April 18, 2002

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

I've often been told I look younger than I really am (hope they keep that coming in my latter years) but I don't imagine that I could have passed for a 12-year-old in order to take part in the special two-day youth Turkey hunt last weekend. I was nearly that desperate as the spring (or was that summer-like) weather and a few choice meetings with some posing turkeys made me ready for opening day April 22.

That I would even think about something that borders on stealing candy from a baby, tells you that I'm pretty serious about turkey hunting. It's funny how little things can set our emotions in motion. Like a certain smell can trigger a memory or a specific sound takes you back in time. That happened to me last Wednesday as I was traveling the backroads returning from having the paper printed. It was just an abbreviated glance but the few seconds I saw the two tom turkeys strutting through the field full of hens was enough to get my motor going (not the car motor as it was going pretty good, as I was late, explaining the abbreviated glimpse I got of the birds.)

I knew that opening day was still a couple weeks away but my first run in with strutting turkeys had my mind wandering to hunting spots, new equipment, and excuses for missing work, the whole way home.

After a couple days digging out the equipment, practicing calls and scrounging through the kids toy boxes to find my decoys the big rush wore away. There was still 10 days to go. So thoughts turned to golfing, fishing and other pursuits, that was until the little whipper-snappers got the head start on the youth hunt weekend. If I had one, I must have had all 31 successful Scotland County kid hunters stop by to show off their harvest. Guess they've never heard of rubbing salt in the wound.

If that wasn't bad enough, I had a terrible scare Monday morning. I heard on the state news program on the radio that turkey season started this morning (Monday, April 15.) How could I have screwed up like that? I let opening morning slip by and I was wasting away at work. But a little detective work proved that I was right, that the season doesn't open until Monday, April 22. Hope not a lot of hunters were listening to that radio report. Wonder if

that would be a good defense in court against a turkey hunting ticket this week? Probably only if you wear a sheriff's uniform.

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