There are always lessons learned when enjoying the great outdoors. I once had a favorite box call that I used every season and when all else failed, that old raspy wooden box would nearly always invoke a response from a Tom turkey. I loved that call and carried it religiously like no other—assuredly it always had a place in my camouflage hunting vest.
Well, I was hunting at the U.S. Army’s Fort Benning, Georgia, military installation one day. I recall it was extremely hot that spring season and after walking around those Georgia woods for a better part of a day, I headed back to the truck that was parked along one of the main trails used by military vehicles.
Likely I was in a bit of a hurry, because as I got about a half-mile down the trail that was part gravel, part sand, I saw my favorite call fly off the truck bumper. Obviously, I had placed it there as I stowed my gear and weapon—but I missed seeing it as I closed the camper shell door.
To my utter horror, military vehicles were driving toward me from both directions and I could not stop. I continued driving about 300 more yards and hastily turned my truck around. In fact, I doubt if Starsky & Hutch were more apt at spinning a vehicle around in the Georgia dirt.
Anyway, as I drove toward the rescue, I saw my call in the middle of the road. It stuck out like a beacon in the night with that dark-stained walnut against that light colored trail. My exuberance quickly faded as a military convey would reach my lucky call before I would. As is proper protocol, I had to pull over as the 10 or so trucks passed over the call, but I positioned the truck where I could continue my over watch of the unprotected turkey trickster. I counted each truck as it passed…one, two, three….nine…my lucky call would indeed survive I thought…and then ten. To my disappointment, the last vehicle passed over but I could not see the results. When that past vehicle passed, I sped to inspect the results.
Sadly, my lucky call was not so lucky in the end—it had splinted into a hundred pieces under the weight of the truck. In the end, I told myself that I would never leave anything outside my vest gain—from keys to calls—it stayed in my vest even as I packed it up.
Fortuitously, a few weeks later I was turkey hunting in another area of post and when I stopped for a moment, I looked down—there was a turkey box call fully intact. Perhaps it was dropped by another unlucky hunter or perhaps—it was a close cousin that came to replace its kin.
Kevin Lee McIver
Groovy Outdoors Pro-Staff Team Lead