Whitesburg KY
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Struttin’ Time

Neither rain nor snow nor …


This is the first time I have closed out a turkey season under a rain delay, a yellow flag, or whatever term you want to use.

This all started for me in October. Instead of going turkey hunting in Wyoming in November, I changed this past fall and went on October 9. As soon as my airplane landed, the snow started, and I ended up in two feet of snow.

Spring has brought no relief. We had our first Kids Days for 2009 on May 2 and the rain came, but the kids had a great time. While there, I spoke to my lifelong friend Raymond Brown, who has never missed a Kids Days. He is the hay ride and train conductor. He told me a very funny story about a turkey hunt he went on.

The year was of the great snowstorm in the late 1980’s when Letcher County got over two feet of snow in April. Our American Indians tell time by some big event, not by the actual year. I like their way, so we will use it here. Anyway, it seems that Raymond was caught camping, on a turkey hunting trip to Black Mountain, when the storm hit.

Raymond was hunting on what was known as Raymond’s Ridge, named after the great hunter himself. Morning comes early in turkey camp. Raymond rose well before daylight, only to find two feet of snow had fallen as he slept. His first chore was to try to get out of his tent. Zippers were frozen shut and snow drifts were piled against the tent. After much struggle, Raymond was finally out and was not to be denied this hunt.

Raymond set off in search of a turkey, whose eyesight is so keen he can see a gnat scratch at a mile, and can hear up to a mile. In your mind’s eye, get this picture: Two feet of snow, cold, every time you take a step it sounds like a Harley starting. And there’s my friend Raymond in full camo, looking for this sharp-witted creature.

Alas, Raymond finally spots a turkey at the same time it spots him. The turkey had a death wish, laughing all the while, as he flew straight toward Raymond. Feathers flew as Raymond shot once, twice, and then three times. The turkey becomes the only turkey that Raymond has ever killed while flying.

I have not been so lucky, but then I have never killed one that had a death wish.


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