To shoot a turkey---or Not
I am not a hunter. Many friends are. A few years ago I gave permission to a friend - a licensed hunter -to try for a turkey in my woods. She did her homework and stalked my woods pre-season to get a feel for the land and signs of turkey. On the morning of her first turkey hunt she arrived way before dawn,way before my coffee time, and went to her carefully crafted blind of branches, brush and dried golden rod stalks. She was succesful with her turkey call --and her aim. A few days later later I had my first wild turkey dinner with her family. In these waning days of February turkey are stalking my woods and visiting my bird feeder. It would be easy for me to take a turkey. Who would know? Who would hear the gunshot? (Yes, I own a 22 rifle, not the weapon of choice for a turkey hunt, but I am a good shot). It is not the fear of the limited resource of the MDNRE conservation officers that keeps me (and hopefully most) in check. Perhaps the process that regulates human behavior when it comes to the wildlife laws of our state is said best by conservationist Aldo Leopold in his classic, A Sand County Almanac: "A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience rather than a mob of unlookers."