I know this isn’t the usual review article, but I figure if you can’t keep a sense of humor while you are deep in the learning curve of a new activity then why bother.
As I’ve mentioned before, I am a novice hunter, and hope to bag my first spring gobbler during the rapidly approaching local season.
As part of my initiation into the cult of this avian adversary, I attended my local National Wild Turkey Federation dinner about a month ago. During this initiation “ceremony”, I was parted with many of my dollars. These dollars were spent on various games of chance which taunted my greed with promises of new shotguns. There were new calls and additional chances to win handguns and gear with which to bag my own specimen of the revered quarry. All of this to benefit the habitat and preservation of Meleagris gallopavo. I placed bids on many items, and kept my fingers crossed. Annnnd what did I come home with?
A glorified rubber chicken.
I’m teasing of course. This was a top-of-the-line Avian X hen decoy and I was tickled to have ANY decoy to start out my turkey career. But I could not get over a neophyte’s sense of the absurd about the whole thing – especially when I read the directions for use.
I was first of all required to allow my hen decoy to “come to room temperature”. Well, I don’t really like to be messed with much when I’m cold either, so I suppose I could understand that. Then, I was instructed to locate the air valve on the bottom of the decoy, and pull out the valve stem. Wait, I thought this was a hen? She has a “stem”? And I’m supposed to put my mouth there and, and … inflate her? This was too much for my inner middle-schooler, who dissolved into a fit of the giggles. But wait- there’s more.
The next step instructed me to place my newly inflated hen IN A HOT SHOWER… FOR TEN MINUTES. Let me tell you, after inflating an expensive rubber chicken with my mouth, I kinda felt like I needed a shower too – either that or I needed a Groucho Marx mustache. But the post-shower results were JUST GORGEOUS!
She is so realistic that I decided to give my hen turkey a name. I’m calling her Henrietta. Original, I know. But now I’m going to feel like a bit of a pimp. I mean, I’m going to be out there showing her off to the tom turkeys. I want pretty little Henrietta to get them excited enough to throw caution to the wind and strut right into the path of my shotgun. I feel dirty already.
I suppose I could think of this in a more positive vein. Maybe I should think of Henrietta as an undercover cop on a prostitution sting. Her job is to look and act alluring and available, and my job is to bring the lecherous John – I mean Tom – to “justice”. In this case, “justice” being the death penalty by 12 gauge, with post-mortem incarceration in my freezer. Tasty justice.
To help with my feelings of guilt about pimping out my new friend and because I’ve got a gimpy post-op hand and thus am bored, I wanted to feature Henrietta in a few “get to know you” photo-ops while we both work on our pre-season training. If she’s going to be my wingman – I mean hen – then we need to train together.
Here’s Henrietta lounging on the couch after her shower.
This is us studying-up our NWTF magazine
This is Henrietta critiquing my calling – “No. No. No.” She says, “Your accent is all wrong. Repeat after me, The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain.”
Her look says it all – You CAN’T be serious.
Henrietta and I have done pretty much everything but the Chicken Dance to get ready for the season. Come to think of it, maybe I could talk her into practicing “My tailfeather shake brings all the Toms to the yard”.
I sure hope it will. Wish us luck.