Things That Go BUMP in the Blind!
Mar30

Things That Go BUMP in the Blind!

Those of us who hunt turkeys can’t wait to get out in the woods to take on the challenge of calling in that gobbler and making a perfect shot. Unlike deer hunting, where we have the option to sit high above the ground in our tree stands, we are resigned to hunting from a ground blind or under a tree. I love sitting up high and being able to look down and know what is going on all around me. But turkey hunting does not offer that opportunity, as elevated blinds aren’t allowed. When turkey hunting, I prefer a ground blind to sitting up against a tree. Like last year, I am hunting solo but very grateful that I will be dropped off at my blind instead of having to walk a long way to get there in the early darkness. Entering my blind, I settle in and set up as quickly as possible so that I can turn off my headlamp to avoid alerting the turkeys roosting high up in their trees. I check that my gun is loaded, and the safety on. A blind is just that—a blind. You can’t see in, and in the dark you can’t see out! I rest my handgun on my lap, just in case. In case of what, you ask? Memories of last year swirl in my head. I was dropped off deep in the South Carolina swamp near Gum Branch Creek. My blind was set up approximately 2 miles away from where my husband would be hunting. The guide said he would be back around 11 to pick me up. As I was getting ready to turn off my light, I checked my cell phone to make sure I had reception so that I would be able to text my husband, and at that moment I realized my battery did not charge overnight as I had expected. Okay, I have no cell phone, no backup battery pack, and no one’s coming for me for five hours! Immediately, my mind is on high alert. What if a snake bites me? What if I have an accident? Could there really be a Swamp Man? What the heck was that noise? It sounds close! My handgun is off my lap and held in a firm grip in my hand prepared for anything that might happen. I take a deep breath and calm myself down. Yoga breathing. Yes, everything will be fine. It was probably a squirrel. Minutes seem like hours as the owls screech overhead, and the blackness inside my blind has never seemed blacker. There’s no moon to lighten the skies. I swear...

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Hot Gobble Soup on a Cold Wintry Night!
Mar16

Hot Gobble Soup on a Cold Wintry Night!

In just a few more days. we will be out hunting turkeys, so  I checked the freezer and saw that we had two large packs of turkey breast meat from last March.  The weather is cold tonight with temps expected to go to the mid 20’s which is very cold for a night in March in South Carolina.  What could be better than wild turkey soup with wild rice?   Nothing except organic vegetables, spices, and wild rice was used to celebrate this beautiful bounty!  What an amazing dinner we had!   I tried a different approach to making the soup and was happy with the results.   Check out this recipe: Ingredients: Turkey breast meat cut in into chunks 4  carrots 4 stalks of celery 1 large onion 6 cloves of  garlic- crushed in large hunks 1  can of diced tomatoes 1 carton of chicken broth low sodium organic 4 cups of water Fresh sprigs of parsley Spices:  salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, tarragon, rosemary, onion powder, garlic salt- to taste! I tried something different – I tossed the turkey chunks with olive oil and seasoned them with rosemary, salt and pepper,  I roasted them in the oven for about 15 minutes so that they were partially cooked.   I sautéed the onions, carrots, garlic, and celery in olive oil until translucent.  I added all the ingredients except the wild rice into the crockpot and cooked for 4 hours on high.  I added the wild rice the last hour.   The soup had a fresh, aromatic, and hearty appeal.  My hubby said it was the best wild turkey soup he has ever had and I have to agree!  We are so inspired to have a very successful turkey hunting season this Spring.  Thank you Mr. Tom!           Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Giants Among Turkeys!
Feb16

Giants Among Turkeys!

When I joined the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association by the urging of writers, Dr. Bobby Dale and Jim Casada,  I had no idea I would be in such incredible company.  If being a career Emergency Medicine physician isn’t enough, Dr. Dale of Tupelo, MS shares his passion for turkey hunting by writing books about adventures he and his colorful and famous cohorts have enjoyed over the years.   I am so tickled to add Turkey Roost Tales, Bearded Rednecks, and his very special children’s book, Rainbow to my library.  Dr. Dale’s hunting tales confirm that being a  turkey hunter puts you in a club that is distinguished from all others.  It’s that immediate smile you get when you say “turkey hunting” and you know right then the person you are speaking with is in the club.      Rainbow will touch your heart.  It has a special message not only for your special youngster but for you as well.  Nature belongs to everyone and the “main character” will make you feel like a child again. Check out dg book sale to find out more about these wonderful books and Dr. Dale will be happy to inscribe them for you. Dr. Bobby Dale, SEOPA’s first vice president, read my article that appeared in Sporting Classics Daily and asked Jim Casada to contact me to encourage me to be a part of this outdoor communications organization.  Jim has been my sponsor and my mentor and I could not feel more privileged to be associated with these amazing writers.  Quite frankly, it is a bit intimidating to have these talented writers read my articles and blog posts!  I humbly admit, I write for fun and my writing skills are not on their level or even close! Jim Casada is a retired history professor from Winthrop University and a widely published outdoor writer with over 40 books and over 5000 magazine articles published.  Currently the Editor at Large for Sporting Classics,  he has earned more than 150 excellence-in-craft honors for his writings.  I first learned of Jim Casada several years ago,  when my husband and I received a book gift,  America’s Greatest Game Bird by Archibald Rutledge- edited by Jim Casada.  Written in the first half of the 20th century, Rutledge’s stories about turkey hunting are timeless and capture the spirit of why the turkey is truly the greatest game bird.   Jim Casada masterfully assembled what is called the Rutledge Quintet a collection of books with Rutledge’s tales of his love for  hunting and the outdoors.    To get more information on these books, visit Jim Casada Outdoors where there is a virtual library of some of the best outdoor...

