The fall hunts are in full swing and last weekend was the official opening for quail as well as turkey.
Shotgunners were in the desert just a few miles south of Payson, trying their luck at bagging a limit of these feathered rockets. That is no easy task for most of us who only pick up that favorite 12- or 20-gauge a few times a year and expect to bring home a few quail for the skillet.
headed to the pine trees with a fall turkey tag in my pocket and a daypack of calls to lure in "old longbeard".
Well, over 10 years ago, I quit hunting them in the fall or spring because the consuming passion of calling a bird into shotgun range quite literally became an addiction.
Prior to going to work, I would be in the woods calling birds for me or one of my friends. After work, at sundown, I would be roosting birds for the next day's hunt. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be a problem.
Well, I quit "cold turkey" and now just occasionally call on one of my extended point to point hikes.
As it turned out, I helped finance the Arizona Game and Fish Department by purchasing a tag and had the opportunity to wander the woods on a couple of early morning hunts last weekend. I was in turkey country, but heard no birds answer my yelps. I did see a track and a feather or two, as was walking a ridgeline from one mountain to the next.
As the season comes to a close, I will probably have that tag in my wallet and the satisfaction of toting my shotgun on a couple of early morning hunts. My passion for turkey hunting no doubt has waned, but the thrill of hearing a gobble or cluck on a Rim Country ridgetop still gets the adrenaline flowing. This weekend, enjoy the fall colors in the Rim Country, God's creation.