The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Outdoors

April 20, 2014

Paying homage to the turkey hunting gods

If there were a Minnesota Turkey Hunter Hall of Shame, I could be a prime candidate for induction.

It’s been so long since I’ve wrapped a tag around a Minnesota bird’s leg that I can’t remember exactly the last time I’ve pulled the trigger on a gobbler.

It’s been two years for sure, possibly three.

Certainly, it hasn’t been for the lack of trying.

When my five allotted days have rolled around each spring, I’ve been out there well before dawn, come hell or high water.

No turkey ever has been killed from bed, so even when wind-driven rain was rattling off the windows, when the alarm clattered at 3:30 a.m., I was off to the the turkey woods.

But for whatever reason, the turkey hunting gods have not shed their countenance on me, at least in Minnesota.

I’d like think I have some pretty good excuses for drawing a blank during these past several years.

There is, of course, always the weather. I have had my share of days when it was too cold, too windy, too something.

Just ask anyone who has tried to way-lay a turkey during the first five-day period that commenced last Wednesday, the first of eight hunting periods in the 2014 Minnesota spring turkey hunting season.

It’s possible to kill a bird in the wind, rain, sleet and cold temperatures, but it’s usually a lot tougher, certainly a lot less fun.

If I’m really feeling sorry for myself, I might be inclined to attribute my turkey-killing slump to the fact I always select a later season, by which time any birds in the neighborhood have been educated by previous hunter encounters.

Whatever the excuse, for the past several years, when I zigged, the birds zagged.

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