THE LEM-O-WARD CAMP
A work in progress!
Working on it
An Early Model
WHAT IS LEM-O-WARD?
About 35 years ago, we purchased a tiny hunting
cabin in the National Forest in Northern Pennsylvania. Only a couple
years later, one of our hunting buddies put up the LEM-O-WARD sign.
Grossly misspelled, it was my great grandfather's name, "Remauldo,"
changed to Leonard by immigration after he arrived in the United
States around 1900, then merged into something like "Lemauld"
by his friends. An early misspelling in print ended up as LEM-O-WARD;
it's been the name of our hunting camp ever since. Now, all our
friends refer to the general area as "LEM-O-WARD TERRITORY."
"Quickdraw" / "Flutterblast"
Turkey Decoys, a little story.
decoys were born several years ago after a couple of frustrating
spring turkey hunting seasons around LEM-O-WARD Territory. My Uncle
Ray and I spent two spring seasons chasing around the same granddaddy
long beard. He roosted a lot near the top of a steep cliff above
a couple very small benches, with a couple larger benches above
him and several other benches way below. He could see and hear you
coming 300 yards away. Early in the season with hens, he'd gobble
like crazy on the roost, hang around a bit gobbling, but always
went the other way with the hens. Some mornings we waited for him
and some mornings he'd come back. We'd cluck, yelp, purr, cackle,
scratch and move on him when he'd drift away. He'd answer, come
back a couple of times, but only circled and strutted well out of
range. Later in the season he'd pick up a couple jakes. The jakes
would run in to our calls, but in the open woods he never came closer
than 75 yards. We tried set-ups on the edge of heavy cover, but
the jakes always came in first. Sometimes in the laurel he'd come
in close behind us, but never in front where the laurel opened into
the woods. We talked about using decoys, but had abandoned decoys
over the years because they we're just a pain in the butt. We knew
that a good decoy could be a tremendous advantage in certain situations;
but, fish it out of your pouch, find the sticks, fluff it out, put
it all together, etc. etc. It is difficult to set up quickly when
you find a hot one, and hard to move on a bird with decoys. About
mid season the second year chasing this bird, we decided to carry
a couple decoys anyway, just seeking any advantage possible. One
morning real early about mid season, after giving him a couple days
off, we worked our way in behind him, and sat. Well before daylight
he gobbled on the roost. We moved to within about 100 yards along
the top bench above him, said nothing and waited; a couple more
gobbles.......... then nothing! Several minutes later, about daylight
we heard birds come down. I whispered to Ray, "should we try
the deeks this time?" "We need all the help we can get,"
he said. We leaned our guns against a tree and both fished out different
versions of the "rubber chicken." Another gobble, then
Ray dropped his sticks. I whispered for Ray to go set himself up
and I'd finish the decoy sets; fluff one open,
seconds going by, .....
..... rustling over the
knoll, maybe still 80 or 90 yards away, sticks together.............one
set up, ...........
more seconds going by, ........
the second decoy,
. more seconds, where's
the other X*#@!*&~# sticks?.......
.......a hair raising
gobble just about 80 yards over the knoll,..................&!*@
the second decoy,
.... grab for my gun,
... look up..
and,.. there they were looking at me, about 70 yards away, the Big
Bad Beard Draggin Boss and his little buddy, ...another split second,..
and they were gone!
Ray said, "we need a better
And the quest for "Quickdraw"