Larry's Short Stories

The Defective Trifecta

A Bearded Hen is an unusual trophy; finding an arrowhead and mushrooms the same day makes it even more special. That’s my Winchester Model 12 against the tree.
A Bearded Hen is an unusual trophy; finding an arrowhead and mushrooms the same day makes it even more special. That’s my Winchester Model 12 against the tree.

If you didn't already know, a Missouri Spring Trifecta is shooting a turkey and finding an arrowhead and a mushroom the same day. A “defective trifecta” is something that isn't quite right — like shooting a bearded hen rather than a gobbler. Well, this spring I did just that.

It was late morning when I left the blind and walked south through the woods to check another food plot. About half way there I found two mushrooms growing beside a white oak tree on the side of the hill. Since there were only two and they weren't real fresh, I left them. Halfway down the trail into the food plot I heard a gobble in the woods in front of me, not more than a hundred yards away. Quickly I moved off the trail a few yards, sat down with my back against a cedar tree and began calling.

The first call brought a response, but it sounded like the gobbler was moving away; so I continued calling. There was no response, but in three or four minutes I spotted a turkey walking directly toward me, through the woods. It looked like a hen; but then I saw the beard - must be

The empty shotgun shell is included to tie the mushroom to the turkey.
The empty shotgun shell is included to tie the mushroom to the turkey.

a jake; no the beard was 8" long. The bird turned slightly to my left, away from its direct line, and stepped onto the trail. There was a big cedar tree between us, not giving me a shot. Then, the bird made me, danced around nervously for a few seconds without giving me a shot, then ran down the trail to my right; but I swung the gun and pulled the trigger – game over. It was only then that I understood it was a bearded hen, not a gobbler.

I unloaded my Model 12 and leaned it against a tree, laid the turkey and my vest in the shade beside it, and headed for a creek in the northwest corner of the farm to look for an arrowhead, and some more mushrooms.

The going was slow, as I was getting in and out of the creek regularly. A magnificent, veneer grade black walnut tree caught my attention and I stopped in the creek to take a picture. Looking down, there was the arrowhead. Walking back to the turkey, I stopped to pick the two mushrooms – trifecta complete. As a bonus, walking back to the truck, I found another arrowhead laying in the field.

This is exactly as I found the arrowhead  in the creek.
This is exactly as I found the arrowhead in the creek.
Larry's Short Stories