Aside from the usual sleep-deprived hallucinations and mental mania caused by turkey season, I’ve been on some turkey hunts that were just plain weird. It’s time to share stories from three of my favorites. I challenge you to top them; comment below.
While hunting with a buddy one spring, I was scouring maps trying to locate new public land to hunt. A small piece of property caught my eye and I was off and driving to track it down. When I arrived, the property looked like anything but a turkey dream haven. It was an old rural dump still being used by the local residents. Pushing the ugliness of the garbage and refuse aside, I started scouting and located a flock of turkeys on the adjacent property, well within earshot of my calls.
Using a dry creek bed as cover, we slipped into a clump of brush and kicked some old milk jugs and tennis shoes aside to find a comfortable seat. My yelps were immediately greeted by exuberant gobbles, and within minutes I could see two mature toms running in a race to see who would win the rights of love for the yearning hen. At least the two gobblers died with happy thoughts—my buddy and I tipped them both over in a textbook-style double. Without skipping a beat, I grabbed an old laundry basket and we toted both birds back to the truck in dump-ground style!
I’ve never been a believer in Bigfoot or little green men (despite seeing a Bigfoot in my youth), but while guiding turkey hunters one spring I came close. I was sneaking to a suspected roost in South Dakota’s Black Hills with barely a hint of sunrise beginning to crease the horizon. Stars blazed above and suddenly I caught sight of another blaze. Streaking through the night sky was a disc-like object, bright and speedy racing towards the rising sun. Could it be a UFO? I thought. Just then, as if to answer my question, the landscape was rocked by a thunderous noise as if a bomb went off in the distance. Toms gobbled and we all looked at each other wondering if we had just witnessed a nuclear missile impact.
Calmness soon overcame the morning, and with no mushroom cloud in the distance, we returned to the hunt still wondering what we had just seen. Later that day it was revealed by the local news what had actually taken place. It seems as if the return entry for a space shuttle coincidentally veered right over us. The blazing disc was the heat shields of the space shuttle lighting up as they entered the atmosphere. The bang was a sonic boom as the shuttle broke through the atmosphere. And there ended my chance to meet a little green man.
Who doesn’t love to watch reruns of the popular show “Cops?” While guiding turkey hunters a few years back, I thought I was in an episode. After attempting to call in a gobbler, an unnamed camera crew and I ambled back to the truck, preparing for another assault on a nearby flock. As we reached a hill overlooking the truck, we were caught by surprise. Not one, but three vehicles with flashing lights surrounded the truck. Scared that the authorities would confiscate a new camera, the unnamed crew ditched the camera in a pile of brush and we hustled down to face our fate.
After detailed questioning and a check on vehicle ownership, the story unraveled. Apparently, a disgruntled nearby landowner saw our truck and called the authorities, claiming we were trespassing and poaching. Because we didn’t come from the instigator’s land and we hadn’t killed a gobbler, the authorities set us free, thus keeping me once again from appearing in an episode of Cops.
Now’s your chance to top one of these stories … and no fiction, please.