Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Pretty In Pink, Cuter in Camo

Posted by todblog on May 4, 2009

May 3, 2009

Today was a special day for me. If my dad were alive, he’d be 83 years old and I’m sure we’d be doing something for his birthday. That usually meant eating some great food. To mark his birthday, our family usually goes to a Chinese restaurant (as good as you can find in Roseburg, OR) order several dishes and immediately apologize to dad as I’m sure he wouldn’t approve. However, today was special for a different reason. I had a date with my daughter in the turkey woods.

I remember taking Jacob turkey hunting with me on top of Mauna Kea when he was eight years old. Waking up at 4am and heading up the mountain to get into position before sunrise. He was a real trooper and excited to be tagging along with me. Now, at eight years of age, it was Jessica’s turn to go with me. However, I wondered how difficult it might be to get her to put on camouflage clothes, sit still, not sing or hum, and be patient. Her room is filled with stuffed animals, princess stuff, and lots of pink girly stuff. Again, I wondered…

We saved Jacob’s old camouflage clothes and it fit her fine. Jessica appeared to be having fun trying things on and looking in the mirror to see how she looked. Apparently, she approved and the camo stayed on.

Dad checking to see how well Jessica is hidden

Dad checking to see how well Jessica is hidden

It was 2:30pm and we had a short 10 minute drive to a nearby Roseburg ranch. There was no early morning crack-of-dawn hunting here. This was pretty leisurely hunting. We met the landowner and he was impressed with Jessica’s attire and willingness to go turkey hunting with her dad. The landowner gave us a hot tip on some turkeys working the area and we quickly made a plan and he sent us off.

I went over some last minute reminders with Jessica and she remembered our little briefing at home on the living room floor. It was about how to sit, when to move, how to communicate, what to expect, etc. We slipped into a thin Douglas fir stand on the edge of a grassy meadow where a tom and hen were seen nearby. The hen was out feeding in the meadow while the tom was in tow following her around begging for her affections. It would be tough to call him away from the real deal and come after an unknown girlfriend in the brush. But, that’s turkey hunting.

We picked out a tree about 30 yards from the edge of the meadow and got set up. Nice soft cushions to sit on, a big tree to lean our backs against, fully camouflaged from head to toe, my trusty 12 gauge shotgun propped up on my knees, and we were ready to announce our presence. Jessica got out a little push button box call that was used by Jacob over many years. As it has many times before, it let out soft clucks and purrs with a gentle push of her finger tip against a spring-loaded wooden dowel. I whispered for her to stop. “Let’s give him a little silence…”

After a whole 30 seconds went by Jessica asked me if she could call again. I told her to wait a little bit longer. Another 15 seconds went by and she asked again. I told her to give a short series of purrs. “Okay, let’s give him more silence”. Imagine that, at eight years of age Jessica was learning from her dad, how to give boys the silent treatment. It must have worked because seconds later a bright red head appeared from behind a small cedar sapling. It was Mr. Tom looking for the mysterious purring hen. I told Jessica this was it- get ready. Mr. Tom wasn’t sure what to think when I brought the 12 gauge to my shoulder, he did an about face but, it was too late. At 27 yards, the 12 gauge pump did its job once more and other turkeys we hadn’t seen were scattering everywhere. It was 3:40pm and our hunt was over.

I put the shotgun down and reached out my hand to Jessica for a high five. I grabbed her camouflaged head with my two hands and looked her straight in the eyes and said, “You just called-in a turkey for your daddy, that was an awesome job!” I’m sure under that camouflage mask there was a big grin, because I surely saw one in her eyes.

Jessica learned how to validate a turkey tag and attach it to the bird, how to age a bird by looking at its beard and spurs but, what I fear most is that she learned how deadly the silent treatment can be on boys when applied properly. She also learned that hunting with dad can be fun and that she wanted to do it again.

Our short ride home meant there would still be lots of time to do little girl things once we returned home. As for me, I would be preparing the turkey for one of our favorite dishes- Turkey Fajitas and sharing it with my newest hunting partner.

Jessica with Mr. Tom she called-in for her dad

Jessica with Mr. Tom that she called-in for her dad


22 Responses to “Pretty In Pink, Cuter in Camo”

  1. Liz Chock said

    Hey Tod!
    Great story & photo of u & Jessica! How they grow up so fast… it’s great that you are documenting all of this on your blog! I should start something – have tons of pics, but haven’t been documenting much yet. Chris & Jessica are about the same age! He turned 8 in January. You should come out and shoot the turkeys in our backyard of Waikoloa (butting up next to the golf course, cause that’s where they wander down from). JC got some air rifle to shoo them away because they make a mess on our lanai. Heard they’re pretty tough to eat though! Plz say hi to Janine & the kids! Jessica & Jacob probably don’t remember us. Thanks for keeping in touch!
    Aloha – Liz, Jon, Nick & Chris


  2. Mark Adkins said

    Awesome Brah! I have had my little girl in a blind when she was 2 and 3 but we have not harvested yet. She watched mommy shoot her first deer two years ago at 2 years old and before the high fives she said “nice shot mommy!” Now she pushes to go hunting for coyote, javelina, rabbit, squirrel, etc. YES she does have a room with stuffed animals, princess dresses and fairy movies. I am always amazed when she plays with hunter dan and barbie at the same time.


