I have issues with my work thus far, those that have crept into my thoughts throughout the writing of this piece.
1) There’s a fine line between entertaining and cute. Cute is no good. Entertaining is. So when I am trying to write a piece that will convey the message of how much fun turkey hunting is and that everyone should do it, I find myself crossing into cute and having to fight against it.
2) I am at the point of creating “The Box” within my essay. The Box allows me to place certain materials in it that I don’t yet want deleted, but I’m still not sure I want around. I’m also starting to delete some words because while I don’t know exactly what I want to say yet, I know it better than a few days ago.
Here is a small portion I’m working on. Who knows if you’ll see it in the final draft. I can’t even answer that at this point…
It is often been said that nature is therapy’s best medicine. Theodore Roosevelt, a sufferer of depression, was instructed to spend more time outdoors. Yet for one who has turkey hunted, they too know of its therapeutic value. Turkey hunting is a cure of many phobias including, but not limited to acarophobia (itching), achluophobia (darkness), ambulophobia (walking), amychophobia (being scratched), arachnophobia (spiders), entomophobia (insects), and herpetophobia (reptiles).
Unfortunately, turkey hunting can also lead to one needing therapy, most namely for atychiphobia (failure), decidophobia (making decisions), and dementophobia (insanity). I was nearly at the latter two years ago while turkey hunting in southeastern Nebraska. I topped a hill on the way to my hunting locale for a mid-morning hunt, only to see five block bodies, with their heads down and facing away from me, feeding on top of the hill. I quickly backtracked, got out of eyesight, and concocted a quick plan. They could go any direction they wanted, but I was going to take my chances and move west of them behind a patch of evergreen trees.
I moved, undetected, and waited, hearing the constant “peep, peep” that turkeys make.
What if the article had asides like Moby Dick?
Then I see the first bird topping the hill, then another, then another, walking straight to me. With a single-shot 12-gauge in hand, I waited for a clear shot at one of the birds. When one presented itself, it was tom No. 3, I slowly drew up. The first two birds saw me but the third did not. When I shot, No. 3 did two barrel rolls, stood up, and took off running back up the hill. Unable to find a second shell, I chased after, fumbling through my pockets while losing ground on the tom I had shot plus his first two counterparts. Then, at the crest of the hill, each bird lifted its wings, including my bird, and flew away to the east, finally settling down several hundred yards away on an adjacent piece of land. My hunt was finished, my bird was gone, and as I walked back to my truck it was hard not to cry.
I think they bother me so bad because they can so easily be had at times. Quite often, they seem like the most unintelligent animals alive. How can one explain how turkeys can hold up traffic on country roads because they refuse to move? Or how turkeys will undoubtedly try to peck their reflections in a clear glass window, or outright Brer Rabbit a hunter’s decoy before he pulls the trigger.
Yet I have turkey hunted with people wearing face paint, camouflaged head to toe, and are seen by a bird when a hunter has blinked his eyes….