It’s day three of our Wyoming hunt. We are in the mountains, well before daylight. Carl is right beside me. He isn’t about to wander off and hunt by himself after seeing the mountain lion and how it was able to kill and eat its prey.
I am really thankful this part of the trip is going to end today at noon. We packed last night and will soon head to Kansas. It started raining just after sunrise; the wind is howling through at about 45 miles an hour on what is just a nasty day. The state of Wyoming just gets about 15 inches of rain a year; I swear it has gotten half that much in the few days we have hunted.
I can hear the big boys gobble all around, and I know they could be sitting beside us without us knowing they are there. The wind and rain are cutting through us, and it is just tough hunting. Add that to the fact that I am trying to call four turkeys to us so we can fill our tags — two at least — and I need to watch Carl at every turn. I have my hands full
I just called a couple of long beards into sight, but not into range to shoot. The minutes are slowly leaving the clock; our time is running out. Remember, the purpose of this whole hunt is to get Carl his “Grand Slam,” and a Merriam is the last turkey he needs to make the grade.
It is now around 11 a.m., and I have called in 10 jakes. Everyone knows how I feel about killing jakes — don’t! But I can see the look in Carl’s eyes — the heartbreak of knowing his “Slam” isn’t going to happen unless I tell him it is okay to shoot. I leave it up to him. He shoots and his “SLAM” is in the books.
I am the type of man who would rather pay $50 for something I really want, than to pay $5 for something I don’t. But the jake does qualify him for his “Slam” so he took the shot. Game over.
We returned to the lodge and are now heading to Kansas. Carl is a happy man. He did something very few hunters will ever do, and that should make any hunter happy. He thought outside of the box and got his “Slam.”
Next week we will share our hunt with you from Kansas, where we are looking for the Rio Grande turkey.