Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 24

including his raspy hen and various double reeds. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, his attempts fell on deaf turkey ears. If any gobbler answered us, the rain drowned out the response. Sometime between 10:30 and 11, the relentless rain assumed a more pugnacious and penetrating attitude. “I’ll say ‘Uncle’,” Hale conceded with reluctant resignation, and my turkey hunting aspirations came to an end for yet another year as the tenacious jinx endured. Fast forward a few years to spring, 2007, on the first Wednesday of spring gobbler season. Kennett Square’s Ron Dickens bagged an 18-pound gobbler with an 8½ inch beard, the 43rd turkey of his illustrious turkey hunting career and his second spring gobbler of the 2007 season. Dickens, one of the most accomplished turkey hunters I know, was familiar with the dreaded turkey jinx that has doggedly plagued me my entire life. Despite my being guided by some of the foremost turkey experts in the state on annual forays for the big bronze bird, the fateful jinx invariably thwarted all efforts and baffled my guides. Every attempt pretty much played out the same way as my morning with Jim Hale. After a few hours of fruitless hunting, failing to see or even hear a turkey, my guide du jour would shake his head in puzzled frustration, admitting, “This has never happened to me before,” or words to that effect. The Tatum Turkey Jinx overpowered all experts, no matter how impressive their turkey hunting credentials may have been. The challenge of ending the jinx was too much for Dickens to resist. He offered to act as my turkey hunting guide in a desperate attempt to finally break it. I had never bagged any turkey anywhere, although I had man24 aged a fleeting glimpse or two over the years. Like all of my past guides, Dickens was confident — or at least cautiously optimistic — that we stood a good chance of success hunting his game-rich property in Luzerne County. He had put in many hours of scouting and had seen both longbeards and quite a few jakes on a daily basis. He believed it would just be a matter of sitting tight and waiting them out. A number of factors made this prime turkey habitat — water, an abundance of white oaks to provide fall mast, plenty of hemlocks for roosting, and a food plot full of sprouting clover and other spring turkey delicacies. Dickens’ father, Carl, joined us for the morning hunt, driving down from his camp in Potter County. On the eve of our hunt, the elder Dickens noted, “Tomorrow’s my 75th birthday. I killed my first turkey on my birthday many, many years ago.” “Well, then,” I noted with bravado, “Maybe I’ll get my first turkey on your birthday, too.” At dawn the next day, Ron Dickens and I reported to our designated spot near a stand of clover where he set up two decoys. Just before 5:30 on Thursday morning, we settled in to await the morning’s action. Typical of my turkey hunting experiences, there was precious little. At around seven we glimpsed a distant hen scurrying away through the forest. Dickens’ calling efforts met with no response for the first few hours. “I think they’ve all got lockjaw,” he lamented. We were determined to wait it out until hunting closed at noon, though. The gorgeous weather cooperated, with no wind and a bright blue, cloudless sky. Finally, around 10:30, Dickens heard a distant gobble, but he had no luck enticing the bird any closer. Then, at around 11:15, we spotted a band of gobblers about a hundred yards away. Dickens let loose with a few yelps and clucks on his box call. The birds took note and began a zigzag route in our direction. “Here they come,” whispered GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009
Life & Times of the Whitetail
Contents
A Novice, Yes, But That’s Okay
Forestry & Wildlife
Raccoon & Beaver Tales
Spring Gobbler Double Take
The Old Man, Torment to Serenity
The Bender Fields
Death of the Turkey Jinx
WLA is Solid Gold
Wetlands for Wildlife
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Fun Game
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - A Novice, Yes, But That’s Okay
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Forestry & Wildlife
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Raccoon & Beaver Tales
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Spring Gobbler Double Take
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - The Old Man, Torment to Serenity
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - The Bender Fields
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Death of the Turkey Jinx
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - WLA is Solid Gold
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Wetlands for Wildlife
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2009 - Cover4
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