I think it was 1973. I remember that because I had a 1970 Plymouth Duster and I had the tail fan laid out on the back window deck. The car was copper-colored, and it looked great. I guess it's time I tell the story.
I was in college in the Boston area, and I came home for the weekend just to hunt spring gobblers. It was near midnight when I got home, and it was raining. My dad had located one for me and asked if I still wanted to go in the rain, and I said, "That's what I came home for."
We got on the top of the hill at daybreak and heard a gobbler down the hill near a pipeline right-of-way. We hurried down to a bench, and set up with our backs to the root ball of a fallen black cherry tree. The only call I had was an old Penn's Woods single reed diaphragm with black tape on it. The gobbler answered and steadily closed the distance.
The shotgun I was using was my dad's old Ithaca double barrel because my Ithaca model 37 pump was broken (thanks to one of my younger brothers.) At about 50 yards he began to circle to our right, and I had to shift the stock of the gun from my right shoulder to my left in order to put the bead on him. I didn't go all the way left-handed because I still had my right hand on the grip, my left hand on the forearm, and was sighting with my right eye. Yes, awkward.
When he got to about 40 yards, and to my extreme right, I finally lit the powder. He went down in a heap. To this day that's the longest shot I've ever taken, and only one of two beyond 30 yards. His beard was shredded by some shot, but I still have it.
I carried that 20½ pound bird with 1" spurs to the top of the hill. That turkey had lice, and by the time we got to my dad's International Scout I was crawling with them. (It's the only turkey I ever got that had lice.) On the way out we met a couple of guys who were hunting that gobbler every day. They were pretty disgusted that a kid came home from college and shot it. They had the reputations of good turkey hunters, but I was the one that got the gobbler.
I was hooked.
When [url="http://www.EverydayHunter.com"]"The Everyday Hunter"[/url] isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.