Banner for A. J. Windless
Wild Turkey for Thanksgiving
We are fortunate in Pennsylvania, in that the season for hunting turkey corresponds with Thanksgiving. Not many hunters get a wild turkey, but if they do, they can put it right on the table for the big feast. I was still in high school when I walked back the farm road with my 12 gauge shotgun. After I entered the forest I spotted a flock of turkey running on the ground. I tried following them, but could never get any closer than about 200 yards. A shotgun is pretty effective at 20 yards, but starts to drop off at any distance beyond that. After following them around for a while, I finally walked home and called one of my nieghbors. I asked him if I could borrow his rifle and made him promise not to tell anyone about the flock of turkey. This strategy completely failed. He promised not to tell anyone, but denied my request for his rifle. I had used his rifle before, but later found that he wanted it to pursue the turkey himself. And promise or not, he was bound to tell his wife where he was going, who must have gotten on the phone and told all of her friends. By the time I walked back to what I thought was my little secret, I found the whole forest full of hunters.
A year or two later I would buy a .243 rifle. My brother, Dan, and I would reload our own cartridges, study the books and try different powders and bullets. I would shoot lots of woodschucks at 200 yards, and one day sitting on the bench at the rifle range I would shoot a quarter inch group at 100 yards. But for now all I had was a cheap single shot twelve guage shotgun. Knowing I would never get near those turkey again, at least for today my secret was out, my hunt was spoiled. Things don't always turn out the way you plan them. Little did I know that the surge of all these hunters would put a turkey right in my lap.
The next day I returned to an area that I knew the deer preferred to hide in, thick with hemlock, which made it difficult to see very far. All the hunting pressure had broken the flock up, which worked in my favor. I had no sooner entered the forest when a turkey flew over my head, I raised my shotgun up, fired, and he fell to the ground. I took him home, and the family was proud to have him for Thanksgiving dinner. 
Before leaving Pennsylvania I introduced my brother, Paul, to hunting, and he hunted with a passion for decades. He shot lots of deer, and a lot more buck than the average hunter, but never got a turkey. My father was always giving him a bad time. He would say things like, "Quit wasting your time." or "Why can't you get a turkey? Your brother did!" Finally one day Paul was driving past a farm that advertised wild turkey. He stopped in and found he could buy a turkey. All he had to do was walk out into the enclosed area and shoot it. So he did exactly that. He took it home and never told mom or dad where he got it from. I remember mom calling me in Utah and telling me that Paul had gotten a turkey. And with that little prank, he finally got dad to shut up.
    Go to My Stories    
    Back to Blog    
    ◄◄ Go to Photo Galleries    
      About the Artist    
    My Songwriting     
    ◄◄◄ Back to Home    
    My Poems    
    © 2021