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
-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???