Babbs in the Woods: My own little Mary ‘Not-so-oh-Kay’ party

I have struggled for nigh a year with this topic. Should I whine about the fact that four of us went turkey hunting for three days last spring, a total of almost 100 hours because you can only hunt until 1 p.m. in Missouri, on an acreage of almost 1,000 acres with three guides and two cameramen and the result? One hit, one miss and it’s no wonder why.

I’ve been on many guided turkey hunts and this one ranks a big fat F. I mean, if you had four women coming from all over the country to your property, and two cameramen from Turkey Call TV, wouldn’t you at least make sure your guides had scouted the territory? Our guides continuously set us up too far from the birds and then, couldn’t call them in. In fact, good sport Kirstie Pike, of Prois Hunting Apparel, sat against a barbed wire fence post one morning because her guide told her it was the best spot.

And I could go on and on, but really, I want to address the topic of camouflage makeup and why you should not depend on a burned cork to do the job. Granted, I wanted to try the face paint approach instead of the mask or blind approach. So, our guide told us he knew how to apply burned cork. He pooh-poohed the green, brown and black makeup I had purchased, saying it would reflect light and had too many sparkles in the base. In retrospect, I should have borrowed my son’s Army face paint.

So, our guide took two wine corks, lit the super duper lighter thingey and burned the ends of the corks, while Amy Brown and I sat at the kitchen table at about 4 a.m. for our own little Mary “Not-so-oh-Kay” party. Then, he smeared cork refuse all over our faces.

Amy Brown … so sassy and ready to meet the tom of her dreams.

The makeup guide and Amy went out into the woods. As she says, the turkey came in at about 40 yards, took one look at her and hightailed it outta there.

My guide decided we needed to set up in a blind about a mile away from the traffic zone for toms. And that’s where I spent my last day of hunting, sitting in a blind looking at a field of no dreams.

With cork smeared all over my face. And a cameraman asleep in the chair next to me. And two unfilled turkey tags.

If you know of a good camo makeup product that does not involve burning anything first, please let me know.












  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at


The Conversation

  • The Hunter's Wife says: March 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

    It may take 10 years but some of the worse trips turn out to be the most memorable. Sounds like you all had a good time to me. 😉 And I hope he let the cork cool before applying.

  • Babbs says: March 30, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Anne and Katherine — thanks for the makeup tip find. I will explore those options. Otherwise, I’ll have to drink a bunch of wine again.
    Bill — true words
    Marti and Tammy — your checks are in the mail
    Kirstie — Did that happen on our hunt? 😉 I seem to remember eating a ton of gummy things and then, nothing

  • Kirstie Pike says: March 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I ALMOST forgot the funniest part of the trip!!!

    What the heck IS NOT in Barb’s turkey vest?!!?

  • Kirstie Pike says: March 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

    LOL!! The memories are WAAAYYYY better than the hunt!! And let us not forget…ONE of us (ehem…JENNIFER) was meticulously pampered by her guide who provided hot cocoa, chairs and umbrellas. Despite the fact that I never flipped my safety off…this has gone down as one of the FUNNIEST trips ever.
    1. Prois girls find Amish candy store and celebrate all things gummy.
    2. You ring my bell…the trip to the belltower!
    3. Who can forget the JCP museum…oh wait…only you went there.
    4. Amy’s unforgetable PJ’s
    5. Kansas City BBQ of epic proportions…still have a pic of Jennifer (aka: PorkChop) with that one!
    6. Something about mowing the lawn in black shoes…I won’t take that one further.
    7. …and how DID that kitchen get such a slant in the floor?
    Thanks for the memories, Babbs! Let’s do it AGAIN!!!

  • Tammy says: March 29, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Barb, I’m sure you made the trip fun for the others involved though. You always have a way of looking for the good things and going with it.

    Maybe the guide could get a job at the Clinique counter???

  • Marti Davis says: March 29, 2010 at 6:46 am

    No burned cork for me!!! Think I’ll stick with my net face masks.

    Sorry, you all had a horrible hunt…but, think of the memories. 😉

  • Bill Bowers says: March 29, 2010 at 5:02 am

    You know you’re in trouble when it’s tough to tell the guides from the turkeys.

  • Deb Ferns says: March 28, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Since I was the original person to introduce you to probably one of the worst “guides” in history I can only say I’m sorry (and I AM!) and I promise I’ll never introduce them/him to another woman as long as I live! And all the gals on your trip (and the cameramen) said AMEN!

    • Women's Outdoor News says: March 30, 2010 at 7:36 am

      Remember, Deb? I already “took my pound of flesh” by not being able to attend SHOT this past year! 😉 No problem. Read Kirstie’s post … anytime you can get a bunch of women together for a hunting, fishing or shooting trip — it’s all good!

  • Katherine Browne says: March 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I’m sorry you had a crappy hunt Barb. It sucks when guides don’t do their homework. Great blog though. I got some roll on face paint stuff at the SHOT show I really liked called CAMO FX by Realtree AP, no burning required.

  • Anne Vinnola says: March 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I found a GREAT face camo product at SHOT. It is good for your face AND acts like a mud mask. I will find the name. I have it here in my pile!