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Monday, December 8, 2014

Beautiful Turkey

One time several years ago when I was living in N. Florida I went turkey hunting with permission on some private land. I was sitting up against a tree along a small stream when I heard a turkey gobble some distance off. I knew the biggest mistake I could make was to make a hen cluck and purr call to often so I made a call and sat and waited. After several minutes I heard the gobbler coming through the woods right to me. As I sat ready suddenly the turkey stepped out of the brush not 8' from me directly into a shaft of strong sunlight coming through the trees.

The bird actually glowed bronze and the various different colors that came from his feathers as he stood there with them ruffled up mesmerized with a beauty that I had not seen before. He hopped across the stream into another shaft of sunlight and with the woods totally silent and his pure beauty I sat there looking at this magnificent bird radiating his glorious colors and forgot why I was even there.

The entire incident only lasted 2-3 minutes but I was so transfixed with the pure beauty of that bird next think I knew he stepped behind a tree about a dozen feet away and was gone from sight. It was such a beautiful sight that I forgot I was hunting turkey and actually had a shotgun. On reflection it would have been the most severe crime against nature to have shot that bird under the circumstances.

We frequently have turkey around our house and while I have seen hundreds of wild turkey since I have never seen a bird that even came close to that bird. It was a rare moment where natures pure beauty gave me a glimpse of how gorgeous a brown turkey can be when they are illuminated in a shaft of sunlight.

While this doesn't speak highly of my hunting ability I hope it speaks favorably to my ability to appreciate something that is pure beauty.  It was like the time I was deer hunting and a doe walked out of the dense woods just a few feet from me followed by a very large buck who took that opportunity to mate with the doe. I couldn't bring myself to shoot him in that situation so waited and next thing I knew they were in the brush out of sight forever. I guess I never was much of a hunter actually. I just enjoyed being with the animals more than the thought of shooting them.

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