Strutting into turkey season – MessAge Media: Hunting

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey be the national bird but the other Founding Fathers decided to bestow that honor on a bird that’s less noisy and doesn’t strut around all day. Maybe they thought Ben and turkeys had too much in common. Although they will never garner the respect of an eagle, turkeys are big and tasty and their gobbles shake the woods, making them a favorite target of hunters.

While my family prefers deer hunting, my son Adam and I hunt turkeys when it’s convenient and not overly difficult. That means we hunt on the property we live on. It doesn’t take long to get from bed to blind, and we don’t hunt until the turkeys show up for the season. This year was no different.

Adam spotted a number of toms and decided it was time to buy a license and go hunting. As a youth, he doesn’t have to plan like an adult and apply for a license months in advance. My turkey hunting is sporadic so I buy an over-the-counter archery license, which means I can hunt turkeys unsuccessfully all season, not just five days. It also means we rely on Adam to feed the family since the only turkey I’ve shot at with an arrow ran off with it in exchange for a few feathers.

Adam said he wanted to hunt the next morning, which means “try your best to wake me up.” I woke a little later planned and was greeted by a loud gobble as soon as I opened the front door. It took me two attempts to wake Adam, which was better than usual. A few years ago, a tom was gobbling right next to his window and he still wasn’t convinced that it was worth getting up. After putting on his hunting clothes in slow motion, we stood on our front step formulating our strategy.

The gobbler was located near our long driveway so my plan was to walk through the woods to sneak around it to the blind. Adam thought that was too much effort and said the driveway made a great path. I overruled him and stepped into the woods, only to hear another gobbler blocking our path. We went with Adam’s plan and walked down the driveway pretending we were just two guys in camo out for an early morning…

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