Countdown to turkey season begins
Going out to feed the livestock just before dawn yesterday, I heard a noise behind the house. The morning was calm with just a bit of the remaining spring chill in the air. I stopped to listen and heard it again. It was the unmistakable gobble of...
Going out to feed the livestock just before dawn yesterday, I heard a noise behind the house.
The morning was calm with just a bit of the remaining spring chill in the air. I stopped to listen and heard it again. It was the unmistakable gobble of a tom turkey.
There are turkeys in my backyard and my season does not start for another week. There is something just not right about that, but it would be too easy to walk out back and bag a turkey. It is more the hunt than the actual getting the bird.
Preparation for the big opening day goes on for more than a week. Not only does turkey hunting require a lot of 'stuff' but it takes a good week to find all the safe places I put everything. Some days, I think I could hide my own Easter eggs.
I need decoys, which are fairly easy to find. They look down from their lofty perch in the back room where they have been watching people come and go since last spring. It drives my wife crazy to have a row of turkeys in public view, but they are safe and out of the way.
The blind is by the freezer. I can remember that because it is rather large and cumbersome, even folded and bagged. It gets in the way every time I try to close the freezer door. I could move the blind, or the freezer, to avoid this proble, but there is only another week to put up with it.
The shotgun is where it is supposed to be but the shells are another story. They are always stored away from the other shells so they are not mistakenly used at a trap shoot. They would work, but are about five times the cost and power of trap loads. Along with making a person poor, they would definitely make one sore.
Turkey calls are stored in various places. Slate and box calls are naturally in the living room. A person can practice calling while watching television in a comfortable chair. They can only be used here a few minutes each day as other people in the room get quite irritable in a short amount of time. It also drives the dog crazy. Diaphragm calls are kept on the sun visor of the truck. Driving is the perfect time to practice with a mouth call. It does not require hands to practice. I have gotten strange looks from people while at stop lights, when they hear me clucking and squawking. One lady, apparently thinking I was dangerous, ran a red light to get away from the strange noises.
At the rate I am going, I should have all the required turkey hunting stuff collected well before opening day.
There are always a few last minute details with which to be dealt. I always have lost the chalk for the box call, but it is easy enough to steal a piece of sidewalk chalk from the grandkids toy box.
By four o'clock in the morning of opening day, if a person does not have what they need and can not improvise in their sleep-deprived state, it is best to do without. I would recommend against waking up a sleeping wife to find your lucky turkey hat. There is a fine line between concern and attempted murder. Do not cross this line.
It will be great to get back out on a crisp clear morning to match wits with the wily old gobblers. My wife will also appreciate the few weeks all the hunting equipment is in the woods instead of strung around the house.
Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Bloomfield, Iowa.