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Team Effort 

 For the first time ever I was able to talk my wife into purchasing a tag the spring. We have gone out several times using a blind a friend loaned me. On this day we took the blind, two chairs, two guns, my vest, and snack food.  I feel more like a pack mule that turkey hunter.

Upon arriving at one of my favorite spots we can see the turkeys down in the corner of the field about a half of a mile away. The only way to get there without them seeing us is to walk up around through the north pasture. Additional walking for the pack mule is worth it for the chance.

As we walk over the ridge to the extreme north through the binoculars we can see three Tom’s fighting. Finally after a nice 30 minute hike, we are within 150 yards of where we saw them earlier. Putting up the blind is out of the question because of noise but there is plenty of coverage with weeds and overhanging lambs. I crawled through the grass to the edge of the field and put out the full strut Tom decoy. 

Crawling back through the grass to where Charlene is I give her gloves and a mask. She looks pretty cute. Just before I put on my gloves and say to Charlene, “Let’s pray.”

“Dear God bring us a turkey, amen.”

I just about have my gloves and mask on when she mentions something about the decoy moving. Somehow a Tom has snuck in and I tell her it would be best to shoot him since he’s only 10 feet away. Her gun is on safety and in the confusion the Tom sees us. Fortunately we’re the only ones with guns and I drop him with Winchester 6 shot.

Immediately a series of gobbles ring out from down the hill. They gobble again and again and again. Here they come. Five tom’s through the bushes gobbling their heads off. We can’t shoot but enjoy the show. After about 10 minutes they move off.

 A thunderstorm is bring to the west and so I load up the pack mule and carry everything out. Charlene has her cap on and I think she’s carrying the snacks, but she sure looks cute (I did say she looks cute didn’t I).

 

Michelle & Ron are great friends

 A couple weeks back I saw a really cool hat with a turkey embroidered on the side. BNSF was on the front bill of the cap. Told a friend of mine who works there about it and they bought me the hat as a gift. I offered to pay for it she refused asked instead I take her son on a hunt. Taelur was up to the challenge. 

We had been out twice. The first time it rained and we never got out of the truck. The second time Tom strutted 300 yards out but never moved any closer. Tonight didn’t start out well as a farmer was discing the field next to my first choice. I called a friend about a second option and got the go ahead.

Moving down to the bottom of the ravine I spotted a Tom striding strutting in an open meadow about 400 yards away. We quietly moved to the edge of the field after he moved off and set up shop. Afternoon hunts are normally very quiet but soon toms were gobbling all around us like the middle of the morning. After about 45 minutes there was movement things look promising but it was a deer. Then another deer and another deer and another. Seven in all graced the meadow.

It was now nearing sundown and a Tom’s appearance seemed unlikely. They were moving west on the other side of the ravine it sounded.  I cut once and yelped a few more times on top in 15 minutes the sun would be down. After a five minute silence suddenly there was a series of gobbles on our side of the ravine. Two hens popped out into the field. Not far behind them a nice Tom. He looked our way for a moment and then started striding our direction. “Get your gun up,” I whispered, “it’s show time.”  

The old boy came within 15 yards decoy and stood. A tree blocked Taelur’s shot. Tom backed off 5 yards put his head down for his last supper, a gnat. Quickly Taelur moved his gun and with the Tom’s head back in the air I whispered for him to shoot. At 26 paces was the prize. Even though Tarlur has a broken ankle I still thought he had to carry the bird out which he did valiantly.  

Up the hill with your prize

 

 

 “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”  1 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow is sorrow devoid of shame. Shame does not bring repentance it brings regret. Regret does not do the work that repentance does, it merely transfers the object of our affection from the sin to the result. Repentance transfers our affection to God from sin.  We are conditioned to think that shame is good because sin is bad. Shame is a byproduct of sin. Forgiveness grasps that both the sin and shame have been wiped away.

How High Can You Go?

They are putting up the new suspended ceiling in the north wing. I took this picture of one of the workers. I thought for a moment about the safety of the situation.

Then another thought came to my mind. We sometimes go to great lengths to attain to where God is. We will pile one thing upon another hoping it’ll bring us up enough. The trouble is our pursuit sometimes leads to our downfall.

It would be far better if God would come down to us, not lowering his standards but reaching down to where we are. This is the message of the Gospel: Christ came down to us. There was a risk involved but it was a risk He took. That risk is the cross. Fascinatingly, Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me.”

He was lifted up on a cross but then laid down in a tomb. In the fall “he was bruised for our iniquities.” His suffering was enough and he was raised again!

The result is I don’t need to climb to God but rather I kneel at His cross.

