Turkey season opens in two days.
If you’re a turkey hunter that tells you all you need to know. If you’re not a turkey hunter you probably won’t waste time reading beyond this sentence. I don’t blame you.
I’ve been scouting – that is if you can call listening for gobblers from the roadside actually scouting. David Hale of Knight and Hale Game Calls fame once told me that it helps if, when you step away from the truck to listen for a gobbling bird, you remove your hat.
I wasn’t sure about the removing the hat part of his strategy but who was I to question David Hale? When I’m scouting and listening for preseason birds the hat still comes off. I can’t tell that it helps but it certainly doesn’t hurt. And why would David Hale do it if it didn’t help?
I’ve come to believe that there are no passive turkey hunters. I don’t know if this is because the sport is addictive or because passive personalities aren’t attracted to it. When discussing turkey hunters the word “intense” comes to mind. Maybe that’s because you have to be so focused to have any chance of success.
I’m not talking about dumb luck. Sure, occasionally a bird comes your way that just insists on being tagged regardless of how many blunders you make. But normally a gobbler will find your weakness.
My trouble is patience. I don’t have any. I was fidgety as a kid and I’m fidgety now.
When I return from the woods empty handed – which is often – I am occasionally reminded by editors, friends and family that turkeys are not highly intelligent critters. This is true. We’re not talking about border collie intelligence here. We’re talking about a bird with a walnut size brain. Maybe being dumb and skittish are what makes them almost foolproof.
Still, they can fire a strange passion in hunters. You don’t hear turkey hunters who finish the season empty handed say nonsense like, “I really didn’t care about getting a bird. I just enjoyed being out in the woods.”
Turkey hunting is a blood sport. Make no apologies. Don’t over analyze. Just get in the woods and hunt.
The season opens in two days.