Opening Day in the Old Dominion

VatomhartWell, I was hoping to be able to deliver a first-hand hunt report from my home state of Virginia today where I had planned to hunt the season opener with Primos Hunting Calls Tommy Barham. I had envisioned that we would probably be set up somewhere like Back-of-Lonnies or the Prison Farm or Behind Chris's, all local names for specific spots where we've hunted birds before. We'd probably crack out my new B-Mobile gobbler decoy from Primos and even enjoy the site of a crazed tom dragging his beard across the field in a running hurry to die.

But, alas, if that's how things played out, I'm still waiting to get the report from my good friend Tommy, for you see, I never made it. I'm still stuck here in the People's Republic of New Jersey, which lies perpetually stamped in the long, dark shadow of New York's metropolis, a little farther reaching and a lot colder when you're not three states south running a mouth call. No, while a good chunk of my fellow Virginians are out trying to punch a tag, I'm paying bills and trying to nurse my old Lab back from the brink of death, by wrestling with his writhing head and trying to stuff a bitter antibiotic pill down his reluctant throat. Yeah, boy, we're having fun now.

As it became obvious yesterday that I wasn't going to be able to make it down to the Old Dominion, OL contributor David Hart, who also lives in Virginia, was so kind as to send me this picture of a longbeard strutting in his YARD!!!! He took the pic from inside his house and the subject line on the email read, "10 Minutes Ago." Talk about rubbing it in!!! Despite the chance's that I have to hunt other places each spring, no matter where I travel, the season never really begins for me until it opens at home. I do believe ol' Dorothy had it right in the Wizard of Oz, there is no place like home.

So with that thought I wish everyone who could make it afield today a wonderful time. David's going after the tom this morning with his kids, so I'm hoping to share another pic with you before the weekend's out of them posing with their trophy. I'll also be posting some other hunt reports, including YOURS, if you send it in, no matter where you hunt.

As for me, I survived our family vacation last week filled with a lot of beach, food and family time and will head out later next week for Oklahoma. Tonight, I have a big date with my 7-year-old where we'll check out her Brownie Troop's Father/Daughter dance. I hated missing the hunt this morning, but looking forward to tonight, I really can't complain. I really can't complain one bit.

Gotta run, I think I hear the dog puking on the carpet...