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1.) Bob Peck - 04/12/2020
What better way to put Covid 19 temporarily in the rear view mirror after 3 months of no hunting than to get out in it on opening day of turkey in VA.

31 degrees, 3-5 mph breeze and oh so quiet.

Not a ton of gobbling but just enough to confirm the classic roosting spots noted during deer season and to get into position.

A couple of restful hours go by. I reasoned they must have flown down off the roost and went silent. Nada. Nothing worked.

There's many things that I like about turkey hunting. There's no need for scent control or strict time mgmt and at times moving around is way better than sitting tight.

I had an instinct they flew down into a field half a mile from my position so I moved. Slowly walked and glassed along a fence line separating the neighbors field from hardwoods on my side of the fence.

Walk two steps, glass, walk two more steps. I hit the slate call with a couple yelps and waited. No reply. Pretended I was a tree and stood motionless.

When I lowered the binos to my chest out of my peripheral vision I saw movement in the field. 4 hens walking the fence line about 23 yards away and walking towards me feasting on insects as they strolled.

I knelt down, tugged my non-Covid19 leafy face mask into position, clipped on the release and used a large oak to obscure my body.

Yep. Here come two Toms all blustery and puffed out putting on a show for hens who paid no mind. Beautiful birds. I would say based on beards and body size they were somewhere between Jakes and Tom's. Not super impressive but not young punk Jakes.

Sun was at a shallow angle and lit up their iridescent feathers. I live life for these moments! I'm truly alive in the moment. The stress of the world is nowhere near me or on me. It's me, the bow and birds

Came to full draw and laser focused on the hole among the thickening underbrush and wire fence squares.

Totally dead to rights!

It was at that moment when I realized whoopsie these were animals on someone else's property. I would be less than truthful if I didn't admit the classic debate in my head went back and forth several times.

I know my neighbor doesn't turkey hunt and I could easily hop the fence, retrieve the bird and be out of there end minutes.

But was it worth it even it the birds were bigger, fatter and long beards?

Nope. It never has been "worth it" so I drew down.

The boys must have spotted the movement without realizing exactly what "it" was. They both turn stared at me for what seems like 5 to 10 minutes. They they pulled that classic turkey move which to me is hilarious. "Hmmm ... something isnt quite right but I'm gonna act like Im not concerned even though I am so I'm gonna get the hell outta here but casually." In choreograped unison they promptly pivoted and at a moderate pace sauntered away at an angle.

Many say hunting is more than killing. I have understood this credo for decades and lived it for no one to witness. Yesterday wad our turkey season opener here in the Virginia hardwoods of the Blue Ridge mountains and now I've confirmed where they live.

I hope to have pictures soon.