Whatever It Takes

Just last week a turkey hunting bud from the Midwest and I were on the phone discussing plans for the coming season. He’s an Ohioan by birth now living in Iowa. I’m a Pennsylvania native based in Maine. Neither one of us has hunted yet this spring though we both do it around the country each year. I’m in Texas come April, and five states thereafter, but not soon enough . . .Garyseftonflorida1

He asked me this question: “If you had one day to try and kill a spring gobbler, and could only do it with one other guy in the outdoor industry, who would it be?” I could think of about a half-dozen right off the bat. One would have to be Gary Sefton.

Sefton, a longtime presence in the turkey hunting industry, is also a country music legend, and one of the funniest men I know. That good sense of humor carries him along when the going gets tough. His turkey calling talent is unrivaled. He’s got a low-key confident style that puts many a strutting longbeard in front of his shotgun each spring. This year is no exception. He started out recently in the Land of the Osceola, his state of birth.

“After a whole bunch of pleading and cajoling, this Florida gobbler flew down on the wrong side of the creek for his health and well-being,” Gary reported back to me this weekend. “It was a two Thermacell morning in a makeshift blind that my brother and I had put up in the dark after roosting the bird. We cut some palmetto fans and stuck them in the ground in front of a couple folding stools. We couldn't see too well and were kind of in a hurry so we didn’t allow any room between the fans and our legs.”

Uh-oh. Remember our recent Strut Zone blog post on wingshooting turkeys?

“I had to keep my gun in my lap,” Sefton said, “and you can guess what happened when the time came for the shot. Got him on the second shot though, about 35 feet straight up.” I’ve hunted quail with Gary too, and he drops those little bitty birds on the wing with the same calm composure.

Mount the shotgun. Find the target. Pull the trigger. Now tag that gobbler.

—Steve Hickoff