I’ve finally put an end to the madness and stopped trying to complete my “slam” for 2012.
I just returned from hunting with my wife’s aunt Pat and uncle Jerry Lucas. They live in Mooresburg, Tennessee, right on Cherokee Lake. What a trip. They are so nice to me it should be illegal. Pat fixed some of the best meals I’ve eaten in some time, but all Jerry and I could do is sit and watch it rain and rain … and rain. A whole week of rain left only a short time to hunt. There are no finer people in the world than Jerry and Pat Lucas, and they treated me like I was a king.
When I left Tennessee I drove straight to my farm in West Virginia, where turkey season is still open. I could have cried over what I found there. The grass in the yard was almost three feet tall, the cabin hadn’t been cleaned for the spring, and my road was nearly washed out — all because I have been trying to get the four types of wild turkeys needed for a “grand slam.”
Some of the things that happened to me this season could only be found in fairy tales. In the middle of Florida, I got two Osceola turkeys before getting skunked in the northern part of the state, where I was hunting Easterns. In Kansas, I was caught in a tornado and got one Rio, but missed on another. In South Dakota, I was caught in a rain that lasted for four days. In Wyoming, I got my two Merriam’s in one day, then ended up leaving two days early. Then the hunt was on again for the Eastern.
It has rained on me. I sat down before daylight one morning on top of a fresh cow patty. And did I mention it has rained on me? I walked two-and-a-half miles to the top of a mountain only to have a hunter come to my calls and shoot my jake decoy. I was even attacked by a coyote after that. He is now resting in peace, but his picture is in my trophy room.
On top of everything else my daughter Nema tells me she is an orphan because I haven’t taken her to a Major League baseball game yet this season. I say this every year, but never again. Please hold me to it next year.