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The Shot Not Taken

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Man I should have taken that shot. Maybe, betcha I would have missed. Man I should have taken that shot.

Donít laugh, we all have ďThe Shot Not TakenĒ in our hunting histories. Some just choose not to think, re-think, or obsess about them. Here are a few ďShots Not TakenĒ from mine and a few hunting buddies histories.

It was a beautiful morning to hunt turkeys on Spooky Mountain. I give the mountain that name because if you ever walk off it at night, youíll know what I mean. A friend asked to accompany me on a spring bowhunt for turkeys. Now, Iíve never shot a turkey, never claimed to even get close to one, but he wanted to join me anyway.

He was shooting an old recurve and was consistent up to 20 yards with the bow. I had this place picked out for me but since he was joining me, I set him up instead. We put the blind up looking down this slight hill that was about 40 yards from the pines where I had heard Ol Tom many times. Once I got my friend set up, I ventured down and around about 250 yards to the other side of the mountain and settled in behind a natural blind.

It did not take long after I let loose with my first series of calls to see turkeys. I had hens running all over the place. Then I saw him, well I saw his head. It was a big ol tom walking through the thickets with his head about six inches above. At 20 yards!

A shot not taken. I know I could have made the shot. Iíve done it before in my backyard with plastic balls hanging on the straw bales. Why I did not shoot is beyond me.

Well, letís not obsess about me, letís obsess about my friend. You see, after I finished my first series of calls a tom flew down out of a tree and landed about 25 yards right directly in front of his blind. He watched the tom for about five minutes and then he was amazed when another tom ran out of the thickets and proceeded to start strutting. Here is my friend with two toms at 25 yards strutting their stuff. Now, to put the finishing touches on the cake, what happened next just floored him, it floors me. A third tom started working his way down the mountain to my friends left. This bird walked about 15 yards from his blind but he did not notice him until he darted out in front to join the other two strutting toms. Needless to say, all three birds were about 25 yards from my friend who just sat there and did not take a shot.

The moral of the story? Take the shot, donít take the shot, I donít know. I can tell you one thing, if I ever invite you to go turkey hunting on Spooky Mountain, Iím not giving up my spot, donít care how good of a friend you are.

Frank V. Rago

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