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Author Topic: Missouri Bronze - By Tim Ott  (Read 319 times)

Offline Terry_Green

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Missouri Bronze - By Tim Ott
« on: April 05, 2003, 07:55:00 PM »
Missouri Bronze - By Tim Ott

   Drastic times call for drastic measures. I don't know who said it first, but if it applies anywhere. It has to be in the spring turkey woods.  I finally had my hands on the prize but was totally unsure of who was the winner.

Completely out of breath, wrenched knee, an empty quiver, and a little trickle of blood escaping down my left eyebrow. No pain no gain. “Un-sure of what lunatic said that one also.” None of that seemed to matter much now, for I was on that high that every bow hunter knows, or should know. The sweet feeling of finally accomplishing what you've set out to do.

   Daybreak began as many others had, bringing with it all of its slender. The first gobble of the mourning summoned my senses into predator mode. Although several hundred yards away, I knew that his insistent voice to be heard, would soon be answered by one of the bosses closer to my location. Or so I thought… An hour past with no response. I was beginning to think that it was going to be one of those days when things don't go according to plans. At 8:30 I chose to try one of my other locations, surely there's some action somewhere. Halfway up the trail a gobble brought me to a sudden halt. I backtracked to get a better read on the situation. Two more gobbles verified there position, a quick check through the optics revealed 2 adult toms, 300 yards away, with no hens in sight. I gave a short series of yelps and got an immediate response. Watching there body language told me that they were very interested. I quickly dashed back to my blind and positioned a hen decoy 30ft. in front, all the while listening to their echoing blast wanting me to come and join their party. I chastised myself from answering and waited for them to make the next move.

   Gobble-oble-oble-oble, Wow! Where did that come from? A bigger bird had decided to join in on the mourning chorus, I knew, from his deep throated voice that he was the one that I had spent so many pre season hours watching. A bird of truly grand proportions, but it wasn't to be this day, for lady bad luck had come calling in the form of a lonesome old alpha hen. The entire ruckus had roused her to the scene, and no amount of perfect yelps was going to change the mind of the big boss man. As quick as he appeared, he was gone, Ahhh the persuasion of the opposite sex… How alluring they can sometimes be.

   I had completely forgotten about the twins until I caught movement 40 yards to my right. Still unsure the whereabouts of the hen that they had heard ten minutes earlier. Heads stretched, eyes peeled, looking. I softly clucked on my mouth call which made them sound like sons of thunder, blasting me in the face. They quickly zeroed in on the decoy. Side by side they came in their fullest glory, the sun dancing off their bronze chest, heads pumped so full of blood they looked like they would explode at any minute. I knew that any wrong move would be returned by sharp putts and flapping wings. Closer they marched until finally stopping, 8 paces away, directly behind the only tree within 20 yards!!! For 10 solid minutes they stood there, full strut, never wavering, one waiting for the other to make the next move. The truce finally ended when the lesser bird decided that the hen was starting to look more and more like a rubber chicken, and that sooner or later old bubba was going to come charging in and ruin his blissful mourning. The whole situation started to unravel, I knew that I was going to have to make my move but there was still one small problem, remember the tree, well as they began their departure they managed to keep the tree between me and them. The whole thing looked hopeless until junior made a mistake. At 16 yards a yellow blur caught him at his wing butt, anchoring him solidly!

   I just sat there dismayed, I had failed so many times before, and now, finally I had done it. A spring boss with a stick and a string. Wow! What do I do for an encore? Well before my arm got tired of patting my back, my so called dead bird was suddenly full of life, and running, very well!

   I think that I broke at least 3 Olympic records in the next 10 seconds, 100 yard dash, hurdles and zig zag. Well zig zag should be an event, especially when you are trying to catch a running turkey! I tried everything to catch that bird, using my bow for things that it's not entirely designed for. From swinging it like Mark McGuire, to using it like Charlie Chapman's infamous cane. Always just barely out of my reach. I was beginning to realize that I had aged a bit, my lungs were on fire and my legs were beginning to feel like sewing machine treadles. It was then that things turned around. He zigged and I zagged, we met underneath a brush pile. Finally I had a hold of him, and I wasn't letting go! It didn't matter much, for the Brodhead finished its job, and he went limp in my hands.

   Soft under feathers floated effortlessly in the air around us, his once beautiful tail had been reduced to that of a barnyard monarch, arrows were strewn everywhere looking like yellow surveyors flags. I just laid back and laughed.

   A quick walk back to the house found my wife peeking out the deck door. A look of concerned filled her face at the sight of my eye, but after seeing my smile, pride and happiness took over. She remembers all the times that I'd come home empty handed, the looks of discouragement and failures. Now maybe those old memories will fade away, and new ones will take there place, and stay fresh in her mind. I know they will in mine. At least until next spring.

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