The turkeys in the backyard, twenty or twenty five of them, seem pretty tame to me. I remarked that even I could shoot one of them, no problem. My mother remarked that come turkey season, these same turkeys will make themselves scarce. They know. She added that hunting season starts in early May, which coincides with mating season, which doesn’t seem exactly fair to me. Shouldn’t turkeys be concentrating on making little turkeys rather than running for their lives?
I looked it up. Sure enough, turkey hunting season in New Hampshire is May 3-31. Limit: one male or bearded turkey. Hours: Thirty minutes before sunrise to noon. Legal methods: Archery or shotgun (10, 12, 16 or 20 gauge, using 2 or smaller size shot).
All this reminded me of a story I heard long ago, but haven’t told in awhile. Spring (it is spring, isn’t it?) seems like a good time to haul it out of mothballs.
Years ago the salmon used to run heavy up the Cockermouth River into Newfound Lake. Of course, when the salmon were running up river to spawn, you couldn’t fish for them. It wouldn’t be fair. They had their minds on other things.
Nancy was in the backyard hanging laundry when she heard shooting down by the river. In other parts of the country, like Boston, if you hear gunfire you head in the other direction, but in New Hampshire, when you hear gunfire, you investigate. Which is what Nancy did. She walked cross country through the woods, clambered over a stone wall or two and came to the river, where she saw her neighbor Charlie sitting on the back with a .22 across his knees.
“Charlie, what are you doing?” she said.
Nancy looked and beyond Charlie in the ferns she saw three beautiful big salmon, all laid out, not looking too lively. “Shooting muskrats, huh!” she said.
“Yup. Scaly buggers, ain’t they?”