Meridian Star

March 15, 2013

The Turkey Hunter’s Continuing Education

By Otha Barham / outdoors editor
Otha Barham

MERIDIAN —    Everything changes when turkey season arrives. Our  spouses know what I mean. We hunters pretend to be sane persons for most of the year, but it won't sell during certain days of March and all of April. Even WE know we are in need of help during turkey season. Will our experiences result in learning that will save us?

    Most years the elusive birds beat me to a pulp and leave me for dead. They don’t even call 911. One year my Mississippi combatants shredded my efforts to bits. But I had a Plan B.

    I slipped off to North Carolina where the big birds didn’t know my every call and I fooled a big one on a rainy, stormy day when he didn’t expect me to be in his woods. I brought his overconfident carcass back to Mississippi is what I did! The birds here were holding meetings to laugh and joke about me and drink Bud Lite and make merry. But at least I got one of their cousin’s beards and spurs hanging on my wall. My lesson was to hunt unacquainted birds.

    Good turkey hunters are supposed to learn something new every season so they can become master turkey hunters eventually. Then youngsters will sit in a circle around them wide eyed and ask questions of them and people will point at them and whisper about them in public places. Mediocre turkey addicts will hang onto their every word. Those who have learned the code are careful to identify the truth as being the precise opposite of what the learned one says when it comes to information about a particular gobbler's location and preferences for dirty talk. This is called selective listening.

     Yes, for those not acquainted with the ways of turkey hunters, a turkey hunter MUST lie. It is a requirement; a very practical one. This is a one man/woman sport. Should you utter the truth about where a gobbler roosts or how to call it effectively or where the hens are gathering, you invite competition. And you can’t share a smart gobbler with the undisciplined.      

    Recently I learned one new thing that I can reveal without having to lie about it. You know those Little Darlin's Oatmeal Crème Pies (not their real name) 97 percent of which are sold to spring gobbler hunters for munching on during those long hours when they are being whipped by big birds with marble size brains? Well I learned that they are made in a super size!

    All these years I have purchased the regular size at the grocery store while I am buying my sardines and Vienna sausage. One day, there they were on the shelf; super size Little Darlin's Oatmeal Crème Pies! They are sandwich size Little Darlin's! The things are as big as medium size cow chips!

    And they have lots of nourishment. Each pie has over 300 calories (I usually have two). Check the ingredients, which are located on the bottom of the box in very small print for some reason, and they will guide you in determining the food groups they contain and thus the little pies' contribution to your health. The main ingredient is corn syrup. (Sure glad that is not sugar). Next is flour, which happily is enriched. (It doesn't say with what.) Soon appears dextrose, whatever that is. And yes, there is some sugar, but I am sure it’s not much. And then comes molasses and then mono and diglycerides, which Doc  said get together and make triglycerides, but he could be wrong you know. And then there is starch and palm and palm kernel oil and coconut and some more flour.

    Now my doctor frowns on sugar, triglycerides and flour. And I abstain most of the year. But I have calculated that during turkey season I walk approximately nine miles a day and burn off the Little Darlin's at the rate of three bites per mile. Thus I am sure he would approve of my turkey woods diet, so I won’t even bring it up with him.

    A medical person told me that these ingredients could plug my arteries so fast that you could feel them narrowing within 15 minutes after you eat. I have felt a little dizzy but I am certain that is simply the ecstasy of satisfied hunger.

    Anyway, when the turkey season is over and I return to a more sedentary life style, I will go off the Little Darlin's. Of course it would be a shame to waste those in a partially empty box.