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It’s turkey season

Laugh Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Even though the weather hasn’t been particularly good for wild turkey hunting in the Flint Hills, too chilly, it hasn’t kept the die-hard gobbler hunters from trying their luck and skill at bagging their favorite feathered game.

And, that’s how three local turkey hunters — all in the same family — father Tom Kahler, son-in-law Slate, and son Reed Kahler — created this funny story one recent morning of the turkey season.

The intrepid trio knew the whereabouts of a flock of turkeys that included some nice gobblers. So, early morning they put out their hen decoys in a grassy area within shooting distance of their camo blinds in the woods. Immediately, they heard two turkeys gobbling within ear shot of their calls. But, try as they might, after an hour of calling and hearing return calls from the pair of gobblers, they couldn’t call one into sight.

Finally, the elder Kahler had enuf sitting and stood up to stretch his legs and shake out his cramped muscles. He’d no sooner stood up and looked around right straight into the eagle eyes of a big ol’ gobbler — which ran out of sight and out of shotgun range within a heartbeat.


So, the fellers put their heads together and came up with a plan. They decided to sneak to a new location in the direction that the gobbler ran. Which they did and immediately started calling and got a gobbler response. However, after a half-hour of futile calling, they couldn’t get the gobbler to come into shooting range.

So, they decided to return to their decoy setup. Lo and behold, as soon as they got within eye-sight, they saw a big ol’ tom turkey right in the middle of their dekes, strutting around and trying to impress the unimpressable plastic hen decoys.

Naturally, the gobbler saw their approach and immediately left the decoy setup in the opposite direction from the first gobbler. Well, the trio came up with another plan. They left Reed in his blind near the decoys. Then the elder team member headed off to try and get ahead of the gobbler that had left most recently, with hopes that he’d come back to the decoys. Meanwhile, Slate headed in the opposite direction with the same plan in mind — get ahead of and sort of “herd” a gobbler towards the decoy setup.

Well, surprise, the plan worked, sort of. The elder hunter did indeed get ahead of “his” gobbler and the old boy ran hellbent towards the decoys. But he veered off at the last moment and wuz at maximum shotgun range when Reed blasted away and dropped the bird in its tracks.

Now, the kid’s a savvy turkey hunter, so, with one turkey safely bagged, he stayed in his blind hoping another would mosey into range. It didn’t and eventually Tom and Slate returned “turkeyless” to the decoy setup. Slate and Tom prepared to gather up the decoys and the blinds while Reed retrieved his dead gobbler.

Except that it wasn’t — dead, that is. When Reed approached the “dead” bird, with his gun safely unloaded, of course, the gobbler arose from the dead and, very much alive, ran away across the pasture and disappeared into a shallow creek.

Nuthin’ for Reed to do except reload and follow the gobbler. After a little searching, Reed spied the gobbler hiding in a windfall of trees. What proceeded next was a little game of hide and seek. The gobbler would stick its head up to see Reed, but would duck down before he could shoot.

Finally, Reed out-waited “his turkey” and got off a coup de grace shot and wuz able to head homeward with his hard-earned trophy over his shoulder.

Their story is funny, but would have been funnier if it wuz in a video.

•••

Once, decades ago, I had a rooster pheasant resurrect itself in my game vest and it flew off safely when I pulled it out of the vest. I did the only thing I could do without my shotgun in hand. I cussed.

•••

I finally got out fishing twice this past week. My good buddy from Pratt, ol’ Claude Hopper, braved the CV crisis and drove up for three days of fishing. The first two were mostly fishless, but the third day we scored a modest stinger of bass, crappie and bluegills from the pond of my other good buddy, ol’ Parker Loosely.

Then a neighbor kid and I tried a couple of local ponds and again got a modest stringer of small bass.

•••

A middle-aged resident of a small rural town, ol’ Jack Kuvaltrades, got furloughed from his job at a manufacturing plant and needed to find a part-time job. So, he read an ad on the internet for a job that most Americans are not willing to do. But with times as tough as they are after COVID, he decided to apply anyway.

Now this fellow has an unusual background. He has a liberal arts degree from a major university, and a master’s degree in ancient history from the a similar prestigious university. Plus, for a number of years, he had worked as a social worker. In addition, he drove a restored Ford Edsel and wore his hair in a long ponytail.

On a whim driven by need, Jack drove to Florida and submitted his resume in person to a Florida lemon grove Co-Op.

The co-op foreman studied his application, and said, “I see you are well-educated. This is really an impressive resume. But I am not sure this is the right job for you. I must ask — do you have any actual experience picking lemons?”

Jack replied, ”Well, as a matter of fact, I do. I’ve been divorced three times, owned two cars that shot craps with 25,000 miles, just put a pen of cattle in the feedlot a month ago, and I voted for the loser in the last election.”

Jack started his new job the very next day!

•••

Words of wisdom for the week: “Any politician who adds anything to the Congressional stimulus bill not directly related to the CV pandemic is no better than someone who loots during a disaster.

Have a good ‘un. ❖




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