  3. todblog said

    Wow, your daughter’s room sounds a lot like Jessica’s. I was afraid there was too much Disney in there so, I got her some Hunter Dan dolls and accessories too. We recently got into some BB gun shooting in the backyard and little miss is a crack shot shooting water bottle caps at 25 yards with open sights off the deck railing. It was only then that I knew there was hope…


  4. Tamara said

    What a great story. Way to go Jessica:) And yes you do look fabulous in camo, pink or anything you may be wearing….an absolute doll:) Big hugs to you and yours, thanks for the entertainment.


  5. barb said

    great father daughter moment & pic… tom looks to be as big as jessica;)


  6. Brad said

    Yahoo! Nice job Jessica. This is now one of my all time favorite hunting stories. Sounds like you and your dad make a great team.



  7. Tom Blankinship said

    Tod – Great story, as usual. Certainly a day that both of you will remember.


  8. Gary Lewis said

    Right on! Thanks for the story.



  9. Dwight said

    Howzit Tod-

    That means how is it going,nah. Yes,the silent treatment always works on us Tom turkeys. Just don’t try it on a mother hen. Big mistake. Good job Dad and Jessica. Looking forward to your next adventure.Did you buy camo for Barbie?


  10. Kehau and Ka'imiloa said

    Hi, Tod and Jeanine!
    This is sooo cool! We so enjoy your stories and Ka’imiloa keeps saying….”Publish these articles!!!!” Congratulations to Jessica! We’re so proud of her AND Jacob for being our next generation of hunters! I can’t believe how much she has grown….such a pretty girl!
    Much love from Arizona,
    Kehau and Ka’imiloa


  11. Sandy DeMaris said

    Todd – I loved your story hunting with your daughter. It’s too bad that more Dad’s don’t do this. Jessica looks like her Mama.
    I am sure this was an event that she will never forget and will share with many to come. You Go Girl!


  12. bob said

    Howzit Tod!
    Fantastic! It is just great to be able to enjoy time with the kids and have them learn a lesson in life at the same time. They just growup so fast. Keep up the great adventures. Thanks for sharing.


  13. Ron Laeger said

    What a stirring tribute to leaving a legacy of fatherhood & daughterhood! I’m so inspired by this excellent model of spending quality time together and having our children learn of God’s handiwork in nature and the bliss of togetherness. Way to go Tod & Jeanine…way to go Jacob & Jessica. The encouragement of building strong families are evident in your personal narrative of a great day in the woods.

    Rock on…

    Gripped by Grace,
    Pastor Ron
    Wellspring Bible Fellowship
    Roseburg, OR


  14. Raynette said

    Tod- you always have great stories, it’s always so nice to hear from you and the stories that include the kids, you spending time with them is priceless they grow so fast you will look back and be so glad that you did so much with them. We are in Alaska right now visiting my 2 boys, We have had wonderful weather so far (been here for 4 days) we will be here until the 16th. Snow is melting fast but it is BEAUTIFUL – Hey how was the turkey fajitas?
    Thanks again, I always look forward to reading your emails:)


  15. Bea Kikawa said

    Loved your story, but I couldn’t see Jessica. The turkey looked pretty dead.


  16. todblog said

    That’s what good camouflage can do for you!


  17. ralph saitos said

    Wow! Jessica….another “chip off the old Lum-block”. Glad you helped your Dad! Good job,Dad.
    Also,my grandaughter used some of your photos of Oregon and the Umpqua River & mt. ranges for her Oregon research /report. Thanks.
    Have a great summer!!!…ralph and jean
    ps:we saw Ed & Debbie P.’s home in Paauilo mauka when we visited them. It’s a great home! they have turkeys , too!


  18. Nearman Ohana said

    Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop. We love to see the kids and how great everyone is doing. We send you guys lots of love from the Big Island!


  19. Bob Hera said

    Hi Guys,
    Looks like it’s your turn Jessica. Isn’t it something to be out there with your dad? Can you just imagine how he feels? I had four daughters and they all had the opportunity to share in the outdoors. So you keep it up. Loved the story Tod, brings back lots of memories of the turkey days. We see a lot of them in the preserve. Wendell, Ox, Bob Okawa and their crew have been here to work and hunt in the preserve. Keep the stories coming. Love to all, malama pono, Bob..


  20. Sharon Kokubun said

    Way to go Jessica! Well Tod, you did it! She’s been wanting to go hunting and she finally called in her first bird. I love the pics, that look on her face. Congratulations


  21. Carol said

    My fav bio,
    You are a great writer, although I thought the turkey story over the phone was much better than reading it. I got to hear the emotion, anticipation and a wonderful ending.


  22. sakamoto said

    Great Job Jessica! Not bad yourself dad. You guys are growing up too fast!


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