Friday, June 13, 2008

A little frustrating

After talking with a hunting friend and realizing I was already planning the fall agenda, I decided I had better put a capper on the spring gobbler season.

It is now 24 days since the last gig -- May 29 -- and thankfully I can track most of the hunts via videocamera rather than by memory, which would be difficult. Sure seemed to be a much more convenient way to log my hunts considering all of the computer difficulties I've encountered this spring. And once again, I'm down for the count with another computer problem.

In addition to the snafus, I'm waiting on a PC card that will enable me to upload the video here, so look for this in the next couple of weeks.

But back to what really matters most on this site and that is summing up the 2008 Michigan spring turkey season for this worn journalist.

Well, I can put it this way: It wasn't as satisfying as it could've been.

I ran into more hunting pressure at the two spots I exclusively hunted in Ingham and St. Clair counties. Hunters were what mostly slowed the action in Ingham, and coyotes in St. Clair. And, yes, I hunted those wily rascals this past winter but to no avail.

I'm also left with the feeling I haven't had since the early days in the mid-'90s of wondering where I'm going to find the next hot spot.

Now don't get me wrong, the Ingham County location had birds on it as usual but not like it did four years ago. And I certaintly did bolo my best chance of the season, even sent some Hevishot downrange but we're talking a total hail Mary shot.

I must be fair to thine ownself on this one. Whereas 10 years ago I would've had anywhere from an all-day to six-month ass-kicking party on myself for this botched effort, I've learned this was just a tough break all around.

After eight hours in the woods -- and I would like to add here that I've never racked up longer sits in a season for turks than I did this year -- I had two dandy toms come scampering in less than 10 yards from me. I know what you're thinking: How could you miss?

Here's what happened. At the end of the eight hours, the sky that constantly threatened rain finally made good on its promise. I flipped back the pyramid blind I use to cover my head and gear but I was exposed from the sides. And sure enough, that's when Tom and Jerry came in. They made me the minute I spun from my side to my belly for a shot from the prone position. (Oh, yeah, I was also resting my head on my hand. Now there's a ready position for you. Doh!)

This whole thing went down almost like a clip by two stars from H.S. Strut's past on "Cuttn' & Struttn' 13." The birds busted through on a full trot in that episode as well. They also missed their shot.

What was even worse on mine, is the turks came back -- even after getting shot at -- and I was on the cell phone reporting the miss to a hunting buddy. So, again, I was ill-prepared and by the time I ditched the phone, they scrammed without me being able to pick out a second shot among the underbrush. This time I did feel stupid.

And that was the best chance I had out of the eight times I made it out.

A couple of these gigs were washes because I brought along my 4-year-old son Zackie, and he just isn't ready yet for the patience and diligence turkey hunting requires of sitting still without being detected.

Jeez. Where am I coming from? As if my record is any better.