See that picture? I snapped it April 9, the evening I arrived in western Oklahoma. Needless to say, we waited a while before heading out to scout.
I managed to avoid my usual catastrophic poison ivy exposure this spring. Maybe I'm getting better at looking for it. Perhaps I'm just more careful nowadays. Or could it be that I didn't belly-crawl as much this year? Make your own judgments.
For the second time in three seasons, I shot an adult gobbler with no spurs. I took my first slick-legged longbeard during a 2010 Kansas hunt with Tad Brown. No. 2 came April 23 at Tails of the Hunt Outfitters in northwestern Missouri. Ironically, Tails of the Hunt co-owner Aaron Volkmar and I had been talking about spurless gobblers the previous evening. Next year, I'll try to talk about birds with 2-inch hooks. I'll let you know how that works.
My final Wisconsin bird, a heavy 2-year-old, had a thin and scraggly — albeit long — beard. In fact, for a while, I thought I'd shot most of the beard off. However, subsequent examination revealed that my 20-yard shot had pretty much center-punched the bird's neck, nowhere near the beard. I found a few short, white-tipped strands that would indicate a melanin deficiency and beard breakage. And then I found something else — a tiny second beard. It wasn't the most impressive multi-bearded turkey I've ever taken, but as they say in baseball, it looks like a line drive in the box score.
There you go — random, unrelated observations from a spring in the woods. What did everyone out there see this year?
Come on, fall.