Pennsylvania Game News - April 2013 - 12
However, I got sidetracked and
didn’t get back home until near
noon, so I changed clothes and
began some work on the computer
that I had been putting off.
I was interrupted a little later
by a knock on the door. It was my
neighbor who asked “Did you shoot
a turkey this morning?”
“No,” I admitted, but I told him
how I had flushed one.
“Well, there’s one lying in my
We rushed over to examine the
bird, which was on the ground under his clothesline. When I picked
it up, its head lolled on a broken
neck. The tom had obviously sailed
across the meadow and slammed
into his clothesline in the dark. My
neighbor insisted I take it.
Seeing its 10-inch beard and
long, sharp spurs, I was happy to
oblige. I immediately called the
Game Commission region office
to report what happened. Knowing
it would make a heck of a story, I
wanted everything to be on the upand-up. The dispatcher relayed my
message to the proper authority, who
soon called me back. He told me I
could keep the tom, and that he would
write me a permit for it, similar to those
given for road-killed deer. I think he
was just as amazed by the incident as
So on a hunt where I thought I had
blown it, I ended up with a tom with
the longest spurs I had ever seen, and
without firing a shot.
Pondering the circumstances, I
came to the conclusion that even in
the pre-dawn that tom had recognized
me and figured that because I was after
him, he didn’t have a chance and so decided to end it all. Or, thinking back I
probably grinned wryly as he flew away,
and like Davy’s, my good-natured grin
had spelled his doom.
My wife, Darla, had another theory.
For years I’ve told the story of the
man who was hunting squirrels when
he came upon another hunter. The
stranger was carrying no gun, but had
several bushytails hanging from his
belt. When asked how he had acquired
them, he told the first man, “Easy, I just
ugly ’em to death.”
“How in the world do you do that?”
At that moment a squirrel crawled
out on a limb above their heads.
“Watch this,” said the stranger. He
screwed up his face grotesquely at
the squirrel, which stiffened up and
tumbled from the tree, landing stone
dead at their feet.
“That’s the most amazing thing I’ve
ever seen,” said the astonished hunter.
Darla’s explanation: I uglied that
turkey to death. Maybe she’s right.