The gobbler, amazing thing that he is, stands in range and we whiff. The sight of a longbeard running away will sicken most of us far worse than any tilt-a-whirl ride at the country fair. Been there?
Most times, right after, we don't want to hear anything from the person next to us; not to mention the professional/amateur "film crew" behind us (captured forever for all to see). Everybody's got a camera these days. It's hard to hide, especially if you miss.
Silence. It's never quieter after you send a volley of pellets over a big tom's head. Still, sometimes we need to hear something, anything. Try out these 10 responses this turkey season, even if you're alone and have to mutter versions to yourself.
1: Hey bud, I'm buying at Waffle House. You ready?
2: Aw, that turkey will be back tomorrow.
3: My bad. I thought Bubba patterned that shotgun before he loaned it to us.
4: Spring gobblers are overrated. Let's go catch some hawgs at the pond.
5: That ugly bird was missing a half-dozen tail feathers and had a beard like a stubbed-out cigar.
6: Never liked that dang turkey load anyway.
7: Your misses are almost as impressive as your kills.
8: Didn't look like you even cut a feather, so no worries.
9: Hey, don't sweat it. In fishing, they catch-and-release.
10: I ever tell you the joke about . . . ?
What's your favorite response when a buddy misses a shot? Comment below.
Steve Hickoff is Realtree.com's editorial director and turkey hunting editor. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country.