Turkey Attack…

March 12th, 2010 / Posted by edersbow.com
Turkey Attack…

As I walked into the doctor’s office, the nurse looked up at me, as did the doctor, who was going from one patient’s room to another. Noticing the blood dripping from above my left eyebrow, they stopped, and in unison asked, “What happened this time?”

They knew it would be something interesting. After all, I had once broken my leg while squirrel hunting. Then there was the time I almost lost my finger to a tree step. That cost me 13 stitches. Afterwards I was extremely careful around tree steps. Still, just a few years later a sharp edge on one resulted in another stitch job, 12 in all. Their all-time favorite, though, was the time I somehow got a long wire bristle in a hamburger I was chowing down on. As I chewed, the pressure embedded this slender projectile entirely inside my tongue, a fact I was painfully aware of in a couple more chews.

 ”Shortly he was heading our way like we were reeling him in on a fishing pole.”

The wire being completely enclosed by my now very tender tongue necessitated a surgical entry from the side, a technique they hoped would help find the wire on the first incision. As they mentioned, they “didn’t want to cut holes all over my tongue trying to find the long, small diameter piece of metal”. I was in complete agreement with them. Everyone thought it was neat when they plucked it out of there on the first attempt.

I know everything I’ve mentioned so far was racing through the nurse and doctor’s minds as they waited for my answer to their question. Finally it came out. “I was attacked by a dead turkey!”

I had their attention, and told them my story. I repeat it here for your information and entertainment.

The Senile Tom
My problems started when my wife Carol and I went turkey hunting one morning. Right at daylight we had a jake and a big gobbler pitch out in a field in front of us. I wasn’t sitting near Carol, and I was amazed when she shot at the bird, which, to me, was a football field away. It was her first miss ever, and she admitted quite quickly that the turkey might have been a smidgen too far away.

Going on, we worked another tom up on a ridge, then circled back down to the far end of the field and once more stationed ourselves along the edge, this time snuggled in among some small saplings and multiflora rose bushes. Shortly, a gobble echoed from the hillside across from us. Sexy yelps soon had the longbeard in the field checking things out. He looked around awhile, then started to go back up the hill. A few more yelps made him think things over. Shortly he was heading our way like we were reeling him in on a fishing pole.

“After positioning the gobbler between the trees, I made a small incision in the chest with my knife and started tugging away.”

At 10 yards Carol pulled the trigger. Nothing. Then there was fumbling, and more pulling. Nothing. By now the gobbler had stopped, completely enthralled with the commotion going on before him.

By now we were whispering back and forth. Assuming she didn’t have the pump action locked in place from her first miss, Carol pushed the action firmly up and squeezed the trigger. Nothing. By then she realized she hadn’t jacked another shell in after the early morning shot, so she rattled one into the chamber. Still the gun wouldn’t fire.

“Give me the gun!” I whispered, in a tone loud enough for someone across the field to hear. Immediately I saw that Carol had in her excitement pushed the safety back on. Flipping it off, I handed the gun to her and said “Shoot!”

By now the longbeard had his track shoes on and was headed for greener pastures. Carol killed him stone cold dead at 20 yards. High jumping the barb wire fence in front of us, I was soon at the gobbler’s side. He was a monster tom, with tremendously long spurs which curved out to needle sharp points. He ended up being the heaviest turkey, with the longest spurs, that either of us had ever killed. “You’re the luckiest turkey hunter alive,” I shouted back to Carol.

We had a lot of fun on this hunt, of course, but my dealings with the turkey, one we appropriately named The Senile Tom, was far from over.

The Attack
Once home, Carol had to shower, change clothes and head to work. Once she was gone, I looked for some rope so I could clean the tom. I use rope, incidentally, because I tie a turkey between two little saplings in the woods behind our house. I tie one leg to each tree, placing the bird about chest high to me, then simply skin the turkey out. It’s quick, easy and makes for fine eating. My problem this time, however, was that all my hunting buddies had borrowed my ropes the previous fall to tie their deer on to various things–trucks, deer carts, etc., and had failed to bring them back.

This didn’t seem to be a problem since I soon found some small diameter rope that looked plenty strong enough to hold a turkey while I skinned it. After positioning the gobbler between the trees, I made a small incision in the chest with my knife and started tugging away. “What a tough old senile bird,” I thought. “His hide won’t even come off.”. Giving an extra hard tug, I was surprised to see both ropes snap in two and the bird come flying right at me. Using my best evasive maneuver from my dodge ball games in high school gym class, I was able to deftly move out of the attacking tom’s way, suffering only a slight brushing from some part of him as he rocketed past my face.

Tying the longbeard back between the trees, I was surprised to feel moisture above my left eyebrow. Reaching up, I felt blood on my finger. “The rascal scratched me,” I said to myself. After cleaning the tom and washing him up outside, I walked in the house to clean up. Leaning close to the bathroom mirror, I could see a thin, long wound above my eyebrow. It didn’t look like much damage had been done to me this time, so I took my finger and kind of pushed along the edge of the wound.

I was shocked to have the wound open up and reveal a cut made all the way to my forehead bone. Evidently one of The Senile Tom’s razor sharp spurs had made the long, clean cut. So off to the doctor I went.

As I finished my story in the doctor’s office, I thought they were going to actually break out in cheers. They all agreed (more nurses had gathered around by now) that I had set a new standard of excellence, one which would be hard for even me to top. They even discussed getting an award plaque made, with following words engraved on it: This special award goes to Brad Herndon, the only man alive who has ever been attacked by a dead turkey–and survived!

I don’t know what they were so excited about. It only took 6 stitches to patch me up.

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For a cool video showing the aggressive nature of wild turkey, see below:

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