If you look up the definition of hunt in the dictionary, you will find that the word hunt means “to scour (an area) in pursuit of game”. It doesn’t have to mean “to kill”. You see, I don’t always hunt to kill. Sometimes it is the thrill of being in the woods and observing an animal, whether it is a deer or a turkey, or other game, can be the thrill of the hunt. This week I had one of those hunting days.

I left work on Tuesday and headed up to my hunting camp, focused on hunting some turkeys on Wednesday. I had heard from one of my friends that there were several turkeys hanging out in the field near the camp. I couldn’t wait to get there! I set up my turkey blind and my decoys that evening hoping to call them off their roost at first light.

I went to sleep early so I could get an early start on the day. All I could think about on my way to my blind was I was going to get a turkey. I settled into my blind and pulled my turkey calls out of my pack. With light chirps and tree yelps, I tried to call in my first turkey. I hear them responding in the distance. Before too long I saw a hen appear at the bottom of the field. I watched the hen waiting for the tom to follow. Low and behold, a couple Jakes came up and started sparring out in front of my blind. I was told there were a number of Jakes and a gorgeous Tom with them by my friend earlier that week. I decided to continue to make some calls to see if the big boy appeared. I spent my time quietly observing and getting lost in watching these playful birds.

As luck would have it, it wasn’t meant to be on this day. Although I spent the entire morning waiting for the tom to appear I was intrigued by the nature that surrounded me. A couple of cottontails playfully chased each other around the field, crows landing in various spots and just the sounds of nature around me. I completely got lost in watching all of these things happening around me, I didn’t pick up my gun or my camera until it was almost too late. I managed to snap a couple of shots with the camera before they disappeared.

Some would call this a bad day of hunting, but to me a bad day of hunting is always better than a good day at work. I can say I have never had a bad day of hunting. Once you appreciate that hunting is to pursue and killing is only the end result, then you truly know what hunting is all about. There will be a day that I do take an animal, and I will appreciate it every bit as much, but on this day, I am just content to be part of nature.

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