Babbs in the Woods: Road weary observations

So, I was on the road for the past 14 out of 16 days, dividing my time unevenly among three states: Oklahoma, Idaho and Missouri. And most of the time, I’ve been up at the crack-before-dawn turkey hunting, so frankly, I’m getting loopy tired already. But, here are my observations from my recent travels and experiences and they have nothing to do with each other at all …

People should not apply deodorant under their arms (or anywhere actually) while sitting next to me waiting to board a flight. Just because you’re wearing a big, floppy Hawaiian shirt does not give you the right to be so tacky.

People with ugly feet should not wear sandals without socks, especially to the airport where they have to remove the little cover that is on those feet in the first place. And, I have ugly feet so I heed this rule.

That song about Oklahoma where the wind blows is right. It does … and remind me, if I ever have to sit on a rock for a photo session there again with the wind whipping fine clay around, I’m going to bring Vaseline for my teeth. Or not smile, even though I’m happy that I tagged out early.

Notice the wind-blown look for the Oklahoma turkey hunters: Brenda Potts, Shannon Coggin, Rick White (guide), Cristie Gates, me (and no, I'm not pregnant with twins -- my jacket is pooched out!) and Lisa Metheny. And, notice, I'm not smiling and showing teeth. We're missing Gina Schmidt, who was back at the lodge, icing her ruptured Achilles tendon! Photo by Mike Capps.

Merriam’s turkeys will respond to Eastern sub-species’ turkey calls that I make, and for some reason, they really, really like my spitty mouth calls. I popped a Hunter’s Specialties’ Raspy Old Hen diaphragm call in my mouth last week, sat down on a trail in northwestern Idaho and talked to the turkeys there for a while. And my husband laughed at my songs.

My daughter-in-law and I went turkey hunting this week in Missouri and dang it, I couldn’t get those gobblers to come in to the field, and she claims I scared a hen away from the blind with my slate call. My daughter-in-law accused me of making nun-ish, hen turkey calls that no decent, red-wattled gobbler would be interested in going near in the first place because he thought my hens were fine, upstanding models of the community and more interested in doing good works than having a good time.

Finally, no two scales – like Weight Watchers meetings – are alike at airports, so give yourself at least five pounds of leeway from your bathroom scale to the airport scale. Or else, you’ll end up throwing away your old flax bag and toting an extra jacket with you for a few thousand miles.

~Barbara Baird


  • 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

  • Babbs says: April 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Yes, I seem to have this habit of driving thru barbed wire fences, and thanks to you and Bill for the comments. Bill, I can’t help it … already working on my next post about poison ivy. Scratch, scratch … try not to scratch.

  • Bill Bowers says: April 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Another witty and insightful Babbs in the Woods column! We love to read these, so please keep ’em coming!

  • Deb Ferns says: April 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    You are the “queen” of understatement and I love the piece about the ugly feet! That could go for ugly or smelly feet, same as armpits! And I don’ even want to know about how you survived the most RECENT ATV incident!

  • Kirstie Pike says: April 23, 2010 at 8:51 am

    More airport savvy… please do not eat your potato chips while sitting 7 inches away from me…Not only can I not escape the sound…I don’t want to smell your potato chip breath.

    And…If I am wearing my ipod and resting my head on the window…please don’t poke me and say, “I am talking to YOUUUU….”. Please.

  • Kirstie Pike says: April 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Babbs…you make me tired!!
    Wish I could be in Missouri sitting in barbed wire fence with you!