Fat Boy's Turkey
By Dan Infalt
I was shaken awake by my frantic wife who whispered desperately, "Someone's in the house". A glance at the clock told me it was 2AM. I saw a faint light flash on then off down the hall from the kitchen. From deep sleep to wide awake, I quietly loaded my shotgun. As I eased to through the door into the hallway, I could hear someone going through the drawers and cabinets. I snuck very quietly down the hall, gun raised to my shoulder, finger on the safety. As I entered the kitchen I saw a huge man in dark clothes going through my cupboard facing the other direction. I turned the light switch on with my elbow not wanting to take my hands off of the gun. I yelled FREEZE. The man turned to face me. There was a sandwich in one hand and a soda in the other. It was Fat Boy, a hunting associate who I was supposed to take turkey hunting in the morning.
"What the hell are you doing in my house?" I yelled at him.
"We're going turkey hunting remember?" he muttered.
"What happened to leaving at 4AM? And why are you eating all my food?" I questioned.
I unloaded the old shotgun so it would be harder for my wife to carry out the threats she was screaming from the top of her lungs. Then I plugged a turkey hunting video into the VCR and jumped into the shower. Fat Boy had never gone turkey hunting before and the video was meant to show him what to expect.
When I came out of the shower he was finishing up my leftovers and drinking my last soda. He said, the guy on the video keeps jumping out of the blind every time he arrows a turkey and chasing it down, then he brakes its neck. "Why is he doing that?" he asked. I explained that this guy was bow hunting and sometimes turkeys will fly away before dying and that makes it difficult to recover them.
We jumped in the truck and started heading for my uncle Bill's cabin in Montello, Wisconsin where we would be hunting. About 1 hour into the 2 hour drive Fat Boy looks over and says, "What kind of gun did you bring for me to use?"
After a good lecture about not assuming I am providing a gun during his turkey hunting lesson, we turned the truck around and lost two hours of driving time. Good thing he showed up two hours early.
We got to Montello just as the rain began to pour. Not expecting rain, I brought a box call that couldn't get wet. I put it in a plastic bag and we headed to turkey heaven. Pretty soon thunder and lightning joined the torrential downpour and the wind began to increase. But we were here now. We would hunt anyway.
We setup in the branches of a blown down tree on the edge of a freshly plowed field. Calling in this wind and rain would be useless so we just waited for it to end. We were completely soaked after a few hours, but finally the weather began to let up. It was still nasty, but a turkey might be able to hear a call now.
I started with a few clucks and a gobble, then made some hen yelps. No answer, I quickly put the call away not wanting it to get any wetter. Then I look up and two turkeys are coming out of the timber about 150 yards away heading right for us. I quietly told Fat Boy about the turkeys. Suddenly his gun rises to his shoulder and he takes careful aim.
"Are they gobblers" he mutters. I explained they were way out of range and to be patient. Finally the birds got into easy range, both were very nice longbeards. The one on the left was a little bit bigger.
I said, "Ok, Fat Boy, take the one on the left"
The one on the right goes down. ( Your other left, Fat Boy ) The bird was flopping in the field doing its death throws, I turned to give Fat Boy a high five, but he was jumping out of the blind all wide eyed running straight at the flopping bird. When he ran into the freshly plowed field he was sinking 12 inches into the mud with each stride. As he reached the flopping bird a mighty kick sent the already dead bird sailing into the sky. I realized then and there that he thought he had to chase and kill the turkey like the bowhunter in the video we watched!!
As the bird sailed into the sky, Fat Boy's momentum caught up with him and his feet went out from under him. In a splattering splash of the stickiest mud I have ever seen, Fat Boys 300+ pounds smashed into the muck. He scrambled to his feet yelling something about the bird being a mounter and ran after it diving on the dead birds carcass. He was strangling the dead bird and wrestling with it as its wings beat from the nerves, convincing him it was attempting to get away.
"Fat Boy, that bird is already dead!" I yelled. But it was no use. His ears were filled with mud.
Finally he emerged from the field with his prize "Mounter" bird that only had 3 tail feathers left and other than a mud-caked beard, it looked like a big bald ball of mud. I fell over laughing.
After regaining my composure I explained to the big ball of mud with two eyes, what he had done wrong. As we walked back to camp, he begged me not to tell Uncle Bill. I told him I would keep his secret.
I barley got through the cabin door when I started telling Uncle Bill about Fat Boy's turkey hunt.
Old Bill laughed so hard I thought we would surely have to call the paramedics to restart his heart.
It got even better listening to Fat Boy try to explain why his bird had no feathers to the Game Warden at registration.