Turkey. Squirrel. Me.

Deep in the woods, Turkey Camp is the perfect venue to hunt turkey. But the turkeys are safe, mostly. The closest most camper-hunters get to birds happens when folks take a pull on the fifth of Wild Turkey that passes from hand to hand around the campfire, bathed in the warm glow of bluegrass ballads. And every morning in the wee hours, when the fire burns low and the last refrain of “Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian” fades into the woods, and the Big Dipper sets over the horizon, two or three hunters wake to hunt, greeting a dozen pickers and grinners stumbling toward bed. It’s a changing of the guard.
Turkey Camp forces attendees to choose their passion: Get up early, or stay up late. Hunt or hoot. It’s a metaphor for lifestyle.
I generally hang around the hooters.
Next morning I crawled out of my tent as one hunter returned with a pair of squirrels he’d bagged. He cleaned the rodents and prepared them for the evening meal.
I’d never tasted squirrel.
I felt entitled. For years my tomato plants fatten the squirrels that roost in my back yard. Payback.
So when the dinner bell rang, I sampled a tree rat. “Delicious,” I complimented the chef. Later that night as we picked and grinned around a giant campfire, I remarked about the feast. “Squirrel was tasty. Meat was fatty. Reminded me of bacon.”
“Well, dumbass,” the cook said, “that’s because I seasoned it with bacon.”
My fork had only snagged hog side. Closest I came to tasting squirrel was a strip of squirrel-infused bacon.

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