A Turkey Hunter's First Shot

Peter Frank Edwards
by Allison Glock - February/March 2012

A newbie goes into the spring woods after a turkey and finds out what it means to take a bird

That night, we eat Fernando. He is roasted to crisp perfection and surrounded by dressing, cornbread, sweet pickles, greens, and various other savory Southern sides befitting any proper Thanksgiving celebration. We are dining in a screened porch perched over Lake Haynes, a few miles from the preserve where the hunt took place. I look around the table at Walea, his extended family, new friends, my own husband, look too upon the water, the light bleeding out from the sky, a pale wash of pink into the blue. It is beautiful.

And I am thankful. Deeply so.

We say grace. We toast the gobbler. And then we pass the plate. I do not hesitate. I honor his death with appreciation. And extra gravy.