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Feeding the Ticks on a Spring Day

Here’s a pop quiz for you veteran turkey hunters: What do you get when you spot a gobbler and three hens in a wheat field?

Of course, the answer is three hours of pain and frustration.

I reminded myself of that the other day, after driving by a favorite hunting spot. The birds were in the middle of the field, so I parked out of sight, slipped through the woods to the corner, spied the turkeys at about 90 yards and set up.

After calling for about five minutes, the gobbler stopped strutting and started feeding. Then, he turned and fed toward the other side of the field. Soon, however, he worked back toward the woods about 100 yards to my right. I backed out, slipped through the timber and got within 65 yards of the turkeys.

Then, the gobbler and hens half-sprinted to the other side of the field again to feed.

As I watched and waited for the next hour, the birds slowly fed toward me. When they got within 80 yards, however, they disappeared behind a small rise and apparently entered the woods. I never saw them again.

Three hours of slipping and slithering through the woods had netted me nothing but a few deer ticks and possibly some poison ivy. Oh, and a better appreciation for the unpredictable nature of turkeys.

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