Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Achilles Gobbler -- The Rest of the Story‏

In the Great Out-of-Doors; the next big surprise may be waiting just around the corner. . . .

Gone but not forgotten, Snowstorm Achilles has been entered into the Weather History Book.  Beginning with a two-inch rainfall, the jack hammer storm system dumped and additional 16 inches of wet and heavy snow on Northern Iowa during May 2 & 3.  I was able to spend most of both days playing in the weather, mainly shooting photos while trying to bag a fourth season turkey.  During both storm days I encountered a magnificent gobbler with a long thick beard and sickle spurs.  I soon dubbed the bird as the "Achilles Gobbler".  This is the first time I've hung a personal name tag on a bird; I guess that record book storm just had me all wound up.  Much to my dismay, the Achilles Gobbler completely vanished after the storm.  A few days later I figured he was out of my life -- for good.

I started hunting different timbers.  When I shot a gobbler on May 10, I was thrilled that the bird was in the real Wall Hanger class.

The following morning, I was reviewing some of the snowstorm photos when I ran across the shots of the Achilles Gobbler.  In one of the pictures [Close Call Gob] I noticed that the turkey had a healed over cut just below the knee on his left leg -- an injury probably sustained while trouncing up on a group of some puny three or four year old toms.  Anyway, something bothered me about that photo, but I didn't know what it was.  A few minutes later, the light bulb suddenly came on.  The turkey I had just shot also had a similar cut on one of his legs.  Rushing to examine the slain gobbler's legs, I was delighted to discover that his left leg was a perfect match -- the healing wound was as distinctive as any personalized tattoo.  Another photo of the [live] turkey showed a similar cut at the base of the middle toe on the same foot.  Again it was a perfect match.

"Praise God", I exclaimed!  I had actually bagged the Achilles Gobbler and didn't even realize it until the next morning.  I realize that I may be taking this a bit out of context [or maybe not] but the Lord truly does work in mysterious ways.  The bottom line is that I'm extremely grateful to have had the experience and, needless to say, am grateful for the bird.  Although I've never done a full body mount on a wild turkey, this memorable gobbler is currently on its way to the taxidermist. 




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