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Author Topic: Memento From a Turkey Hunt - by Doug DuRant  (Read 402 times)

Offline Terry_Green

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Memento From a Turkey Hunt - by Doug DuRant
« on: April 25, 2003, 06:52:00 AM »
Memento From a Turkey Hunt
by Doug DuRant, spring 2002
Although we didn't take a gobbler, my Dad (he lives in FL) and I had a good season hunting turkeys this year in SC. One morning we walked about 4 miles of woods trying to locate a bird. We set up and called a number of times, with no luck. It was a windy day, but we gave it our best. We hunted places where we have been on birds before, and places we had not been to before. We reminisced and we hunted. We went in before daylight and walked about a mile to where I had rousted a bird the evening before. It just was not to be this day, but we had a great day together.

Now you often hear the word young used after the age of an older person. My father is 78, and the word young does apply to him. I can only allude to how much this hunting season with him was anticipated by me this year. I am not sure I can express what it means to me to spend this type of quality time together.

We had crossed a rocky section of Sleepy Creek through a cane break, and hunted the hardwood bottom on the other side for about a half of a mile. When we tried to cross back the water was deep, a beaver dam had backed it up. We walked until we came to the dam and crossed on the narrow top. The only other beaver dam my Dad had ever seen was when we hunted for elk in Colorado in 91. He found this to be a special treat, to see all the beaver sign and to cross the dam.

I had fished a beaver cut stick from below the dam. It made a perfect waking stick for Dad. I took his gun and crossed first. He followed using the stick for balance and support. As he came up the bank he had a light in his eye. The same light you see in a child’s eye when doing something new. This was the first beaver dam he had ever used to cross a creek. He said he would have liked to have a picture, and stuck the beaver’s walking stick in the bank to use if we needed to cross here again. We never did hunt there again this year.

Yesterday I finished work a little early. I decided to go back to this part of Sumter Nat. Forest for an evening hunt. I took my bow in hand and headed into the woods. I set up and called several times. I listen intently, and tried to clear my mind, but kept reviewing past turkey hunts in this area. For practice I shot a number of imaginary turkeys with my judo point each time I left a set up. I ended up near the beaver dam just before dark and spooked a deer, which splashed across the deep water of Sleepy Creek. I walked to the creek for a look. And as I walked down the creek what do I see, but the beaver dam and the walking stick.

Now this is most likely to be my last turkey hunt this year. It was an unexpected last minute hunt. I don’t know if you experience a certain melancholy on the last day’s hunt of a season, but I often do. I will go over the season, and past seasons, in my head as I spend the day hunting. That was my mood yesterday. When I saw the walking stick in the bank next to the beaver dam I knew it was the trophy that would mean the most to me this turkey season. As I walked back in the fading light to my old minivan, I did so with a beaver cut walking stick in my hand.

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