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The Bearded Lady
Jun03

The Bearded Lady

Going Home… Turkey hunting season had been over in SC for almost a month, but not in PA where the season ended on May 31st. I planned to visit my family Memorial Day Weekend in northeastern Pa and of course, to hunt turkeys. I was born and  grew up in Pa, but have resided in SC for most of my life.   Since I did not take a bird this year in SC, I was eager to have a successful hunt. I took care of getting my Non- Resident PA Spring Turkey License and was intently looking forward to hunting turkeys on the family farm. With a very limited hunting time available and a whole lot of family gatherings, I had to make the most of it. The Hunt My husband was not hunting, but I was happy for him to come along with me.    We set up in the blind at 4:30 am and quietly waited for the woods to awaken with sounds of birds singing around us. As light broke, we were excited to see wildlife including a beautiful deer and a very aggressive coyote working the field. It’s coloration blended in with the landscape and it was on the hunt for a meal. It provided us with some great entertainment, but I knew that a coyote would not be good for a hunt as he would scare off the turkeys. “I laughed to myself wondering if my turkey calling would have a southern accent!’ One distinct difference in PA is that all bearded birds are legal to hunt in the Spring, unlike SC where it is not legal to shoot bearded females. For those of you who are not familiar, yes about 10 % of female turkeys have beards. Quite often hunters take bearded hens thinking it was a Tom based on the fact that it has a beard.I was so happy to finally see 3 birds about 200 yards away. I laughed to myself wondering if my turkey calling would have a southern accent! The biggest bird had a 4+ inch beard and as it got closer, I could see it was a bearded hen. Because of my time constraints, I made a decision that I would not hold out for a big Tom.  For today, it was about the harvest.   I took the bird and my hunt was over. Now, I was determined to prepare the turkey for traditional roasting so I picked the feathers and cleaned the bird so that there would be no waste. Many hunters only harvest the breast meat, but that was never an option for me. Preparing...

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Guest Blog: Carman Brown Meets “Mr. Tom”!!!!
May13

Guest Blog: Carman Brown Meets “Mr. Tom”!!!!

  In 2000, I started dating Tommy Brown, who is by far the greatest turkey hunter that I know. Tommy is an extreme hunter, woodsman & naturalist, as well as a fine Southern Gentleman. When turkey season came around, he invited me to go turkey hunting with him. I was only a spectator but my first turkey hunting experience is still very vivid to me and one of my most cherished times in the woods. We went into the deep swamp before dawn and Tommy did a Barred Owl call & a gobbler gobbled right back at him. The turkey’s gobble, which I had never heard before, sounded like nearby thunder. We sat down on our stools and got into position. As Tommy was getting organized with his calls, I watched a baby squirrel playing 5 feet in front of me. I had the sense something was watching me and looked up into a tree about 10 feet to my right where I saw a Great Horned Owl staring at the baby squirrel. I sat extremely still with amazement. Then the owl soared down, grabbed the small squirrel with his talons took it back to the limb on which he had been perched and threw the squirrel back like a thirsty cowboy doing a shot of liquor in a saloon. The owl spun his head and peered at me like “You are next!” About the time the owl flew away, the gobbling started again, yet this time it was much closer and literally made the ground tremble! There he was, the most amazing bird I had ever seen with a brilliant red, white and blue head. And as I was admiring all his splendor as he strutted and gobbled out in front of us he quickly met his demise. I WAS SOLD ON THIS TURKEY HUNTING THING! Without ever shooting a gun, I felt as though I was obsessed with wild turkey hunting. A week later I started learning to shoot a shotgun with a turkey drawn on a piece of plywood in the yard. I bagged my first bird days later. We hunt in the deep swamp surrounded by cypress and tupelo trees. And every spring I find myself venturing into areas that I cannot fathom that I am exploring. Tommy is an amazing hunter, more adventurous than I sometimes like, walking us a half a mile or more into what I feel confident is a moccasin-infested area. I pray along the way as I wear my snake boots asking the Lord to keep the serpents away from us & us out of all danger. Yet, each time...

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He said he was not a good turkey caller, and then…
Apr18

He said he was not a good turkey caller, and then…

My husband, Trippett is always saying that I am the one that knows how to call a turkey and that he is the novice.  Well, that is not exactly what happened this weekend at one of the the most gorgeous spots in the low country… Deerfield Plantation , in St, George, SC.  where we are members.   This place is simply beautiful.  The facilities will bring you back in time with its spectacular lodge and grounds. The staff is exceptional and over the past 3 years have passed along some of their trade secrets to successful turkey hunting. Being the rabid turkey hunter that I am, I am always reading, practicing, and learning the different calls.   On the other hand, my husband relies on me to help him with calls when he has time to think about it.  He obviously is a good student.  He had a textbook exchange with a love torn Tom who fell victim to his sultry calls he made with his slate call this weekend.  This was extra special as the slate call is a one of a kind call made by my brother, Jim.  My brothers,  Charles, Johnny, & Jim,  provide the slate for a large number of turkey call manufacturers in the United States.  But, you can’t always rely on one type of call… You need a lot of tools in your tool chest.  That is what makes it so exciting and challenging.  We both still need a lot of practice but at the end of the day, we are always grateful for the time spent in the majestic woods.  There are no words to truly describe how much we love our hunts.  It is truly a privilege and a blessing!  Oops!  gotta run!  Wild turkey soup needs some stirring!!! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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