Spring Turkey Season- Ticks, Pine Trees & Tequila13 min read
Well The title sums it up! I promised to bring the stories that brought on some laughter 🙂 I’m not giving up yet, don’t be confused! The 2018 Spring turkey season has begun and man has it been an interesting time.
Many of you know if you follow me on my social accounts, a new year brought some new leased land. Coming back home to Georgia. We were fortunate to have an offer to get on a lease down south for turkey . It doesn’t take long to see that my family has a certain two individuals that I like to call “My People”, not any people, special people! They are mine, our best friends, and closest allies in all things we actually love! Hunting, Off-Roading, Alabama football, late nights grilling, back decks chilling and more. Team Vandergriff is a couple we love to spend our time with and this year finally got to get out in the woods with. Let me fill you in on our opening week adventures down in South Georgia!
That’s me at camp by the way…I’d say we touched base around 3:00 a.m….
Yep a little late you’d think right? Wrong! Our crew seems to never have a curfew we follow.
Anyways, are you wondering why we were so late to camp? Which was a 3-hour drive period. Let me fill you in! Bianca remembered that she needed a new turkey choke last-minute when I had known for months…don’t judge me! We also had not packed our food and beverages, planning to stop on the way down. Which was pretty normal for our group really… So as soon as everyone got off work, we packed up my truck, my dog bear and all, and put the pedal to the metal!
My sidekick, happy to be on the road with me. Yes That’s my laptop, even on the road I’m working in my blog 🙂
I was a little mindful that I should stop up north for my turkey choke, as I was not up for the bowhunt again so soon. On the way down would be another Cabela’s though and we figured we’d make it by 9:00 no problem! WRONG we hit traffic and I was on the phone with the gun counter at the Cabela’s at 8:50!! begging them not to close till I got in for my choke. The counter employee agreed to pull the choke for my model and have it waiting for me. God Bless him!! Crisis diverted as we flew through traffic and pulled in with 2 minutes to spare. Got my choke…then decided they had some nice sale prices!!! Heck let’s look around! No rush right…Here I was in yoga pants, some random black shirt, socks that weren’t mine and way too big, and my realtree house slippers (Had both pairs of boots in the truck). No makeup, bed head and a migraine had me wandering around like a hobo.
Before long…. we were gently kicked out …guess the Cabela’s employees had things to do on a Friday night!
We left the parking lot around 9:30-9:45…ish. Then I decided I needed to get rid of all that Gatorade I drank. Soon after pulling out of Cabela’s, we pulled into the closest gas station to use the restroom. Also grabbing some snacks! After an epic battle between Bear and Team Vandergriff (Bear did not like his seat taken) We got back on the road!
Fast forward to an hour or so later, trying to get through Atlanta with TERRIBLE traffic and road construction.
We still had not ate dinner and it was coming up on 11:00 p.m., still a. good 2 hours from camp. We make it through Atlanta and make our usual Walmart dash and grab. We all go our ways snatching up what each had to have (bean dip for me, got to have the bean dip)!
So, we regroup and the question is dropped…. should we go ahead and check the hunting section?!!!
Here it is every bit of 12:00-1:00a.m and we just had to “double check” and see what this new Walmart had to offer in their hunting section…clearly it was required. So, we finally checkout, who knows what else we grabbed at this point, I’m sure we didn’t need it but we got it anyways.
We pull out and spot a Steak N Shake! Rejoice its dinner time!! Wrong again…did you know not all of those restaurants are open 24/7? Had the crew outside tell us they were closed, so Arby’s it was.
Back on the road and we finally got the tires on a dirt road and was cutting back to camp around 2:30 a.m.
The fastest part was unloading, having done this many times as a group, we get it done!
We got unpacked and beds made and go figure, we decide to stand around and chat(like we ain’t been in a truck together for 4 hours) for a while, why not! We love each other <3 Bear had already decided it was bed time as we finally got cozy in our little back woods camper. I wouldn’t have traded that bed for a Hilton room in a million years. It was a happy feeling. Seriously one of the most comfortable beds I feel like I ever laid on. Maybe I was exhausted, maybe I was in my happy place, back deep in the woods, what more could a girl ask for right? As I snuggled into my quilts, my dog cozy on my legs and the lantern died off, I just had to smile, because I was happy and life was good.
With 2.5-3 hours to sleep it was time to get up , get dressed and get to walking to beat first light.
Sure, enough we were back on our feet like a fine oiled machine, ready to roll! Maybe our many trips off-roading with the quick wake up calls and hitting the trails has conditioned us. Of course, I was the last one up as usual! I like to get every moment I can in the bed. Once I stretched, I was quick to shake the chill off getting uncovered, I sleep in my base layer cold gear at least. The buddy heater slowly started warming the camper, I double checked my best and loaded my Benelli, had a nice cup of coffee (More like tablespoon, I never drink a whole cup, April finishes it for me) ready and threw on my gear and we set out to the woods. Got settled in time as first light hit and the woods started singing that sweet melody.
Although all of us have successfully harvested wild turkey…we are still heavy deer hunters at heart.
Learning to better turkey hunt kinda side by side. Wondering where the tick come in at? EVERYWHERE they come in EVERYWHERE!! As we separated, one thing was the same! the seed ticks started coming out and as we all sought coverage among tree stumps and brush we got covered! We knew the ticks would be out but the temperature had dropped and just our luck it spiked back up the day we didn’t spray first! So here I came hauling tail out of the woods like I was on FIRE as I realized that was not my hair brushing my neck and head (starting to feel something crawling on me now typing this) …that was ticks, multiple ticks crawling down my shirt and up my pants!! Funny that we all realized it about the same time and saw each other coming out of our spots in various places. Heading back to camp and literally soaking in repellant. I stripped down and had it dripping off my skin I sprayed so much.
Although there had been turkeys on cam for months even days leading up to the trip, however we did not get a shot at one. We all have our theories as to why, but who really knows. So, the last night there I settled for a fajitas and nice raspberry margarita. Just one, since I knew we’d be back out the next morning to try again. Heavy rain came through and cut our hunt short the next day but I had no complaints. We have an idea of where they roost and hope to get back south before the closing, no worries! None the less….Life was good.
One thing remains true, we are thankful for our friends “my people” for sharing a lease with us on short notice.
I got a lot of practice in on my calls, I got to once again be back outdoors where the wild things roam and we made more memories I will cherish forever. That’s a part of it though, the stories we have when the hunt is over. The friendships we strengthen, and laughter we can’t find anywhere else. I’m blessed beyond measure to have a very small circle but a circle that without a doubt loves me and you better believe will be on the road with me when the road gets tough. I have never had friendships like this and I like to think our shared interests, honest intentions and good hearts that have to credit. As hunters, we tend to be a certain type of people. I can pick up conversation with another person who hunts like we are old friends. It’s what the heart revolves around that makes us connected. Yes, our trip down was a bit of rollercoaster but honestly, looking back, it’s always that way, that’s just how we “roll” get there when we get there 🙂 I wouldn’t change a thing.