Steve Rinella and Karl Malcolm are waxing philosophical about their recent turkey hunting adventures. Malcolm gets to the meat of why he loves hunting turkeys.
Steve Rinella of MeatEater and Karl Malcolm are discussing their recent turkey hunting experience, and it’s been a frustrating hunt. But Malcolm gets a little philosophical when he talks about why he loves turkey hunting.
He smiles as he tells Rinella:
“By the time you’re finally on the verge of getting a shot, there’s been all this buildup. This… flirtation. And finally when that bird shows up: he’s coming, the redhead, and he’s strutting his way and gobbling. And you’re looking at a bird that might weigh fifteen pounds? And it electrifies my senses.”
Malcolm then reads a passage from Aldo Leopold’s “A Turkey Hunt in the Datil National Forest.” It’s worth repeating it in its entirety here.
Rounding the point of a little bench, I suddenly felt a shock that seemed to freeze my feet to the ground. I’m sure I felt that turkey in my knees quite as soon as I saw him! There he was, right over the point of the bench, a big hump-backed gobbler, clipping the seeds off a stalk of wild oats.
I knew there must be more behind the point. My plan was to slip forward a few steps to a little oak tree and get a rest for the first shot. But I couldn’t make my knees behave! I freely confess it, they were wobbling – wobbling like a reed shaken in the wind. I can look the biggest blacktail buck in the face without a tremor, but turkey? Never!
Malcolm laughs, “Love it, man! Love it. I’m the same way.”
“If I ever get to the point where a big tom turkey’s coming through the woods,” he continues, “and my arrow point or my shotgun muzzle isn’t shaking… it’s over, man.”
“I don’t think it’s possible,” replies Rinella. “I will always want to see the giant redhead come out from behind the bush.”
Malcolm admits that the hunting has been tough. “We’ve had a hard week. We worked our tails off,” he says to Rinella. “But, would you have it any other way?”
“No,” smiles Rinella, “Cuz in the end, he’s coming. He’s coming.”
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