November 21, 2002

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

Every year it takes me at least through opening weekend to remember that last year I had been so aggravated by deer hunting that I had sworn the sport off. As I sat in the stand Sunday evening without even a glimpse of antlers I couldn't help but think how much more I liked turkey season.

As a matter of fact I even came up with a Top 10 List why turkey season is better than deer hunting.

10. It's so much more fashionable, as blaze orange is just not my color.

9. When turkey hunting you only have to look for trespassers in your immediate vicinity, while during deer season high-powered rifles naturally extend your defensive perimeter to at least one-mile.

8. Hauling that turkey back to the truck is a whole lot easier than retrieving that doe that ran 500 yards through the deepest ditches and thickest brush.

7. Can you say Day Light Savings Time?

6. It's a lot safer to fall asleep leaned up against a tree than while standing in a tree stand 20-feet above the ground.

5. You're never backed up the hill past the hotel waiting in line to check in your turkey on opening morning.

4. A guy can stop at the restaurant for breakfast before the hunt and not worry about a turkey detecting the bacon-scented hunters.

3. A turkey slowly strutting up to a hen is a much easier target than a buck running full bore chasing does.

2. A 12-inch turkey beard seems to be a lot easier to find than a 12-point rack.

And the #1 reason I like turkey season better is, a miserable day of turkey hunting can only last until 1:00 p.m. while suckers like myself may spend nearly 12 hours non-stop in a deer stand from before sunup to after sunset.

Of course I thought up this list as the hours slowly trickled by on opening morning of deer season. I guess I shouldn't complain as I did see plenty of action and really had quite a bit of fun despite never raising the gun. Well that's not exactly true. I did start to draw on a nicer buck, but the 10-pointer was just not a wall hanger. However he's probably lucky he came by early on the first day and not Monday afternoon as I sat in the freezing rain kicking myself for being there knowing I would have to go back to the office until midnight to make up for the lost time.

I was determined not to go on Monday but its just so hard to see all these hunters going in and out of the gun shop next door and not being able to go. The icing on the cake was the phone call I got at 2:00 p.m. telling me about the three big deer that were seen near my tree stand earlier in the day.

As the rain trickled off my hat and I huddled out of the wind as much as possible, I saw one of those deer heading right past another stand that I often frequent. That did it for me and I got down a little early. When I finally got back to the Jeep I leaned my gun up against the car to start shedding soaked clothes. That gave big buck #2 a chance to escape from his dry spot behind the nearby brush pile. I got a momentary glance of a rack well outside his ears right before he disappeared over the hill. I must be getting used to it, because I never uttered a cuss word, never kicked my hunting chair or even questioned why me? I just figured spring turkey season is just six months away.

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