Sunday, May 15, 2011

Starts and Ends in the Kitchen

Two gobblers walked through the narrow opening between the fields, but at that distance I couldn't tell whether they were toms or jakes. I had done some calling at dawn from the front porch, but hadn't gotten a response -- maybe this was a delayed response to those yelps, two hours later. I drank the last of my coffee, put the kids' oatmeal bowls in the sink, and grabbed a camo shirt from the laundry. And down the road I went.

Keeping low, I scurried along the driveway, headed for a likely spot in the woods in the turkeys line of travel. Sat down against a too-small tree, pulled up the face mask, and gave a few clucks on the slate.

Within a minute the birds materialized over the knoll just inside the woods, coming my way. Purr, cluck. They continued forward, looking for me. About 35 yards out, craning necks, the gobblers surveyed my vicinity. A cluck from my mouth call put any doubts to rest, and they adjusted their path to put a little more distance between us as they circled around me, downhill, out of view in the woods. They weren't buying it.

A couple of clucks on the slate elicited a gobble downhill to my right. Minutes later, clucks were answered by a gobble, this time farther away and behind me.

I turned around, and gave several purrs and clucks, flapped a wing in the air and scratched it in the dirt. Cluck, purr, cluck, and I could hear the pitter patter of turkey feet running my way, downhill from me to my left, coming up the hill and getting nearer. When they came into view they were almost behind me. Kneeling, I twisted around 120 degrees to my left. The first bird stopped in an opening between trees at 20 yeards and I popped him in the head. The tom immediately took to the air as the jake flopped on the ground.

The jake was pretty small, with nubbins for spurs. That night we dined on tender turkey veal dusted with Emeril's, lightly marinated in Newman's family Italian, and grilled to a hint of pink, with a Finger Lakes reisling, wild rice & shittakes, and steamed asparagus. A couple nights later it was wild turkey/wild rice/wild mushroom enchiladas. Our first spring NY turkey, scouted from the kitchen. Natchur'ly.

Parts is parts, parceled, and PW focused on focus of cell phone camera.


Anonymous said...



KGT (aka Cagey) said...

Gobble gobble!!

Anonymous said...