Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lessons Learned Turkey Hunting

In certain states, now is the time when hunters head to their favorite spot to bag a big tom -- turkey, that is -- longbeard. Hunters are lovingly cleaning their shotguns, checking their camo and tweaking their calls to gobbler-enticing perfection. After all, there is nothing so tasty as a big tom bagged in the woods. Turkey hunting is also a time to learn some good life lessons.

Patience is key. The turkey hunter may sit still for hours, calling out, only to have his efforts fail. Does the hunter give up? No, the hunter will regroup and try again. Over and over the hunter will call out the seductive calls the tom loves to hear, until such time as the light fades, the season ends or the turkey is in the bag. Patience is the virtue that separates the successful hunter from the unsuccessful one.

Patience is a virtue all men can use -- not just hunters. The man who practices patience will ultimately prevail over the man who charges ahead, trying to outrun everyone else. Sometimes a man has to figuratively sit with his back to a tree, calling out to those around him, luring them in. A man that can sit still and wait for the right opportunity will have more success than the man who can't sit still.

Act decisively. The hunter who lines up his shot, only to hesitate, will find his shot missing the mark more often than not. Once the hunter has the tom in his sights, he must act. He must act deliberately, but act he must. If he waits, if he hesitates on the trigger, he will have nothing but a loud ringing in his ears instead of a nice dinner.

Decisive action is another virtue men should use. Deliberate, decisive action can lead men through the path and pitfalls of life, while indecision and hesitation will often sidetrack and derail a man. Think about that infamous question wives ask: "What do you want for dinner?" The man who answers deliberately and decisively with "steak" will more often than not see a big, juicy steak on his dinner plate. The man who hems and haws around with an "I don't know. Whatever" will likely get just that: some steamed zucchini, a nice bowl of roughage and, if he's lucky, a char-grilled veggie burger -- but no steak.

Use the right call. A "cluck" works to get a tom's attention, a "purr" means contentment and a "putt" sounds an alarm. If a hunter putts when he should purr, the tom flees. Hunters need to use the right call to bring the tom within striking range.

Guys, we need to use the right "call" words for optimum results. If we yell when we should soothe, we hurt those around us instead of helping them. Guys, choose your words carefully and then work on how you deliver them. Saying "I'm sorry" in an angry or sarcastic tone of voice doesn't quite convey a sense of apology.

The best part of turkey hunting just may be the time spent in the woods, however. Sometimes we need to get away by ourselves and recharge. Hunting may not be it for you, but something is. Perhaps it's golf, reading a book, watching a movie, cutting the grass, walking the dog, changing the oil or something else that gets you outside your routine and helps you take time to recharge and be a better husband, father, coach and friend.

I can't wait to get away. Gobble, gobble!

1 comment :

The Layman said...

I once had an opportunity to help the Davenport, Iowa Chapter put on a duck calling contest. Have you ever worked or observed a duck calling contest inside a building for a few hours? It's much like all the confusing rhetoric we read in the comment pages of newspapers.

There are those who stand by the written and spoken word of our Heavenly Father and there is also a faction out there in the wilderness who would call us the Christian Taliban thanks to bin Laden.

But a personally bagged turkey must surely be a prize on the thanksgiving table. Keep the posts coming!