Whitesburg KY

Struttin’ Time

Talking about 2009's final hunting trip

The real story about my final long-distance hunting trip of 2009 is someone I met along the way.

As I boarded an airplane in Portland, Oregon (routed through Salt Lake City, Utah), I heard the flight attendant announce the flight was full. That was no surprise, as all flights are now overbooked, so I eased into my seat knowing that I would need to move to let the people in by the window.

I learned years ago that you can ask someone if they would like to trade seats and the answer is always no. So I stopped asking, and this is one time I am glad I was sitting where I was.

I had let a mother and her young child get in next to the window when a young lady I would later come to know as Patty Cobin asked me if she could sit down. As this old gruff mountain man’s eyes looked at her, I was taken by surprise. Here was a young lady, about 24 years old, standing in front of me with a smile on her face and no cell phone held to her ear. And she actually looked happy! When was the last time you met a young person who appeared happy? When was the last time you saw a young person without a cellphone growing from her ear?

This young lady proved to be what I thought on my first impression — a throwback to yesteryear. She was kind, truthful, and did not mind talking to a mountain man with a white beard who must have still smelled like a pack mule from the hunting trip. I know she had a hard time trying to understand my mountain accent. This young lady is working on her master’s degree in college, plans on being a geologist, and is in training in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

For years I have planned on getting my “royal slam” in turkey hunting. The hang-up has been how to get to the Ocellated turkey that lives only in Central America. Guess where Patty Cobin is going to next? You got it, right in the heart of Ocellated turkey country.

She has promised to keep in touch, and I believe her. More important, she has agreed to help me plan the hunt. Life can’t get any better than this. I will keep you updated.

Deer season opens Nov. 14. Be careful. And take a youth hunting.

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