By Jeff Kurrus
I wrote and re-wrote two hours this morning on the turkey essay, and not once did the word “hate” enter the text. Which drew me to think about the things I truly hate: the prevent defense, twisting my ankles, and burnt porkchops. But turkeys never came to mind. Then I get back on this blog to update my progress on this essay and read the following comment by one of our blog’s readers:
I would have to say the opposite. I love turkeys. I love everything about the hunt from picking my spot to setup, to searching for that half full bottle of water that I left in the back seat a week prior because I’m so thirsty from baking in the DB all day. A day of Spring turkey hunting in NE is completely full of variables. One day it will be 60 degrees and sunny, the next day your standard freak NE blizzard will come rolling in from the west. One day a single hen decoy will be just enough to get their attention, the next day it will spook every bird that comes down off the roost. One day you can feel like a call champion and every bird in the woods fires back, the next day you can’t get any response. To me these variables are what makes spring turkey hunting here in NE one of the most exciting times of the year.
Good Luck on your essay. Change the word “hate” to “love” and you will have no trouble writing it perfectly.
And I have to admit, this writer has a thought here. I mean, I’ve never shot a bird, then tackled its dead body in an exclamation point of hate. I’ve had to tackle a bird, but believe me, he was definitely still alive. I have the scars to prove it.
But even before I read this comment, I had re-written the following two paragraphs:
It’s 4:00 AM, exactly ______ hours from legal shooting time for spring turkey hunting, and I’m sitting against a tree in a small patch of woods with my eyes wide open, sweat already creeping into my eyes. I am here because sleep evades me during spring turkey season; I am here because every single time I get here near shooting time the toms I covet walk in the opposite direction; I am here because this is no longer a quest for fun – it has simply become a quest.
I was introduced to turkey hunting by a close friend who stands 6 foot 5, topples the scales at 350 pounds, and is afraid of no man, big or small. However, snakes, raccoons, possums, spiders, and the dark scare him beyond words. Yet during his first year of turkey hunting, he crawled along the forest floor, swam across creeks, and also arrived in the woods near 4 AM in an attempt to get close to a roosting tree. It was then, as a spring fisherman, that I knew I was missing out. If he was so driven while turkey hunting, what would I be like. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in the woods,” he said, “and I never fired a single shot at a bird.”
I’m not sure if this is the right start, but I do like where it’s going. However, in this framework, the writer has an option of finishing the “4:00 AM” story that has been started. That is an option for me as well. And it’s a good story. It truly does exemplify what turkey hunting is for me. But I’m not sure I want that to be my anchor point.
But I’m not so sure “hate” is either. Needless to say, I’m very confused.