I got all duded up in my colonial duds and hit the woods with evil intent in my heart toward the wild turkey yesterday morning. Any wild turkey, I was out to get any of them. Contrary to their reputation for stupidity, they easily smoked my plan and stayed far away, doing turkey stuff elsewhere. I was reluctant to give it up, after all I had rolled out of my nice warm bed before sunup, driven to hell and gone, hiked a quarter mile to my ambush spot, put out a beautiful hen decoy and worked my fingers to the bone on a box call telling every turkey in the county that I was lost and desperately needed company. Did they care? Not one whit. Dumber than they, I kept that up for three hours before admitting I had been outsmarted by a real birdbrain. Ah well, such is life. Reminded me of Ogden Nash:
The hunter crouches in his blind
'Neath camouflage of every kind,
And conjures up a quacking noise
To lend allure to his decoys.
This grown-up man, with pluck and luck,
Is hoping to outwit a duck.
Being the suspicious sort, I had come prepared for such a possibility. I hiked back to the car, traded my double flint 20 gauge for a single flint rifle shooting 175 balls to the pound, swapped shot pouches and set off in pursuit of the wily bushytail squirrel, gray or fox, I wasn’t feeling choosy. Deciding to do this was somewhat of a nervous experiment, because that little rifle has old-style sights, low silver blade front and low V rear. They can be difficult to see in poor lighting in the woods, and this old shooter’s eyes aren’t as young as they used to be. I wasn’t at all sure I could protect myself if I was charged by any squirrel at all. Screwing up my courage after making sure my scalping knife was handy and sharp as a backup, I ventured forth. It took a while, but I finally crossed paths with a really vicious looking gray squirrel in a tree about 20 yard away. Well aware of the danger if I only wounded it, I tried to get a bead on its head, but it knew what was up and kept constantly moving in the tree. I finally caught it still for an instant and tried the chest, instead, and was much relieved to see it come tumbling down. You should have seen the fangs on that thing! And it was a female, the fiercest kind. That was a close one.
To calm my nerves after that hair raising adventure, I made my way to a pond on the front 40 and fished awhile. Caught four small largemouth bass, and I’m eating a fried bass domburi as I pen this little tale. I’m lucky to be here to tell it. And to eat it.