Gosh darn it, maybe I should have stuck around this morning after all.
When the western sky darkened to pitch black and then lit up from sizzling streaks of lightening, the land-owner and I decided to retreat from the Ashtabula County turkey woods.
We had worked two birds and I suspect we could have moved on them. However, I'm not partial to holding a lightening rod in the form of a shotgun. Not when zingers are traveling from the ground-up or the top-down; whichever way lightening strikes.
So we beat it back to the house, stopping along a tractor path long enough to listen to gobblers gobble every time the earth shook from the booming thunder.
We made it back just in time before the skies opened up and the light show was in full bloom.
So I decided to head back home, quiting an hour or two earlier than planned.
The thing is, the storm was short lived and had passed by about 9 a.m.
Then the turkeys began to gobble their fool heads off (I was told) with many of them falling prey to good calling. Including from Jeff McKinney of Leroy Township who called in a jake after the storm was finished.
Apparently so did a whole slew of other turkey hunters who were checking in their birds at Mentor's Gander Mountain store around 10:30 a.m.
The thing is, I know better. Take an early morning, intense thunderstorm and let it pass quickly and gobblers often are active on the back side. It's not the first time I failed to remember that trait.
Alas, I thought my needs of getting into work overshadowed sticking around. A debatable choice.
What wasn't up for discussion, of course, was hunting DURING the thundershowers. No way, no how.
I spoke with another friend who was out with two partners and they hunted through the storm, becoming soaked but calling in a bird anyway.
You can buy a whole turkey for about $2 per pound. Thus, risking being struck by lightening hardly is worth the effort.
There will be more days and more turkeys but there's only one me. I'll be back, though next time I just might hang around until the rain stops and the thunder/lightening goes away.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn