Another summer has come and gone and with it the satisfaction of checking off some summer goals and the disappointment of not checking off some others. My summer was as busy as I can ever recall. Work has sucked up a lot of my time, eleven-month-old Oliver has put a serious dent in my blog writing time, and house projects I’ve been putting off for years and years took up what was left. We did manage to slip in a family vacation, so I don’t have any complaints there. As far as my time in the woods goes, I haven’t set foot in it since I shot my second turkey at the end of May. It’s depressing to think about.
Just what is the biggest threat that hunting faces today? Is it shrinking participation numbers or accessible land to hunt? Maybe it’s anti-hunters? It must be Social Media, right? Is it Chronic Wasting Disease? I know, it’s climate change! Maybe it’s a combination of many different things, or maybe it all funnels back to one main reason.
“It can be a challenge to get out of bed so early, but I never regret it once I’m out here,” I whispered to Brett as we hiked up a Vermont ridgeline with daylight just starting to crack over the distant hills to the east. There is just something about the beauty of a warm spring morning in Vermont that’s difficult to adequately describe to someone who has never experienced it firsthand. Deer hunting in the fall allows one a front row seat to the beauty of the woods transitioning from life to death. Turkey season brings the opposite experience.
I still consider myself to be a newbie when it comes to turkey hunting, but I do think I’m starting to grasp the general strategy. Find the birds, figure out how to get close to them, and then shoot one. Two years ago, I tried spring turkey hunting for the first time and on my very first hunt I managed to shoot a sapling in lieu of a tom turkey. It was an invigorating experience for both Tom and me, but despite the disappointing end to my first hunt I knew turkey hunting was something I needed to try again.
Stonewalled by my intellectual inabilities, I reached out to followers of The 4 Pointer on Facebook for ideas to write about. As a disincentive to participate, I offered a signed copy of a trail camera selfie of yours truly as a prize for the idea that kick started my brain. The first few comments had a serious tone or at least were topics that would require some research. As Sweet Brown would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I will admit that they were fantastic ideas, and should I find the time to sit down and write at some point I have no doubt I will take up a few of the topics.