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Pages of Life: Turkey Season ended with memories to share

by Dorothy Kleindienst | May 20, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
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Our middle son Randy had stopped by to show us his turkey. It was the second week of the season. He had already gotten one the first week.

Hunting and getting his game are nothing new for Randy. I believe he got his first turkey at the age of 9 years old. He has been successful every year since, bringing home turkey, deer, whatever he is hunting. Randy loves the outdoors and always says, it's not about if you actually get a turkey. It's the memories and out enjoying nature.

He came in and shared his hunt with his daddy David, who always came home with his game as well, and one of the first guys to bag a turkey in Callaway County many years ago, when the first turkey season began here. All three of our sons have bagged turkeys as well.

David and I can no longer hunt because of health conditions, but when Randy tells his adventures it is as though we were there.

It's so funny we both sit and listen and can just see it. He talked about finding a place to set and wait for the turkey he had heard answering his call. As he sat under a cedar tree limb hanging down, he discovered it was a great place for seed ticks as well. Randy is good at detail and telling his story so that you can picture it all.

In my mind I was there. One hunt I was under a cedar thinking this was ideal when I noticed the tree, and me, covered with seed ticks! Well, this has happened more than once, that I got covered with ticks, but as he described the scene this place came to mind.

One morning on his way to a place to sit and hunt, he stopped for a minute on one side of a little ditch. Randy sat down and he saw a coyote watching him and he was really interested. It stopped and just stared watching for Randy to move.

Then, he jumped in the ditch and came back up right in front of Randy, still trying to figure him out.

Finally, after the stare down the coyote turned and went back through the ditch and up the other side, still pausing to look back, as he slowly left.

Many times, we fall for an item that is not what it is advertised to be. A couple years ago Randy said he went out on a limb and bought some special clothes to help him be less conspicuous to most wildlife.

He said, while he was not endorsing this product but must say he has noticed quite a different reaction to the way animals react while he is wearing it.

During this Turkey season, while wearing his outfit is when he had an encounter with this adult coyote.

As Randy told it, "I was sitting in front of a big tree with no other cover when he came into view at about 15 yards. He proceeded to approach me and came up in the distance I could nearly touch him with my shotgun, and I nearly did! He saw me finally but instead of the terrified retreat normally by a coyote he simply trotted off stopping several times for another look. I'm convinced my HECS suit at the least confused him and he didn't know what I was. I think it works and as old lodge skins said in little big man "I always wanted to be invisible! "

Randy said he could hear turkeys in the distance, so he was hoping he didn't have to shoot the coyote.

I remember turkey hunting with my husband David several years ago and the way the animals check you out.

Once as I sat in front of a tree waiting for a turkey, I saw some deer coming through the woods. I just sat still and most of them paid no attention. But one deer was very curious though and saw me then it came up real close.

I tried to not even blink my eyes. It stared and tried to figure me out... Then began pawing the ground and moving its head up and down, he was trying to get a movement from me. Finally, after what seemed a long stare down, it just continued eating.

Since I started this story Randy and a friend Jake Bowman left for Wyoming to hunt for a Merriam Turkey. They had been last year and had a successful memorial hunt.

They had planned a short hunt, like 3 days, but not quite this short! They each got their turkey the first day of hunting! Randy got his that morning then Jake bagged a nice bird, later in the day.

So, they came back home to Callaway County with their turkeys and lots of memories made of another Wyoming hunt.

However, the season wasn't over here in Callaway County yet. On the last day of the season here Jake decided to go out again. Another great successful hunt! Seen in the picture is Jake with his last turkey of this season with Randy. Congratulations guys, and I'm so proud of both of you.

They made some good memories and talked about some beautiful scenery they saw on their trip, and of course, more funny turkey stories.

I don't believe you can go out turkey hunting without coming home with funny stories. I used to wonder how David, his uncles, friends, and our boys, could recall every turkey story. Then after I started going with David, like those hunter's, I'm the same way!

I always tell Randy that it's not a question of IF he gets his turkey... it's just when. We love the visits after his hunts, and him sharing his adventures. It's like we were there... minus the ticks!

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