Birds or Small Game

When the Weather Says No

Turkey season was coming to a close.  I had been close a number of times this season but I still had an unfilled tag.  The season had been unusually dry.   Areas that normally were green and growing had been dry and brown for the past couple months.  Snow had disappeared a long time ago and I had no issue getting where I wanted to get.

I had wanted to get up the week before.  But schedules and time just didn’t allow me to get up.  So I found myself looking towards the last weekend of the season.  Saturday was my last shot for the year and I was determined to go.   Wednesday afternoon the temperature where I hunt hit the mid 70’s.  It continued to be dry and I was hoping the warmer weather was getting the turkeys moving around.

Then Thursday night the weather changed.  Thursday evening and into Friday the snow fell.  All day Friday I checked my weather app and evaluated the radar.  By Friday afternoon it looked like the weather had cleared up and so I made the decision to go ahead and try.  All the snow around my house was gone and so I was hopeful to get up and have one last opportunity. I thought that perhaps I could get up in the snow and then be in the right spot as the snow cleared for when hungry turkeys dropped down from their roosts.

That was the plan at least.

When the Weather Says No (1)
Beautiful, but not very good for turkey hunting

Saturday morning I was up at 3 am and out the door shortly thereafter.  As I got closer to my location, there definitely was more and more snow, but I still had hope.  I got to my location at 4:30 and started up the mountain.

Some people may call me foolish.  I like to think I’m persistent. Either way, it was only my own stupidity that kept me going.  I hiked for over an hour.  While it was quite cold, I was sweating like crazy and completely out of breath.  The reason……the snow was deep.  While it started off at about a foot of snow, I soon found myself in two to three feet of snow.   After an hour of hiking I was only about 1/3 of the way to where I wanted to be.  As the sun came up, I came across moose tracks through the snow and I stopped to evaluate.

When the Weather Says No (2)
Moose Tracks in the Snow

While the sun was starting to come up in the clear sky I realized that this snow wasn’t going to melt any time soon.  Also with the snow being so deep, I knew that turkeys were not going to venture down to the ground for quite some time.  While I desperately wanted one last change, the weather said no.

I accepted my fate and began my hike back down to the car.  It is much easier going down in heavy snow then climbing and in less than 20 minutes I found myself back at the car.  It was 6 am.   I packed everything up, shook all the snow off, and pulled out onto the road.

When the Weather Says No (3)
Turkey on the road

To say that hunting is full of irony would be an understatement.  I pulled out on the road and turned the corner….and just about ran over a turkey in the middle of the road!  Now, while it was a hen which I could not shoot, the irony made me laugh out loud!  After such a frustrating and disappointing morning, I was reminded that hunting can be such a crazy sport.

My turkey season ended.  I didn’t get a turkey this year, but I came away with a lot of great memories, stories, and experiences.  I’ll keep trying….and I know that someday I’ll be successful.  But sometimes the weather just says no!

When the Weather Says No (4)
My last turkey sighting of the season.  Till next year!
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