We’re sorry to learn of the death of Cheryl Carpenter. I didn’t even know she was sick. Back when she was still Cheryl Graves she worked with us in the Sun office She moved to Joplin and got a job at the newspaper there. They wouldn’t let her do the job she had handled so well in our office because she was a woman. Probably couldn’t get away with that today.
When she came back to ElDo, we continued to be friends with Cheryl; her mother, Moody; her husband, Jerry, and their two daughters, Jami and Kali.
• Judi Scott Baldwin put a photo on Facebook of her husband, Jerry, shaking the snow off lilacs. She said it’s supposed to be April showers bring May flowers not April snows.
Now, what I heard is: April showers bring May flowers. And what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims.
Davis has been trying really hard to connect with a gobbler, but the weather had been atrocious up until Saturday when he got one – his biggest to date – a 24-10 with four beards up to 11 1⁄2 inches.
Davis likes to hunt in the rain, probably because turkeys typically go to open fields in the rain, possibly because the noise of rain hitting the fallen leaves in the timber might make it easier for a predator to sneak up on them, But who knows how a turkey’s little brain work? I do know it is unusual for Davis to get out of bed that early in the morning. Even so, to keep a gobbler from spotting me in the moonlight, I would get up earlier and get in position 45 minutes before sunrise. I’ve bawled like a calf as I walked in knowing the gobbler would hear me walking.
I told Davis that I participated in a gobble study put on by the MDC several years ago. From my early morning sessions in the dark, I observed that turkeys won’t gobble if it is going to rain that day.
I noticed in those early morning listening sessions that owls don’t hoot if it’s going to rain that day. That might be the key, Don’t know.
Gobblers seem to hate owls and coyotes. Sometimes a fake owl hoot will trigger a morning gobbler unless you try it too many times. Sometimes an imitation coyote howl will trigger a gobbler that has already gone to roost – telling you where to be the next morning. I’ve had a horn honk get a roosting gobbler to sound off. Once Dad and I accidentally called a gobbler about a quarter of a mile in the middle of the day with a pump that squalled as we sprayed multi-flora rose. Nothing came of it and we never saw him.
If you wait until 5 a.m. to get out there, the gobblers have been calling hens to their trees for about an hour and are about ready to fly down to them. You need to pretend to be an interested but reluctant hen long before then if you hope to entice a gobbler to come looking for you.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Gobblers survive by finding exceptions. Some old, wily gobblers seem to get virtually uncallable. That’s when you need to put on your thinking cap, observe what the gobbler does and where he goes, then get there before he does and be waiting for him. Sit still. Don’t call. And watch out for sneaky hens that just love to rat you out. Once I put out a decoy and a hen almost convinced me she had seen me when she started fussing at the decoy. I kept quiet and finally the gobbler saw the decoy, came on the run and rode home with me.
So far this season, I’m just an armchair quarterback since I can’t walk good enough to hunt. My 25 or 30 years of advice is free and not overpriced unless you take it. KL