by Brian Lovett
Only turkey hunting could turn something so wonderful into something so
There I was, hunkered against a tree, listening to a gobbler hammer nonstop
from the limb 100 yards away. He’d climbed all over my first tree-yelp, so I
was eagerly awaiting flydown.
And fly down he did — across an open hayfield to his landing pad, 20 yards
to my left. Seconds later, his white head bobbed through the woods, right
down my gun barrel.
It was still a little dark, I guess, because I really couldn’t see my
fiber-optic sights that well. No matter. I’d checked them seconds earlier
and was sure they were lined up correctly.
So when the eager bird cleared a small group of birches, I sent 2 ounces of Winchester’s finest his way. Instead of the expected smash and flop, however, I saw a lurch and run.
What? No way.
Yep. A clean miss at 14 steps. It was not even 5:30 a.m., and my day was
I hope that wasn’t my final chance this spring. But if it was, the encounter
was certainly memorable. Excruciating, but memorable.