All That and a Bag of Chips!

Rebecca MorganHunting & Outdoor Lifestyle, Spring Fling

You don’t have to hunt to enjoy the great outdoors.  Being newly retired and living further north has provided me with ample opportunity to enjoy what’s all around me.  I have a newfound understanding of why many hunters are so passionate about the hunt.  I’ve learned that it’s not just about the hunt, but everything in between, as in truth, how many hunting adventures actually result in meat?  The meat is great, God put it there for us. But it seems that hunting is so much more.  I hope you enjoy a non-hunter’s interpretation of a prelude to spring turkey season.

Love is in the air again as spring arrives.  Many of nature’s creatures are what might be described as “twitterpated,” which is smitten or overcome by romantic feelings.  I most recently witnessed this through observation of the turkey.  While on my daily walk, I was on the outside looking in as a flock of Turkey went about their spring fling activities.  It appeared as though the largest, most experienced Tom was perhaps showing another slightly smaller Tom the ropes when it comes to romance.  As he proudly lifted his chest and thrust it forward while simultaneously displaying an impressive fan of feathers for the nearby women folk, or what may have been more of a harem of hens, it seemed as though his message was clear… “Watch and learn, young Tom.  This is how it’s done,” with an air of ego and a self-proclaimed impression that he was indeed all that and a bag of chips!  You know the Bon Jovi song, Wanted Dead or Alive?  In the Turkey world, it’s… I’m a “Tom,” boy, with a puffed-up chest I glide.  I’m wanted (wanted) Dead or Alive!

While Big Tom’s dark, manly beard extended like a bolo tie, his protégé watched closely with much reverence, frequently mimicking Big Tom’s moves.  Young Tom’s beard was light colored at the tip and appeared to have been cut short, or severed, perhaps from mixing it up with the big guys in an unevenly matched tussle. Though the womenfolk traveled with the guys, they seemed unimpressed, going about the task of nourishing themselves.  Among them was a much smaller prepubescent Jake who it appeared hadn’t yet fallen prey to the arrow of cupid.  

Later that evening, this same flock of Turkey meandered toward our cabin home on the banks of crooked creek to begin their bedtime roosting routine.  The hens were the first to hit the hay as they flew across the creek and found five-star accommodations in various trees.  The Tom’s took a little longer to make this decision.  One by one, they each strutted past our sliding door, making way to a larger bluff on the other side to serve as more of a runway for takeoff.  And then they took flight as they made their way to the top of a poplar tree.  It was a sight to see!  

As we observed these large birds in the tops of these trees, we couldn’t help but ponder…    How do they maintain their balance while sleeping out on a limb?  Do they dream and awake with a jolt and if so, how do they keep from falling?  Nature is an incredible thing.  What a blessing to have a front row seat.  

Rebecca Morgan
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