Meridian Star

April 4, 2014

Can a turkey hunt lead to a successful life?

By Otha Barham
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — We all experience times of inspiration and times of disillusionment as natural parts of living. Wild turkey hunting is a microcosm of these aspects of life in general, because the many times gobblers give us the slip bring on dejection, at least temporarily, and when we finally bring one to gun the elation inspires us to push on with the quest.

    In Mike Giles book, “Passion of the Wild,” he deals in his stories with inspirations as related to our passions about the outdoors. One particular story, “Wade Fulfills His Dream,” chronicles how important an inspired passion can be to Wade Anderson's life, and by inference to our own lives.

    Few pursuits in the outdoors surpass spring gobbler hunting for stirring passion in those who practice it. And quite understandably, for those of us who are addicted to the fine sport, Anderson aspired to bag one of the fine but illusive birds. And Mike Giles was privileged to help make this happen for him. Mike, a seasoned gobbler hunter with exceptional calling and strategical skills, roosted a bird the evening before setting Wade up the following morning.

    Fate intervened and the tom's favorite hen was spooked off the roost as the hunters made their way in the dark to their calling spot. With some of their competition eliminated, the gobbler was more vulnerable. Mike's calling skill brought in the fine bird that even drummed when he got close to alert the hunters. Giles urged Wade to full alert and when the big bird appeared, he made a perfect shot and fulfilled his dream.

    This and a basic love for what Wade Anderson found in the outdoors inspired him to seek a job as a Wildlife Conservation Officer, leaving a high paying job with a well known company. The move involved struggles, but the man's new dream prodded him on. At last that dream was realized. But this wildlife officer was to live his dream only a few years until a heart ailment took his life.

    Giles points out the wisdom of going for your dream instead of staying in some job or behavior that is not satisfying. And he says, “Don't wait too long, as time may not be on your side.” He quotes the book of James in the Bible, life “is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

    “Passion of the Wild” urges hasty cultivation of your most passionate dreams.