Spring turkey season allows hunters to practice their observation skills while in the field and to establish a deeper connection with the outdoors. Filling your turkey tag is what drives one to rise before dawn and hit the woods no matter the weather, but other outdoors dividends await. Blooming trees and flowers beautify the woodlands, and colorful migratory songbirds can be viewed up close due to our full camo disguise.
|For this spring,|
If you are a dyed in the wool turkey hunter, then opening day of spring season is worthy of celebration. I attend an annual gathering of the fictitious Gobblerological Society on the eve of each spring season, and we share fellowship about past turkey hunts and about upcoming hunt plans. Ironically, sometimes it is the missed shots that bring about the stories that get told year after year, gaining traction as a story for all time.
The senses of the wild turkey deserve much discussion with their incredible vision and keen hearing. Hunters should focus on their own senses in spring as well, smelling the spring woods, viewing the plant life of spring and listening to the continuous calling of songbirds that comprise a subtle soundtrack to each and every turkey hunt.
Picking up shed antlers from white-tailed deer is always part of my turkey ramblings, but it wasn't until last year that I found a shed at the same time as harvesting a gobbler. That gobbler proved to be an admirable game bird, resisting my calls and techniques for some time before finally stepping into range — just barely. On my way to collect the tom, I literally stepped on a shed antler and felt like I had just been awarded a rare two-fer from nature.
While I confess to using an older H.S. Strut box call on that hunt, I am always interested in finding new tools to fit into my routine. Getting a roosted bird to talk at dawn can sometimes involve using an owl hoot call and I like the Knight & Hale Mark Prudhomme signature owl hooter. Prudhomme is a pro turkey caller and designed this call for ease of use. You don't have to be perfect with this call to make that tom sound off.
New in my turkey hunting arsenal is the side zip boot from Irish Setter that is both camo and snake proof. The Outrider Viper boot is also waterproof and slips on and off easier than a stovepipe boot due to the zipper feature. As with other Irish Setter boots, the leather on the boot adjusts over time to provide a comfortable fit. Wearing snake protection is a must for your enjoyment of the spring woods.
New for 2014 is the Crazy Jake decoy with motion stake by RedHead. The one-piece decoy with a hard shell has detailed paint and a jake-length beard that is short, depicting a young male. A synthetic tailfeather fan comes with it, but hunters may choose to insert a fan of real feathers from a past harvest. The Crazy Jake stands in 3/4 strut and turns 360-degrees or stops via remote control. It's hard to imagine anything more effective than one Crazy Jake in your spread, except for maybe using two of them.
The Ol' Tom Dura-Lite Strap Turkey Vest helps to organize all of the gear I carry including a compass, flashlight, snacks and water. The magnetic padded seat at the bottom of the vest is one of the easiest to use on the market. This feature is important because sometimes while out enjoying the flora and fauna of the spring woods, a tom will interrupt that peace with a GOBBLE and return you back to fierce hunter mode. Sitting down quickly onto a pad, versus a tree root, can make all the difference while taking aim at one of the big game blessings of spring.