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Bob Dixon

Agency Manager


Middlesboro, KY 40965


Go Big Blue!

OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions On Tom Turkey

By Gary Miller

I don’t remember being so aggravated as I was the other day. There I was sitting with a friend, sulking about a lost opportunity to pull the trigger on a tom turkey. The night before we had seen a gobbler and a hen move into a certain part of the woods. We surmised they would certainly roost there, so our plans were to be their wake-up call the next morning. The next day we were in place as the sun began to rise. The woods all around us was being filled with a chorus of gobbles.

None of them, however, were coming from this particular bird that we were set up on. We stayed and waited. We continued to wait as we called softly to let him know we were around. Still no response. The other gobblers wanted us to come to them but we remained steadfast until we determined that somehow this bird had eluded us.

Our plan now was to try to get on one of the other gobblers that had been calling but we had waited too long. They had already found other hens. So there we were, empty-handed, frustrated, and sulking in the price of a bad decision.

While sitting on the side of that hill I pondered on some lesson from what had just happened. It seemed that very quickly my mind went to this subject of decisions. You see every decision has at least two components; sacrifice and risk. Some decisions -- the easiest ones -- come with very little sacrifice and very little risk. These are the ones that most of us make every day. They keep us in our comfort zone and that is really where we all like to live.

I ask myself as I thought about what had just transpired that morning if my decision to stay put was based on my unwillingness to sacrifice to climb a difficult hill or if it was based on the fear that I would run into the bird that I was trying to get close to. Was I afraid of that risk? I’m not sure but I was reminded of this; the greatest successes and results will always come from the greatest sacrifices and risks. In investments, the greatest return on one’s money also comes with the greatest possibility of losing one’s money. So, as you can imagine, most people prefer to remain in the safe confines of the local FDIC-insured bank. In turkey hunting, most people chose to stay on level ground instead of climbing a difficult hill. They prefer to stay several hundred yards from a gobbler’s roost instead of moving close and risking being seen. The truth is, the one closest is more likely to garner the kill.

My friend, remember that while most of your decisions in life will take very little sacrifice and risk, if you are truly going to enjoy the most thrilling victories, you will have to put something on the line. Your risk may not always pay off but at least you won’t be sitting on the side of a hill somewhere wondering what might have been if you had only moved.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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