Just Me A Turkey and God
It was a dark and cold May morning when I headed out for what was going to be my last weekend of spring turkey hunting. I knew where they had roosted the night before and in my mind I had imagined where they would fly out of the tall fir trees and land. All night I tossed and turned debating on the perfect spot to sit in the morning.
Finally, my alarm went off, which was just a formality because I was already awake. I stumbled around in the dark putting on what I had laid out to wear the night before. I grabbed my pack and my shotgun and headed to the front porch. As I cracked open the front door I could hear the rain pouring on the tin roof. Back in I go to add my GWG rain gear to the numerous layers that I already had on.
I slipped my muck boots on and headed for the spot I had thought about all night. I had been in this scenario more than once this season with less than desirable outcomes. And I honestly think it was because I was too fidgety while waiting for daylight, so this morning I sat still. I had sat down and pulled my shotgun up to the ready position, so that when the time came I could make one motion up to my face and seal the deal.
Birds started chirping as the sun began to wake the earth up for the day. I sat motionless less than 50 yards from that roost tree and hadn’t heard a thing from the turkeys. My heart began to race, wondering if they had left from the time that I had gone to bed till now. Finally, I heard a gobble, then another one and another! I remember thinking – YES – I had picked a great spot! I got locked in to the one to my right and watched him as he took flight and landed 30 yards directly in front of me. Once he landed I shot and watched as he flapped his wings a couple of times, then rested peacefully in the wet grass.
I was excited and grateful for the outcome of that wet morning hunt. I thanked the Lord for providing me with the opportunity and for giving me the ability to harvest this animal. I did go back to the house and woke my husband up to share the news and see if he would take a couple of pictures. He was happy to help out and then he went back to bed, and I moved on to the most important part of the hunt.
I gathered my knives and cleaning kit and headed to a nice quiet spot. For me, this is the most intimate and important time of a hunt. You have taken the life of this beautiful animal, and now with much respect and dignity for the animal I will remove the meat that will provide nourishment for my family. It is important to me to be hands on throughout this entire process, this morning in particular it was just me and that bird. As I began to pluck the feathers off of the breast bone, the clouds began to part and the sun shined down on me. There was a spiritual presence during the entire process that I can’t explain.
As a female hunter I have had others offer to process my animals for me, as much as I appreciate the offer I not only feel obligated to that animal to finish what I start, but I feel like it is my responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, with a big game animal I am happy to have help, but I want to be directly responsible for the way that animal is taken care of through the entire process. Like John Muir says “ Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much larger and better in every way”