Imperfect timing

April 27, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I had to make a difficult and painful phone call on Friday. I was scheduled to go turkey hunting in Missouri this  week with Bishop Joe Charron and his friend, Joe Lane, a Minnesota native who lives in Des Moines, Iowa, and invites Bishop Charron down to his 220-acre piece of property nearly every spring to hunt  turkeys.

All week, I had been feeling like the timing wasn’t right for this trip, for several reasons, including a heavy workload and a persistent chest cold that wasn’t going away. So, on Friday, I called Bishop Charron to say I wouldn’t be able to come down. I was really looking forward to going, but I felt staying home was the right thing to do. Bishop Charron agreed and we talked about rescheduling for next year.
However, that does not mean I had nothing to do with turkey hunting over the weekend. On the contrary, I went down to Goodhue County on Saturday to do some preseason scouting for my Minnesota hunt, which begins May 10. I took my brother, Paul, who has hunted this property several times and got a bird each time, including last spring.
We pulled in and were preparing to walk up the hill to his favorite spot when we heard two toms gobbling at the top of the hill. When we reached  the top, one of the gobblers was out in the field and ran off when he saw us. We heard the other one gobbling in the woods and I’m pretty sure I spotted him as well. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. The first day of my hunt is on a Sunday and Paul might join me. That would be fun.
Then, when we got back, we had a wild game cookout at my house, featuring grilled wild turkey and elk burgers. I had half a breast left from my Wisconsin gobbler that I shot last year and it tasted delicious. The elk came courtesy of a friend of ours who had shot one a year-and-a-half ago. Both the turkey and the elk were delicious. Then, yesterday, I used another portion of the wild turkey breast to make our family’s favorite recipe — wild turkey/wild rice casserole. It was fabulous, as usual. I’m hoping to put more turkey in the freezer this spring so we can make the casserole again.
The birds appear to be very active this spring in Minnesota and I’m optimistic about my hunt in two weeks. Just three days after my Minnesota season opens, I go to Wisconsin for a hunt there with my oldest son, Joe, and my Dad. It should be a fun week!
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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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