I hold a certain affection for hunting turkeys much the same as I do for woodchucks. They drive me nuts, and I finally figured out why. It’s the way they look at you. A deer, for instance, will stare right at you if they sense danger, which is a logical approach. A turkey or a woodchuck will appear as though they are looking perpendicular to you, but in actuality, they are giving you the business out of one beady little eyeball mounted on the side of their head. I’m not sure why it annoys me the way it does, but their stupid little eye games make me want to bring them home for dinner.
For immediate Release: April 7, 2017
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Windsor County, VT – Avid Vermont deer hunter, Tim Biebel, has become increasingly concerned as of late that the estimated arrival of his next child will interfere with the upcoming deer season. News of the pregnancy was met with a mixture of joy and caution, especially given the painful losses experienced over the last four years and how a late September due date will affect his fall hunting plans.
“One minute I’m washing dishes at the kitchen sink, and the next minute I’m standing in Rite Aid trying to locate the correct pregnancy test, “Biebel said. “It’s hard to focus when the realization sets in that your fall hunting plans will be affected.”
It’s embarrassing to admit that I don’t own a shotgun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve never had the desire to own one, but for some reason I’ve never purchased one. Times are changing, however, and the time has come to drop some hard-earned dough on a new scattergun. But which one?
My hunting forays have yet to include the need for a shotgun, except for a few squirrel hunts when I borrowed my dad’s single shot .410. And then last year I tried spring turkey hunting for the first time and a friend loaned me his Remington model 870 12 Gauge. I didn’t kill anything with it (except for a sapling or two) but my few experiences in the turkey woods last spring were enough to convince me that I needed to take up the hobby on a more serious level. To do that, I’ll need my own gun, I figure.
I’ll admit, reading the harvest report is much more fun when I’ve contributed to the harvest statistics. Phrases like, “The overall harvest was 27% more than 2015…” are much easier to stomach if I was part of the increase. It felt like everyone had a better year than me. Cue the violin music.
That’s okay, I’m a better man for it. Let’s take a look at some of my observations of the 2016 Vermont White-Tailed Deer Harvest Report. You can thank me later for the brilliant insight.
#1 Is Calais really “God’s Country?”
Early last fall I passed through the town of Calais, VT en route to a meeting. If I wasn’t the observant type, I probably would have missed it. Not too long ago, I was surprised to learn during the course of conversation with a gentleman from Calais that the town is referred to as “God’s Country.” “Strange,” I thought to myself. “I always pictured God’s country looking a little different than Calais, VT.”
To make amends with their favorite customer, my least favorite cable provider gave me an additional forty channels for free after months of poor service complaints. Included in the additional package were the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel. So much for my New Year resolution to watch less TV.
Having only been marginally exposed to what these channels offer for programming in the past, I have been somewhat disappointed at what I’ve seen. The commercialization of hunting has always irked me a little. If they hadn’t had that $300 cooler back in the truck, would they have not been able to shoot the big buck that was on a daily ritual of arriving at the food plot each evening at five? What about that expensive little device that purifies the air around your deer stand? According to show hosts, you can’t hunt without that or you’re not doing it right. Tell that to the chain smoking, flannel jacket clad hunters posing in the pile of old pictures I have in my files. They might disagree.