Now in the UK we are lucky, yes we have strict gun control laws, but our quarry has an open and closed season, and thats it.
In the USA many firearms can be purchased and owned, but they have to draw tags, which is a government selection for quarry, they get a chap from the game wardens office go out and evaluate the deer and other animal numbers then allow hunters to have a selection only, so maybe 1 buck and 1 doe from whitetail deer, 4 turkeys, 1 black bear, and an elk and thats your lot for the year.
Also many states now require a hunters ED card.
Rocking the Ridge
By: Angie Gade
Six Turkey tags for this season, one for each family member, age ranging from 11 to 47. The big question is who will end the season with the best story?
Come on an adventure with me….but I must warn you, you’ll have to get up early!
This weekend’s adventures include an attempt to sneak on Goldenboy (the illusive thirty pounder with shimmering golden wings), crawling on our hands and knees in the grass, as well as five hundred yards of sloshing knee deep in marsh water (very stinky, and yes, over our knee high boots). We watched in horror as our blind rolled away with a gust of wind, while we sit helpless, statue-like, in our best attempt not to spook the Jakes that are frolicking with our Tom.
Goldenboy proved on Day 1, there’s a reason why we’ve been in pursuit of him for three years without success. We head home to rest up, with one less video camera, fallen victim to a puddle. If I didn’t know any better it’s as if Goldenboy himself had influence over these happenings, to cover any trace of his existence.
If you haven’t turkey hunted before it must be said that the sunrise is amazing, and if we were doing nothing more than sipping coffee out in the dewy spring air, it’s a heartwarming experience would be worth rising at 3:30 a.m. to experience.
At first light of Day 2, a Tom came into sight about one hundred yards from us, atop a hill, strutting for the ladies. He was moving his hens in our direction and we were getting into position, with our adrenaline pumping. Suddenly….. SPOOKED! All five turkeys race 300 yards to the other side of the field, like a scene from the Kentucky Derby.
Yesterday’s experience assured me he would be back to strutting, in the warmth of the sun, across the field. I jest to my hubby, “Should we shimmy across the field but stay inside the blind?” We both laugh, then pause… that’s IT! Without another word we spring into action gathering our things, put the blind down, and shuffle through the lowest part of the field.
We arrive undetected, and can only assume our Tom and hens are lurking in the marsh.
No worries… they’ll be back. Decoys posted, we settle in, waiting their return.
Our Ridge Rocker Turkey call lets out a chirp, and just minutes later a red head pops into view at sixty yards, pecking cautiously through the grass. The sweet purr of the Ridge Rocker has done it again, quickly peaking the interest of our Tom.
The entire scene plays out in my head as I move into position… Goldenboy has evaded us again, but THIS bird is going down! Steadily focusing the sight on the turkey, I await my hubby’s cue as he ranges the distance.
“48 yards, take him”, Chris whispers.
My heart is pumping so hard and fast, I can see my shirt bouncing with each beat. I take a deep breath and pull the trigger. The 12 gauge kicks but I don’t feel a thing. I watch my bird roll, but rise again in attempt to fly. I pull the trigger again. Clearly Chris is sure this bird is down, and he starts to lift the blind. What he doesn’t know is I’m not walking through that smelly marsh again today, so the third pull is the charm, just for good measure.
Elation overcomes me, and I’m in tears. What a wonderful blessing it is to have these opportunities, and share these memories with our family.
Chris laughs and says “It’s Double Bearded! You know… no one hits a bird three times though”.
I assure him “A double-bearder requires the third shot!”
Before my husband introduced me to hunting I never knew the wonderful journey it would be. The adventure is not just out here in the field, but also within us. The quiet time I spend with my inner voice is priceless. In hunting I’ve learned patience, appreciation, to be silent and proper planning in pursuit of our desires. The value of these lessons learned is far more reaching than I had ever expected. Spend some time with nature, getting to know your inner voice, but remember, if it’s at 4 am don’t forget your Ridge Rocker!