“And David took the crown of their king from his head. He found that it weighed a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone. And it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount.” (1 chronicles 20:2)
In today’s weights the crown tips the scale at 75 lbs. At the market value of gold in today’s economy the crown would be valued at $1,120,590 in gold alone. Putting it on David’s head was a publicity stunt.
I’m sure there were a few chuckles as David set there wearing it. The previous verse though makes it clear that David was not a part of the battle where the crown was won.
Perhaps the exploits in the field of battle we’re getting to David’s head even more than the crown.
A careful comparison of this passage with the passages of Samuel reveal that this is near to the time of the incident with Bathsheba.
One of the big challenges of life is not to read your own press clippings. A big head can lead to big problems.

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Finally got a bird down on the ground yesterday and now today things get even better. Charlene’s uncle’s farm has been a wonderful place to hunt but this last winter they cleared off all the brush. Not sure how to sneak into a good place there so I arrived about the time they would start gobbling so that I could anticipate where they were.
Moving through the timber birds gobble both to the east and west of the corners of the property. I set up on open area I’m unwilling to put a decoy out because I don’t want to scare one from the roost. Not very many gobbles once I’m seated I hope I haven’t scared them.
At fly down a bird starts gobbling strong just to my east not more than 150 yards and I’m facing north. I scoot around the tree facing the right direction and there’s a deer crossing down through the ditch beside me. She whistles. The tom goes quiet. Strong gobble straight north of me I scooch back to where I was.
Now there’s a loud gobble straight in front of my gun northwest. A hen crosses the ridge in front of me running south. And even louder gobble and there he is, probably 50 yards out.
I’m looking down the barrel judging his distance. He starts to wattle my way. He can’t be more than 35 yards from me and I let a load of five’s head his way. The bird spins and heads away from me, the hen takes off to the south and a second gobbler flies over the brush pile about 40 yards away. I think about shooting but don’t bother.
I can’t believe I missed him. I dropped my gun two days ago and knocked the front site loose, but I had test fired to make sure it was still true. Maybe he had jumped in the air and was still milling around up at the corner of the property I quickly crawled his direction. He was at 41 yards when I shot at him, but nowhere to be found now. I stood to my feet in despair and there he was 3 yards from where I was standing, piled up.
I found this stump not more than 5 yards from where I had shot for a picture. Great morning!!

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Afternoon Randevu

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Not very “purty” all covered with mud.

Two and a half weeks into the Kansas season and finally have something to show for it. I had taken Brad McNary out a 10 days ago. Four nice Toms came into us. I shot first but a bush blocked a lot of my #5’s. Brad followed up and was able to take one. I have scared several off the roost and finally last Saturday had two jakes come in serving as a moral victory.

Sunday , Bill Becker asked how I was doing this season. He felt so sorry for me he asked if I would like him to call for me. So this morning he took me into the woods. No luck though we did call in two skunks. A pair of hens walked past as well Bill told me, but I didn’t see them.

After working in the yard I decided to reward myself with a trip to the field. I parked at the top of the hill near the cemetery in case a tom was near the gate. With gear all gathered I slowly walked down the road with an occasional crow call hoping to not startle a lazy strutting tom in the hay field.

I took my largest tom ever from the same spot but had been unable to draw three toms in from near this location the night before. I hope the past is more likely than the night previous. Just as I finish putting out the first decoy a tom gobbles back to the north and east. Surprised to hear because a farmer was spraying the field east as I walked down the road. I quickly decide to put out the other three decoys and move into the base of a fallen tree in the fence line.

As I spread out my calls on the ground around me the tom sounds off again north. I call a series of yelps and a tom sounds off west and south. Both sound off again within 15 minutes. I call again and the bird to the west gobbles substantially closer. I am able to see much of the hay field, but can’t see the bird. Several more gobbles from both directions and a few calls from me. Suddenly two jakes appear directly east. I move my head to see them and they raise the heads and begin running back east. How did I scare them?

My thoughts are interrupted with a loud gobble west. I slowly turn my head back and there is the big boy. That’s why the jakes took off. He crains his neck and studies the layout. After a couple of minutes he takes a couple of strides my way and stops behind a tree that stands between us. I decide to adjust so that I can take him in the west hay field, but now there is another tom standing where I first saw him. He trots down to where the first tom is. That tom gives him a jab for crowding him. They both move to the fence.

Under the fence they go and the lead tom is now in half strut. Looking directly at the decoy the night before that scared him off he moves in closer. With each step he saunters in he swells a bit more. I think I will try to take them both and I move the shotgun to the other side of a limb directly in line with my strutting decoy.

At the blast of the gun the tom folds to the ground but the other bird lifts skyward. I take a shot, but it is wasted lead. I spring forward to gather the bird that is down and he turns head over heal. By the time I reach him he is near the top of a ditch full of muddy water from the cattle tank just up hill. I can’t catch him and down into the mud he falls, flopping, flapping and kicking mud in all directions including me. That which only moments earlier was a thing of beauty is covered with “crap.” Not much for pictures, but mine altogether.

Back at the truck he weighs in at 22 lbs. 11 oz, and an eleven inch beard.

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