New Bern Now is back in town after a turkey hunting expedition in Allegany State Park, NY. In all reality, it was more of an exciting outdoor adventure with my sister.
Allegany has a special place in my heart, as I grew up vacationing there with my family and had my Navy Retirement Ceremony there around a campfire on Halloween 2007.
My sister, Darlene, and I have been turkey hunting for nine years. She comes to the Croatan National Forest for spring turkey hunting and I retreat to NY for the fall season.
When I arrived in Allegany, I was pretty excited as there was snow on the ground. I was hoping to see turkey tracks, but the next morning, the snow melted.
We were off wandering in the forest hunting for the wild turkey. We hit all of our past “hot spots” with no sign of turkeys. During our travels, we encountered: bald eagles, bear, chipmunk, coyote, deer, grouse, raccoon, red-tailed hawk, skunk, and squirrel among other wildlife.
We were stalked by a hunter searching for a turkey; little did he know that we were making the turkey calls he was after. Usually, when we see another hunter we call out, “hunters in the area”, but this guy was crazed looking as he was fanatically searching for turkey with his gun at the ready. As soon as he was out of sight, we heard him blast the shotgun and we left. He ruined what we thought was our prime turkey hunting spot.
On our way out of the woods we saw a bear about 50 feet from Darlene’s Jeep. As we got closer, the bear took off running as soon as we closed the doors to the Jeep.
The campfire was welcoming, as it kept us warm in the 30 degree temperatures. Our cabin was quaint, but we would have to stoke the tiny wood burning stove all night to warm the cabin to a steady 50 degrees. We were more concerned about sleep then posting a fire watch every 2 hours!
We spent over a week in the woods and didn’t bag the elusive turkey. Although we didn’t accomplish the mission, we really enjoyed “getting back to nature”. Spending quality time with my sister, I wasn’t about to let the turkey get the best of me. We had a great time and I didn’t have a worry in the World. It was truly a mind cleansing experience. Listening to the sounds of nature, breathing the fresh air and laughing about the simple things in life is food for the soul.
When was the last time you took a walk in the woods? Either in the park or forest, it may help you gather your thoughts and escape from any stressors of daily life.
For all you hunters, what do you cherish most? Time spent in the woods with your hunting partner or bagging that big Tom or Buck?
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