's not over till its over," Yogi Bera.  The weather turned to summer with a couple of days of 90 degrees.  The land owner at Fort Calhoun called me with a new spot where he had seen birds.  At the top of a hill that led down to timber, they came out in the evening.  The recommendation was to go into the timber a short distance and wait.  I did it.

The late afternoon was beautiful.  Large white puffy clouds, a light breeze, and the sky had a deep blue.  I pushed myself into a pile of dead fall and waited.  It was easy to look down into the woods.  With a bright sunny day, the ground cover was just a few inches high.  The trees had leafed out and formed a canopy of cover for whatever wanted to scurry around.  It was easy to look down and into the timber.  As the clouds moved across the sky, the shadows formed and moved about on the ground and the large standing oaks.  These pictures caused a constant shifting of focus as they appeared as movement.  Each time it happened, I was reached for my shotgun. The only animals I saw were deer and they did not see me.

It was not long before hens came by.  All were within shooting distance.  Trailing at a distance came three nice size jakes.  I waited.  The shot was a little long and they were weaving around in the timber.  The gun was already up.  I laid it across  two dead branches so there would be little movement when the time was right  The jakes acted spooky.  They had either caught me or something else was wrong. I have seen this before.  Their necks stretch out and they have a tendency to move around in a circle.  I have also seen them scurry off and come back to the starting point.  I continued to be patient, but they hurried out of range.  I should have shot.  It began to get dark, and it was time to leave.  This will be a good spot in the future.

When I got home, I called the landowner down by the river.  He told me the mushroom pickers were not around anymore, and headed me to a spot in his pasture.  He had seen birds in the morning when watering the cattle.  I was experienceing a lot of frustration.  This should have been completed over a week ago.  I also have an obligation to feed some friends that come to our home for fresh game.  They have been asking a lot of questions, like "When do we get our invitation for wild turkey dinner?' I am not getting the job done this season.

Early the next morning I headed into the woods.  The weather had changed again, and it was very cool.  I found a spot on the edge of the pasture.  I did not put out any decoys.  It did not take long.  Out came a group of hens about 50 yards from me and they walked in my direction.  Behind them came four nice size jakes.  I decided not to wait for a big tom.  Meat is meat and the young jakes eat just as well if not better.  When they moved to within thirty yards, I popped the biggest of the four.

I still have one tag to fill in Nebraska and there is some time left to get it done.

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