Two Gobblers- Hickory Ridge 2019

April 22, 2019
  • Public Memory

For weeks the woods have been “off limits” to any intrusions except for the weekly noon time trip to check trail cameras.

For my son in law Donnie who can’t stand an unfinished wood pile, it has been a trial. Never mind that we already have next winters wood supply split, stacked and drying, There’s still a few more loads to finish up this Spring before the heat of summer arrives and he’s itching to get it done.

All the grandkids know that the Polaris side by side is not to be driven past the top field and walking on the Lake trail is on hold. 

These are the restrictions in place as the opening day of the Michigan Turkey season awaits. 

For weeks we have been listening to numerous gobblers calling for hens up on the large hill overlooking the lake back in our woods that we have named Hickory Ridge, because of the numerous Shagbark hickory trees that sit upon it.

Trail cameras have confirmed that the opening on top of the ridge where we placed our blind is a meeting point for the big Toms and hens.

Opening day and a full moon made walking in an hour before sunrise an easy task. As we reached the base of the ridge a gobbler let loose a loud gobble. “He’s right above our blind” Brenny said.

We continued on in the dark and hoped the old bird would think we were just a couple deer passing through. We made it into the blind and within minutes he began his gobbling. Another one just over the ridge joined his morning calling. As light broke through we could see him less than forty yards away high atop an old hickory.

The geese and Sandhill cranes were waking up on the lake and the noise of their calls seemed to make him eager to start the morning. He watched as pairs of geese lifted off and flew over on their way to breakfast in our neighbors fields. Finally he decided, down he flew to the side of the hill. Within seconds his partner flew down to join him. Less than a minute passed and Brendan whispered, “here they come”.

As they broke into the opening I whispered, “one, two, three….”, the old 12 gauges sounded as one and two of the birds of Spring were on their way to the Dodson homesteads freezers.

Caryn responded to our call and brought the quad to the woods to haul out the big birds.

A couple months earlier me and the Mama had convinced our little Bear Caryn, her husband Donnie and their three little blonde blue eyed bear cubs to join us and Brenny on the farm and live the “Walton Family Lifestyle”.  Many projects are now up and running, and working on them in the fresh air gives everyone a healthy appetite. Two wild turkey dinners with some fresh pickings from the garden and some Morel mushrooms from the woods will soon be on the menu!

Later in the morning word came from Uncle Chuck that he too had shot a bird on his place two miles to our east. 2019 is beginning to look like a good year!

It’s almost time to finish up those wood piles…..almost!! Stacey Renee’ and Cy are on the Ridge this evening. If luck holds we’ll add a final bird to this Springs tally. Stacey’s got a score to settle from last years hunt!!

Keep that chainsaw sharp Donny!

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