Among the many game animals that I enjoy pursuing, turkeys are by far my favorite. I revel in both the fall and spring seasons, and this year I have been fortunate enough to have assignments to hunt toms in Tennessee, North Carolina, West Virginia, and my home state of Virginia.
The seasons are now closed in all of the above quartet except West Virginia (where the season ends this Saturday), and I have been able to tag out in Carolina and Virginia, take two toms in the Volunteer State, and one so far in West Virginia. I have been afield 20 times and never before since I began turkey hunting in 1986 have I heard so few gobbles - maybe there is an article idea somewhere in that topic?
The late season Mountain State bird that I killed Saturday brought special joy because I had to hike far into the mountains to be successful. After I checked in and cleaned the bird, I saved the wing feathers for friend Duane Means who runs Arrow Forestry (www.arrowforestry.com). Duane only hunts with a primitive bow, and he uses turkey feathers to fletch his arrows. My wife Elaine will employ some feathers to tie her flies for fishing.
Elaine and I will dine on the breast, legs, and neck meat of the West Virginia tom, and even the feathers will be put to good use. Once again, all this proves what a joy it is to kill a wild turkey.