Monday, May 31, 2010

Morel of the story

As you can see, this is no ordinary morel.

MAHFS Editor

Well, I guess I've gone and done it.

Renamed this blog, "Mac Arnold's Hunting & Fishing Spectacular," that is.

I'm wondering if I've set myself up because as most know who are involved in either endeavor, they aren't always spectacular.

Most of the time, at least for me, they are more like calming, meditating experiences.

Then, out of nowhere the gobbler busts into range after an hourlong courtship of calling, or the buck takes a left into your shooting lane instead of a right along a trail you're set up along.

Boom, the fireworks begin.

But often it's not like that.

Take this season for instance. I gave all ... probably going out like in the days yesteryear. I'm thinking I went out more than 15 times this season in an attempt to hoist a big tom over my shoulder.

After a slow start, where I heard few gobbles, the end turned out to be loaded with fun and excitement.

Yesterday's hunt -- Sunday, May 30 -- the finale for me, got as close as you can get without putting an old boy down. After an initial miscue on setup, one where he turned out to be gobbling over my truck about 200 yards from where I setup, we rendezvoused in the eastern part of Dairy Farmer Dave's property, in the pine woods where I shot my gobbler last spring.

Obviously, this wasn't his first dance. He hung up just outside the coveted 50-yard distance, and in addition, was slowly weaving in and out of trees. I had a brief look at his white globe and then I lost it. But I saw him and he was a beaut -- his beard was dragging on the ground.

But I'm glad I didn't take a risky shot (really never had one).

So that is how my season ended, with the last two days of gobbling and me aggressively picking up and moving to intercept his travel routes, which is the kind of turkey hunting I like best.

So I'm eating my tag. As much as I like to hunt on military holidays, such as Memorial Day, I'm out of gas and won't be going out the final day.

I'm also fighting a force beyond my control.

Earlier in the month, I ran into a patch of morels. Now, most would say, "That's awesome." But for me, it's like the kiss of death.

In the seasons where I find morels, I don't shoot a turkey. It's a strange phenomenon that I don't understand.

Don't get me wrong, I love eating 'em and these mutant morels I found supplied meals for a week.

Yet, here I am, turkey-less.

Think next season and those beyond I'll turn heel if I stumble upon anymore patches of tasty fungi.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Turkey-less in Michigan

Once upon a time there was a turkey hunter and outdoor writer named Mac Arnold who lived in Michigan.

He would hunt in the great outdoors of his native state and write of his exploits on his blog.

OK, you can see where this story is going.

I'm back, but not with a vengeance ... just yet. For now I can't really write of any great dances around the pasture with a tom.

After a sloooooooooow go of it, I began reviewing the record of spring gobbler hunting pasts.

A rough estimate on my part puts an average number of times I get out at 10 times a spring. Now sometimes this total is more if I take vacation time or less depending on my luck or schedule.

In this 10-time block I can usually anticipate hooking up with a close encounter at least once, maybe twice.

So after being under the old pine tree five times in 2010, I can stay hopeful that that one time is on the horizon.

Maybe just not at the current spots I am now hunting.

The Sanilac County hot spot, which was just a matter of showing up and hitting any call of the hunter's choice to illicit a gobble, is now desolate. What a difference a year makes is all I can say.

I have no idea what happened. Could be anything -- hunter's luck in the earlier season or predators, I haven't a clue, but the turks just aren't there.

Dairy Farmer Dave had chuckled, "You should be done in an hour," when I told him over the phone my season ran until May 31.

I have to admit I was reveling in that confident tone much like a flock of hens does a quiet purr.

Yet, here we are: between Dairy Farmer Dave's and the out-the-door spot behind house, I have heard six gobbles and one hen yelp, and seen one hen in a field 70 yards to my front.

That's it.

With the season now more than halfway over, I am on the ropes, but not out by a long shot.

I've written on here previously that location is everything. Now it's time to take my own advice and widen my scope of places I can go.

I'm on it.

(Has video at end, for some reason thumbnail did not appear. Have to click on forward button.)