Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's time! Is your gear ready??

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Saturday morning will bring in the Wild Turkey season for 2011.  After a very successful 2010, I am hoping that 2011 will be a repeat.  I was asked by someone what I did to prepare for opening morning.  My approach is fairly simple.  Since we have been hunting the same piece of land for the past 20 years, we can pretty much tell you where the birds will be.  You just need to know your gear and be able to use it well!

My wife is sick of hearing turkey calls in the house.  In order to become a good turkey caller with a mouth call you have to practice.  She will put up with me for a week or so, but I have now been moved out of the house and practice in my Jeep as I travel to and from work.  I want my mouth call to produce the tones I want on my command while I am out in the field. Practicing builds confidence that I can do just that.  I also practice with my other calls and make sure that they are properly sanded or chalked and are ready for me when I need them.

A Turkey hunter loves all of his gadgets that he can fit in his vest.  Most turkey hunting vest are made with more than enough pockets and I am guilty of trying to fill everyone with something.  Most of the time I do not need half of what I carry with me, but it is there if I need it.  Every year I bring out my turkey vest and remind myself what is in each pocket.  I check to make sure that I have everything I need and have not robbed my vest for other hunting purposes.  For example I found that I had taken my favorite face mask out of my turkey vest to be used during this past deer season.  I also found that my bug repellent spray was in need of refilling.  I also needed to replace some shells in my empty shell loops.  Did I mention that 2010 was a good turkey hunting year!!!?  After checking to see if everything is there where it should be, I start testing myself to make sure that I can recover an item quickly and that I know exactly where it is.  There is no worse feeling in the turkey woods than not being able to put your hands on something that you need in a timely manner!  So be prepared!!

Now some of you may be wondering exactly what I take to the turkey woods.  I have tried all kinds of turkey hunting gadgets and over the years I have whittled it down to this.  Here is a quick rundown. 

-Browning NWTF turkey special with 3 1/2 magnum turkey loads.
-One folding Gobbler Lounger chair
-One small blind that can be rolled up and put in my vest
-Tactical Tat'r II Turkey vest
-Two Vaughn Slate calls with two different strikers and sanding rocks
-One Wet Willie box call
-4 different mouth calls
-One owl hooter
-One crow call
-Face mask and gloves
-Thermacall as well as bug spray
-Small pair of pruning shears
-Extra ammo
-One fold up decoy (my Dad has the other one)
-Turkey boots and full camo

A strong desire to Wack and Stack some South Georgia Thunder Chickens!!

Saturday morning can not get here fast enough for me.  I know I'm ready.  Are you???


The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Nice post, you must judge people by the quality of the question... must of been one sharp character who was curious about your readiness for the turkey opener...

Trey said...

yep, he's pretty cool and keeps me on my toes. Basically called me a slacker for not posting in a week though!

Steve said...


Stack a few for us in CA.


jmluckie said...

You can call this year and I will shoot.

Trey said...

Nope Dad I'm good with our current set up! Remember, you get to hunt every day during the week while I'm slaving away at work. Saturday is the only day I got!

Matt Elder said...

Good Luck Trey! I look forward to seeing some trophy pics. I have a tactical tat'r II vest also, tough to beat.

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

all this being prepared and in case of must have been a boy scout or military? Rambob was military... and your check list / process is EXACTLY what he does the week before opening day. We have another two weeks before our season starts so the practice calling will begin in our house soon!

Good luck whackin' and stackin'!!

penbayman said...

Hey! I think I saw that pair in my yard!

Bill said...

Good luck this Saturday Trey! Hope to see a success post!

Ian Nance said...

Best of luck!

Ashlee said...

Go get 'em!!

Hunt Like You're Hungry said...

Good luck on baggin those thunder chickens! I'll be out for my first bird this year so if you keep me updated, I'll return the favor! Deal?

:-) Good luck!


Swamp Thing said...

Good luck! Def. not ready here. On my list for this week is to get the decoys out and make sure they are still in good shape, and to set a date for scouting next week. I have three shells left from my 5-shell box. That'll do. I have my slate (which I love), need to sand the striker though, and the "Wet Box" call, which I also love, since about 50% of my turkey hunts are in the rain, or right after it.

Question for you Trey - I tried several owl calls recently (all under $15) and they all sounded horrible. We are using a semi-perm blind, so I just need a shock call to make sure the birds are still up in the trees when we sneak out there at oh-dark-thirty.

They are moving but not yet gobbling up here. Temps are still in the low-mid 30s at night. 3 weeks til gobbler season.

Swamp Thing said...

Oh yeah my question - would you recommend a particular owl call? Is there a trick to making it sound reasonably authentic?

Trey said...

If I could change one piece of my equipment it would be my owl hoot. The problems seems to be that I find one with good tone, but it is not very loud. If I find one that is loud, it doesn't have good tone. I am still searching for that perfect owl hooter and I have tried several over the years.

As far as making one sound authentic, all I can say is there is no better teacher than an actual owl in the woods. Take time to listen to them when they fire up and remember their calls. A simple "Who cooks, who cooks for you" blown through your call will work most of the time, but sometimes you may need to change that up a bit with some longer tones and you can try rolling your "R's" and the end of your notes.

Hope that helps and if you find a good owl call, please feel free to share!!