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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 5-21-2014

Twenty Five Years a Writer!

 by Mark Walters

Hello friends, 

As of this week, I have been writing this column for 25-years. I hand wrote my first column and the next 20 after that while sitting in bear stand in the Canadian bush back in 1989.

 My good friends, Dick and Molly Emerson, who were the owners of the Poynette Press at the time, were good enough to give me a chance to write an outdoor column and what has become an awesome full time job is actually more of a way of life then a job, thanks Dick and Molly!

This week I am writing to you about my turkey hunting experiences on my food plot near Necedah with my 13-year-old daughter Selina.

Thursday, May 8th
High 59, low 35 

We have this food plot that is next to a small pond that has rye planted in it that will soon be tilled into the ground and be replaced with clover, chickoree and oats. Our food plot is a very popular place for deer and turkey.

Because it is on private land, I leave a ground blind set up on it, which is actually like a home and office to me. I do paper work in it, cook and take naps. If I ever get married again I might put a refrigerator in it and use it as a hideout.

I picked Selina up from school at 3:20 and we headed out to the blind and I have to admit we were both very excited for our hunt.

We had been in the blind maybe an hour when I spotted 3 jakes (last years young/males) and they really liked the look of the fancy new hen and jake decoys that I just spent a hundred and thirty bucks on.

I was pretty impressed with Selina when she made the decision to pass taking a jake, with the hopes of harvesting a mature tom sometime over the next four days.

Selina did aim her 12-gauge at the jakes and practice relaxing for when the real deal happened.

What happened next was kind of awkward but interesting for Selina and I. The largest of the three jakes was so impressed with our hen decoy that it decided it wanted to create baby turkeys with it and for the next ten minutes the big guy had his way with her and upon pinning her to the ground completely deflated her and still did not care.

Friday, May 9th
High 56, low 36

Selina and I spent 10 hours in the blind today. We saw one hen the first five hours, and the second five-hour sit, we saw the three jakes and had they come in range we were going to try to double up on them. The three lovebirds stayed out of range and at days end Selina was kind of thinking she should have done some shooting the night before.

Saturday, May 10th
High 67, low 34

It was chilly in the turkey blind at o dark thirty this morning and my daughter wasted no time in wrapping herself in a blanket and taking a snooze on the forest floor.

Generally, when Selina is awake we eat snacks and read to pass the time. The sun was actually warming the blind and I was in an excellent mood when across the food plot appeared five jakes of which two of them were quite large.

I woke Selina up and she was smooth as silk as she got into position and watched the jakes surround the recently battered hen decoy. Our situation was not one of pulling the trigger and harvesting a turkey, it was letting them get separated so each of us would only shoot one.

I told Selina fire when ready and as soon her gun went boom so did mine and we had two “monster jakes” lying next to a beat up hen decoy that at least in this case got her revenge.

Selina has filled her tag three years in row. In 25 years I have never missed a deadline and it looks like I could put 40-50 years on this job based on the present status of my retirement program!

That wouldn’t be such a bad thing! Sunset