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A biscuits and gravy mornin’

A spring turkey strutting through a spring scene in the Upper Peninsula. (Michigan DNR photo)

 

By RYAN SOULARD
Wildlife biologist
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
LANSING— “Well boys, it’s gonna be a biscuits and gravy mornin’!”
That was the phrase I first heard on a duck hunt at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area near Columbia, Missouri in 2006, from a hunter in my party nicknamed “Wild Bill.”
That morning was one of the finest days afield I’ve ever had. We quickly reached our bag limit of 24 ducks – a rare accomplishment in the waterfowl world, especially since we did it before the sun had crested over the bluffs along the Missouri River.
     Wearing his “Boonie” hat, Wild Bill let out a war cry when the last duck fell.
“Well boys, it’s gonna be a biscuits and gravy mornin!’”
“A what, Wild Bill?”
He explained to us that, in his 40 years of hunting ducks, there haven’t been many times that he can get a limit of ducks, slog out of the field and be back home before his wife is out the door for work so that she can make him a plate of her biscuits and gravy.
That saying is something that has stuck with me ever since.
    There haven’t been but a couple of outdoor instances where I could let out the Wild Bill war cry to declare a biscuits and gravy morning. One of those times was in springtime 2019.
For years, I have reveled in taking some time to spring turkey hunt. It is one of my favorite times of the year, when you literally get to watch the world come alive before your eyes.
If you go out more than one day in a row, it is incredible to hear the different birds singing in the mornings, watch vegetation sprout that you swore wasn’t there yesterday and, if you are really lucky, stumble upon a morel mushroom or two.
However, one thing I never had the best luck at was bagging a turkey on my adventures. There have been lots of close calls, more early mornings than I can count, screw-ups on my part, times I should’ve been more patient and more incredible outdoor moments than I deserve.
I believe the last year I had gotten a turkey was 2009, but I have been out every year since.
I had talked to a few folks and told them how much I would like to go hunting with someone who really knows his stuff. The name Brandon Nutt from Ravenna came up a few times.
After getting in touch with him via the Internet far before the season opening, it was determined we would head out on some private land that he has and give it a shot on opening day.
      In the two weeks leading up to the hunt, Brandon sent me updates frequently.
Pictures of toms, videos of birds gobbling in the dark on the roost, you name it. It was clear that he was very serious about turkey hunting and he was putting in some serious effort to help me end my dry spell, hopefully.

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