Whitesburg KY
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Mostly cloudy

Struttin’ Time

Lessons learned from hunting

It broke daylight here this morning at a little after 7 a.m. I stood and listened to the growls of ole tom turkey from a distant farm. Oh yes, it is getting near spring turkey season, and the good ole boys are ready to play.

I was looking and thinking about some of my bygone hunts, in a thing we call memories. Not sure what I was going to write about this week. My lounge chair and a strong black cup of coffee surely would help my thought process along.

I turned on to one of my favorite hunting channels, and I knew within just a matter of a minute what we would talk about this week in Struttin’ Time. I have written before in years gone past about how I went hunting with my dad, for the first time, when I was 6 years old.

I loved my dad very much. He taught me to walk the true path, and leave this world a better place than I found it. Dad had gotten me a model 37 single shot Winchester, .410 gauge to start me out. By the time I was 12 I was using a Remington 48 Sportsman .12 gauge.

My dad always hunted with Browning’s. That was his gun of choice. The show I was watching, was Extreme Limits. Hunting long range, 1,000 yards or more. I have seen many a time when my dad would slip off his hunting boots to sneak closer to squirrels cutting, when he had a good shot from where he was.

One day I asked dad why he did that. He smiled, ruffled my hair, and said, “Son, hunting is a game. Do you think we should give the animals a chance to get into it?”

Those thoughts have lingered for almost 70 years in my mind. That thought has also kept me from making an unethical shot, especially on a turkey.

When these long range hunting shows first came on a few years ago, I really never formed an opinion. Hunters fight enough among themselves. Archery hunters never wanted crossbow season, rifle hunters tried to stop black powder season, and the list goes on and on.

So I followed the words of wisdom my mother had taught me. “Son, the best thing to say most of the time is nothing at all.”

So with my dad’s words never leaving my mind, “get the animal into the game,” I have finally formed my opinion. He was right, do we really want to shoot an animal that doesn’t even know we are after it? I don’t, and please, if you are one of the long range hunters, go right ahead and hunt that way, this is only my opinion.

Next week we start taking you through the different phases of turkey life, in hopes of putting food on your table, and a trophy in your game room.

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