Standing in the dark , in an area I had little experience in , a tom began to gobble over and over . I slowly and quietly moved about ten steps and set up . The gobbler was off at about 10 o'clock from my position . An overcast morning made light come slow , but soon enough I could see tom strutting on his limb . It was toward the end of season and the leaves were coming on strong, though mostly on the understory young stuff. It was also very dry , and warm ahead or a spring front .
I missed seeing tom pitch off the limb , though I knew when it happened by the sudden silence . After maybe ten minutes he gobbled. He's still out there around 75-100 yards . My walnut is running in high gear trying to think of everything . Suddenly I hear a slow ,,,,,very slow mind you , movement to my immediate right. Now I don't want to risk the chance of moving and being seen by the gobbler , but, whatever it is that's moving, is moving so slow , and very close to the ground , and coming straight toward me. A continuous slow rattle of leaves . Now my walnut is downshiftin' into passin' gear . My breathing grew fast as I strained my eyeballs to the right in hope of makin' out this intruder . All I could think of was TIMBER RATTLER! Finally I tell myself that a willing gobbler ain't worth gettin' snakebit over . I eased my head as slow as possible to have a look . Da'gummit ! A tarapin ! Thank God!
As I looked at the box turtle my fears vanished , my breathing calmed and I now am uncomfortable from being tensed up . Hadn't heard a peep from tom in a while now . Oh well , I thought , it ain't the first time I screwed up . Might as well get comfortable . I shifted my legs a little to relieve the pain , and of course , I rattled some leaves of my own . I hadn't finished my movement when tom gobbled ,,,,right out in front of me, down in an old road bed , out of sight . I jerked the 870 to where I HOPED tom would stick up his head , of course I was wrong. Instead of peekin' over the top he jumped up there , stretched his neck , putted one loud time , and jumped back into the road bed . What the ? Why ? I sat there talking to the tarapin in utter amazement , but the boxxy reptile offered no assistance as to what spooked that gobbler .
Finally I started to get my legs under me . The tarapin withdrew his head and I discovered what spooked the turkey. I had pulled my generally too short camo pants right over my work clothes since I was only hunting to about 9 o'clock , and then drive 45 miles to work. My jeans were of the correct length for a skinny old man , and my wife had spillled some bleach on the cuff area . I knew this , but, never dreamed . My camo had climbed up my leg exposing that very white spot the size of a regulation softball .
One of many mistakes that WILL NOT happen to this feller again . Since then , I check all my gear over 'n'over 'n' over .
But , I kilt that rascal the next mornin'. SWEET,,,,VERY SWEET revenge on a pressured , public land bird .