Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the last threads

This hen was quite content in front of me at Dairy Farmer Dave's in Sanilac County. She stayed at least 15 minutes before moving on.
MAHFS photo by Mac Arnold

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

Is that a little white flag you see at my side?

I've just finished an eight out of 10 days stint in the turkey woods, where I tried both Sanilac County spots and an old standby in Gladwin County, and still came up empty handed.

In fact, I didn't even have more than one confirmed gobble.

I did see turkeys but only hens. I needed their boyfriends to stop by and pay them a visit.

No luck with that.

At this point, I'm pretty discouraged. And a little disgusted.

In the past seasons, the second over-the-counter private tag license would start earlier in the first week of May. This year it started on the seventh. Seems like not having some of that week, along with the earlier spring as said by the Michigan DNR Upland Bird Specialist Al Stewart, has hurt me.

The big boys just don't appear interested in a courting. And when that happens, it can be tough to find them.

Of course, some have already ended up in freezers, so slim pickins' for this cowboy.

I'm also a little frustrated the bum shoulder is likely a culprit in me blowing the one opportunity I did have on May 15.  But I'm learning and living with this situation.

It may be time to upgrade shotguns with one that is a little lighter than the 1993 Ulti-Mag Mossberg 12 gauge. Like with one of those Beretta 20s I see the H&S Strut guys sling during the "Cuttn & Struttn" videos.

Then again, maybe the shoulder will gain some strength by next spring.

Being so shaky in raising the barrel through the blind gave away enough movement for the tom to know something was up and it wasn't a frisky hen decoy.

By the time the time I could get a shot off, he was on the move. It was a tough shot.

That's why they call it hunting and not killing.

I have a hard time fathoming I'll just have the one chance for pay dirt this season. I could use a few more birds like I also see in those videos.

With three or four more outings planned, I may get that chance. If not, fall has been good to me the past two or three seasons, I'll give it heck then.


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