Just when you think you’ve seen it all, another hunting adventure takes place that makes you shake your head. It’s the essence of why we love the great sport of hunting. You just never know what will transpire on any given day. And that’s what gets you up well before the alarm clock goes off.
Local hunter Buddy Spiller has experienced his fair share of hunting highlights. In serious search of a Louisiana long-beard turkey, he headed north to Reeves well before daybreak.
As the sun began to light up the woods, Buddy was hunkered down and on gobbler alert. He had ingeniously installed a rearview mirror on his ground blind to offer a sight picture behind him without having to move. This wasn’t Buddy’s first turkey rodeo.
He froze when a tom let loose with an excited gobble. The big bird came gliding in, puffed up and drumming. Buddy sat tight as this magnificent bird entered the kill zone.
He shouldered his shotgun and took steady aim. One shot rolled the bird and Buddy was ecstatic. But not so fast! This hunting adventure was far from being over.
Buddy approached the bird and wrapped his hand on a foot. Right about that time, he realized this turkey was not quite done yet. This old tom was in attack mode, and began pummeling Buddy with powerful wing beats. Buddy held on for dear life. But as his grip loosened on the bird’s feet, the gobbler turned it on. The big bird attacked with flailing spurs that found their mark in Buddy’s hands.
It was a classic hunter versus turkey throw down. With blood flowing from his scarred hand, Buddy finally managed to execute a death-grip chokehold that ended the melee. But he’ll always bear the scar that will mark forever the exciting true-to-life battle with a turkey as a most formidable foe.
The Louisiana gobbler was a mature full grown tom with a thick 10 1/8-inch beard. This was the bird that did not get away.
Sometimes it’s just meant to be. It was Gary Dawsey’s first foray into the world of hunting wild turkeys. He set up his ambush spot, and lo and behold, a gobbler announced his arrival with a gobble that sent shivers down his spine. The bird proceeded to march directly into his area like he was on a straight string.
It all happened so fast, Gary didn’t have the chance to get nervous. He put the hammer down. This turkey was his first, and it all went down like clockwork. After the shot, the nerves set in. This is why we hunt.
It’s the spring season and a nice time to enjoy the great outdoors. A few late-season cool fronts have made it nice and comfortable, but have no fear — summer is bearing down! A hot Louisiana August will have you reminiscing and longing for these 50-degree nights.
It’s a great time to be on the water, chasing your trophy fish of choice. Louisiana offers a wide variety of game fish, from redfish, speckled trout and flounder to freshwater bass and crappie. Just pick a species and go for it. Happy fishing!