Monday, April 28, 2008

Ohio Turkey Hunt Day 4

Well we got to eat hamburger again! No fish last night. I guess I should have got a fishing license and went out with the boys to teach them how to catch fish. As I write today, all three of them are back out trying again, hopefully with better results this time, or its hamburger again.
Last night we got back to camp and cooked dinner earlier than the previous two nights. We got done with the hamburger and baked beans before dark, so we cleaned up after dinner and messed around camp some. We got the radio going with some Brooks & Dunn playing while sitting next to the camp fire and watching the sun set! What a way to end the day. The boys and Uncle Jim tried to show each other who could cast a fishing rod the best. They tied weights on the ends of the lines and had a casting contest, until Jim’s reel back lashed and messed up all his line. They then spent a few minutes putting new line on his reel and then we sat and swapped lies and stories around the camp fire while watching the stars. It is so amazing when there is no artificial light around that you can see so many stars out on a clear night. Once again for the third straight night, we heard a group of birds calling back and forth all night long. It sounded something like a whippoorwill. I don’t really know what kind of bird it was, but you can hear them all night long.
Up again at 5:30am and get ready to hit the turkey woods. This morning was cooler, probably in the 50’s and it was overcast. We were expecting some showers today, and it looked as if it wasn’t going to be long until it did rain. We got to the parking area again just as it was getting light. When we got out of the truck, once again we heard a Tom off in the distance gobbling! It was in the area Michael and Jim have been hunting the past two mornings, so I told them to get their stuff and get after it! I took Jake down to the spot we had cleared out the day before. That is where he wanted to spend this morning. I figured that since we didn’t hear anything off that way it might be a slow morning, but this was his hunt and that is where he wanted to go, after all it was his birthday this morning so I left it up to him. What a way to spend your ninth birthday, with your dad, older brother and your uncle in the woods stalking the mighty thunder chickens! I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
We made our way down to our spot and I put out one lone hen decoy on a gentle slope down to the creek bed, hoping a Tom would spot her on the rise. We got hunkered down and settled in and I started to call softly, letting any nearby Tom know that a lonely hen was nearby looking for a suitor. Little did he know if he did come by he would get a surprise from Jake. The wind picked up a little and the clouds looked a little darker than before, the bugs were starting to buzz somewhat now so I fired up the ThermaCell. We were sitting in a little depression overlooking the creek bed, and Jake laid down on his little seat which was folded flat. It gave him an excellent look down on the creek. It wasn’t long until he fell asleep. I kept the calling going for about 45 minutes or so and then I laid down, it wasn’t long until I too fell off to sleep. Occasionally I would hear birds nearby and I would raise my head ever so slightly to peer down to the creek to see if there were any birds. I once saw something dark moving through the cover near the creek, I got Jake up and ready, but nothing ever came out of the cover. We both dozed off again. I heard two different gun shots that peeked my curiosity wondering if it was Mike or Jim. Finally I was awoken to rain drops hitting my face and Jake woke up at the same time. It started to rain heavily so we packed up and made our way back to the truck. When we arrived we saw the two guys there already. They never got on the gobbler from the morning, another hunter had turned some beagle dogs out to run and they scared off any birds that might have been in the area. They were pretty hot, but that is one bad thing about hunting on state land, you have to share it.
When we got back to camp we all took a nap, Jake and I woke up around 11:00 and got out the magazines and read and talked to each other about the articles in them while listening to the rain hit the top of the tent. He thought that was pretty cool to sit inside the tent while it was raining. I thought it was pretty cool just to be with him on his birthday sitting in a tent in the woods!
It got to be about 11:40am and I heard a gobble just off the ridge behind our camp. I told him to quietly get his gear and grab the gun. We still had 20 minutes to chase another Tom! We scrambled down the ridge on an old overgrown two track and set up quickly. I knew we didn’t have much time and he was still nearby, because as we made our way down the ridge we heard him gobble again off in the distance. With such little time left to hunt for the day, I threw everything I had at him. I used every sequence I knew off for an excited hen! If he were nearby he would surely hear it, but he never came. As Noon drew near we unloaded our guns and headed back to camp. The tow sleepy heads had never heard the bird or us getting our stuff ready to go out. They finally woke up and we headed back to the lake for another try at dinner for tonight!
When we got to the lake we noticed that another truck pulled up behind us at the launch. It was two guys that were camping nearby our camp. After the boys pulled out to the lake, I stopped by and talked with the two hunters. They were from a town near where Uncle Jim lived. Not only that the dad went to college in Alpena, Michigan! He hunted as a college student in the same area I now deer hunt. What a small world. We talked turkey hunting, hunting in general, and fishing. It was nice to meet a couple of good ‘ol boys who like to hunt and fish like we do. Where else can you just walk up to complete strangers and strike up a conversation about something you have in common? That is one of the great things about hunting and fishing.
While I’ve been writing this story I haven’t seen the boys catch anything yet! It is looking like another night of burgers and beans! Oh well, at least they are having fun!

No comments: