Spring turkey season... It's been a long love of mine and when I found out I was having a son, turkey hunting with him was one of the first thoughts I had of our future.
Spring Break for a 16 year old and turkey hunting with his Mom wasn't that high on his list of "want tos". Turns out, this boy of mine doesn't love turkey hunting as much as I do. In all fairness, he hasn't gotten to experience the adrenaline rush yet. But this trip turned out to be so much more than I could have ever asked or imagined. What a gift this trip was for my boy and I.
Time away from daily life, school, sports, friends, and Salty Britches, just doesn't happen often enough. Reluctantly, but never complaining, Trent packed his bag and helped me pack my car full of all things turkey hunting and fishing. We had some hurdles in pulling this trip together but ultimately got the opportunity to hunt on beautiful property in North East Alabama.
The hunt was not what made this trip so special. It was just the conduit for what did. TIME. Gracious, time is flying. We rented an Air BnB in Rome, Ga which was about a 3.5 hour drive. Trent is driving now, and oh how I have missed that time in the car with him. We talked, laughed, and ate Hot Tamales all the way to Rome. We spent the first day calling on some of our retail shops and visiting with great friends of mine. Early to bed for a 4 am wakeup. We never turned on the TV this entire weekend.
4:00 am came early. We had all of our gear laid out ready to go. I was nervous about Trent wearing new hunting boots. He has grown so quickly, the kid had nothing that fit. Hunting boots most often need to be broken in. I think he wore them once just to do yard work. Miserable feet is, well, miserable. We slathered our feet in Salty Britches and prayed for a safe day.
Day 1 was a silent turkey day, no gobbles, but we stuck it out all day long in the turkey woods. We took a break to eat and fish. The weather was gnarly, windy and raining that morning. The wind was fierce the entire day. Not once did my boy complain, and I know he wasn't sitting too comfortably. He's no longer a kid. Sitting uncomfortably that long would make anyone a miserable cuss. Not a peep from him. This boy was becoming a man. That may sound silly, but doing something uncomfortable and not complaining because you know how much it means to someone else, is not something most kids can manage. We did see 3 Jakes and a hen, but that was it. We drove back to the Air BnB, ate dinner and got ready for bed. No blisters and no complaints about miserable feet! Even though my life is all about Salty Britches, it still never ceases to amaze me.
Day 2, 4:00 am alarm and a new plan with our new friend and guide, Craig. This was Craig's property and he pulled out all the stops. We started this day on a hill top and saw a breathtaking sunrise. The rain was gone. But, the gobblers were silent. We did find super fresh bear tracks which isn't something we are used to seeing where we live. Hour after hour was silent, except for our bouncing bodies from the laughter. This day brought the uncontrollable laughter. Have you ever been sitting in church and got the giggles so bad you were crying? I can remember being in church as a teen sitting next to my Mom. There was an older man in the pew in front of us. A tiny worm crawled out of his hair! It must have landed on him from one of the trees outside of the church, but I am telling you, both of us were loosing it! That was one of the biggest belly laughs of my life and I will never forget that. Belly laughing when you have to be quiet is even funnier. Everything Trent and I did made us laugh. It was soothing to our souls and hopefully cemented these memories for a lifetime.
Finally, Trent couldn't take it anymore. Craig offered up fishing and Trent jumped at the chance. I went back to the woods alone. No turkeys, but I spent that time thanking our sweet Lord for his creation and time with my boy. We drove back to SC late in the evening. We talked about everything and the drive went by in a flash. It isn't lost on me how precious these talks are. This trip changed our relationship. All too often we rush around doing life. Having time to really spend together and talk about things is just priceless. My boy is so much more than my boy. He is hilarious, thoughtful, trustworthy and fun. Just as we arrived home, I received a text with a picture from the trail camera where we had been sitting about an hour after we left. 30 yards in front of us stood two giant long-beards. I am convinced they were belly laughing.