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Two Right-Handed Mittens?

 My Spread....

I had the back of the Jeep popped open and was slowly gearing up.  The second moring of the turkey hunting season is always the toughest (if you get to your second day)... You've had a couple short nights of rest and you're tired from that first full day in the woods.   Anyway, I curled into my turkey vest in pre-dawn darkness,  double-checked to make sure I had all my calls,  then popped on my headlamp and reached for my camo mittens.  I'd done a good job prepping for the cold morning forecast.  I had extra long undies, my fleece camo hat, my warm socks and, of course, my mittens.  Well, my two right-handed mittens.  As I reached into the back of the truck and pulled the mittens out in darkness, I slowly realized (after trying to wrestle them on repeatedly) I had two of the same mitten.  How's that possible?  I'd worn these things before and I didn't even own two pairs of them.... Whatever,  I pinched my fingers and flipped the righty onto my left hand and stumbled off to the woods completely chagrined.....
My Righties....
On Wednesday, my 2011 season started with a, well, rainstorm.   I sat against the hay bale watching the weather radar on my blackberry.   I had shown up a bit early, but we all do that our first morning back in the turkey woods.  Soon enough, I heard the pitter patter of rain and pulled on the hood of my rain coat.  Moments later, a hen walked out on my right and startled me.  Seems rain hoods cut off your peripheral vision... Ha!  That hen picked in front of me for a couple minutes then wandered anway and up the hill into the brush.   I settled back in and wondered where she was headed.   Five minutes later, I got what I had come for.  Atop the hill, I could see my bird.  His fan was wide and he was strutting, slowly making his way towards me.  At best guess, he was 80 yards from my spot.  I hit the call.   He started to come.  At 60 yards,  my heart raced and I thought the deal was done.  This property had been good to me the last few years, with willing  and sizeable gobblers.   But all the sudden, that hen walked back out of the brush and right by the gobbler!  He quickly turned and followed her away and I slumped down against the hay bale.

I could see him up top in the tilled field, strutting back and forth, back and forth.  I decided to make a play and eventually got within 25 yards of the strutting tom.  As I laid out my shooting lane and got ready to shoulder my gun,  holy smokes... A blind on the property.  You kidding me?  Where did that come from????  Although the blind wasn't in my line of fire (or even close),  I was sure whomever was inside could also see that bird and now, probably me, so I backed off and passed on the shot.  

Okay, that was frustration #1.

Now for # 2....
My Gear Stash....

Wednesday night, I headed back to my spot and did a bit of scouting.  I was walking the area about 4:30 pm and noticed the blind was gone.  I thought, "either they shot that gobbler after I left or picked up because they had seen me out there".  Either way, I was happy to have the hunting spot to myself again.  I eventually threw out a single decoy, hunkered down against an old barbed-wire fence and started calling.  For the next two hours, I didn't see or hear a thing. 
Evening Stand...
I could only shoot up 'til 7:55 pm, and had started checking my watch when I heard that magical sound, "gobble, gobble."   I quickly picked up my call and responded.  A moment later, "gobble, gobble."  I knew this bird had heard me.  I knew he was headed my direction and I knew I was between him and the roost.  EXACTLY how I wanted this plan to play out.  I guessed he was 100 to 150 yard out.  That's when I heard it.  BOOOOOOOMMM!!!!  A shotgun blast very near.  I knew someone had shot that bird!  I hopped out of my blind, grabbed my optics and tried to quickly make my way to a spot where I could see where the shot had come from.  To my dismay, I saw someone else on the property picking up the bird and walking away.  For the next while I glassed and watched him walk off the property, through a slough, over a stream and to his truck about half a mile away.  What a way to end my day of hunting....

Anyway, I haven't heard or seen a thing on the property since.  So goes turkey hunting.  It seems my 2011 season has me about whipped and we're only two days in...... Oh, and a closing shot from my drive home today......



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