Wednesday, March 30, 2011


If you've hunted long enough, you've probably come to the same conclusions about hunting partners that I have.  There are people I hunt with, be it being dealt the days pit line-up or paying back a favor, and there are people I like to hunt with.  The former is generally calling to see if you have anywhere to take them, the latter is just glad to be going and generally is a lot of fun to go hunting with.  I'll admit, I've had a lot of folks I find myself hunting with, but not really many I enjoy sharing my time outdoors with.  I'm positive many other people can say the same thing about me.

My buddy Busky is one of the guys I truly enjoy hunting with.  He not only stays in touch during hunting seasons, but also afterwards, always wanting to know how my family is doing.  That's important to me, because that tells me he's more worried about a friendship than what I have to offer as far as hunting opportunities.

We've traveled a few times to hunt turkeys, and I can always count on Busky pulling his share of the load.  Like take the times we've woken up and left at 3 a.m. to get to a western spot in time to roost birds.  He's always there talking it up making sure I stay awake while driving....

Busky keeping me awake on a long road trip.

I think another reason we get along so well, particuarly on long road trips (that sometimes end in futility...well, several times have), is the fact we share a certain perverse sense of humor:

Is anyone really surprised???

Busky's fool-proof method for cattle enclosure - on sale now.

But when it's all said and done, Busky's one of the few folks I turkey hunt with, with any regularity anyway.  He's a good turkey hunter that never expects (nor asks) to be the shooter.  He seems to just enjoy the outdoors, any way he can. 

We have this running argument, that's gone on for more years than I can count.  Every turkey hunt we've made together, with the exception of our out-of-state hunts, he leaves his gun in the truck.  I've started watching for it, and reprimanding as best I can.  Yesterday, I honestly thought he had his gun with him. 

We met at our usual meeting spot around 6 a.m., and he loaded his stuff up in my truck - the gun was there.  We get to where we park the truck, and I heard the gun being fooled with, so I assumed it was being loaded...and, that was the last I thought about Busky's gun. 

Busky and I tend to do as much story-telling as we do hunting, but at the appointed hour, he looks at me and said, "did you just hear that gobble?"  I hadn't, to be honest.  A minute or so later, he heard it again - again, I wasn't sure, but I know Busky.  He's not the type to say he "hears" something if he doesn't.  I walk about 100 yards towards where he thought he heard the bird and listened.  Busky stayed in the original spot to keep listening there.  I heard nothing, Busky heard 2 more, pointing in the general direction.  Not knowing exactly where they were roosted, my plan was the split the difference and not get too deep in their territory at first light.

Reaching the area I thought was best to set up in, the dawn was shattered by a gobble.  We both looked at each other and said, "we need to move back in the timber more."  The bird was walking the same path we did on the way in.  I looked at Busky and was like, "dude, get your gun!"  His reply, "it's in the truck, sit down and shut up."

Within minutes, it was over.  The bird worked like you want them too.  He gave us a bit of a show, with some strutting and gobbling, and I gave him a face full of Heavi-Shot.

I scolded him pretty good on the gun deal - AGAIN - but his hard-headed butt could care less.  He's there for the show. 

It couldn't have been 20 minutes later when our walk was cut short by yet another gobbler.  Quickly getting setup, I had to throw the gun at Busky to get him to take it.  We got hammered by more gobbling over the next hour than I've had all year.  We got the bird well within range, but Busky wouldn't shoot because he didn't have a good clean shot.  THAT'S Busky, in a nutshell.  At one point, the gobbler hammered 4 times in a row, and the only other sound I heard was Busky chuckling under his breath.  A hen ended up taking the ol' boy off, and that was fine - we both got what we came for - my second bird of the year and Busky got a show.


-Justin Harrison


Unknown said...

I like the hat;-)

Leigh said...

Very nice story Justin! I, myself, am astonished at Busky's gift of hearing turkeys gobble when no one else can seem to hear them. I have been on a few hunts with him and I too have been unable to hear what he hears! I just wish he could "hear" me as good as he can hear a turkey. Funny how that works! I must admit, however, that I do like to hear him call. The duck calls not so much!