Turkeys OR Trout
I’m on the outdoor show seminar trail these days, talking turkey the way we do here on the Strut Zone,...
I’m on the outdoor show seminar trail these days, talking turkey the way we do here on the Strut Zone, but doing it live and in person. The requisite Q & A session among the brotherhood always follows the main presentation. Sometimes the questions get pretty interesting, even testy.
I’d been talking a little about my pleasure in walking a lot in the bigwoods, and locating gobblers I haven’t known about until then. It’s the way I often like to do it, even if I scout year-round here in Maine, but often hunt cold elsewhere; some guys don’t agree:
“So you’re saying not to hunt fields on Opening Day where we’re seeing birds from the road, but to run-and-gun in the woods?”
“I am. Everybody sees those field birds, and as a result, they take the path of least resistance to that hunting spot. They might call to them before the season. They might exert a whole lot of people pressure. You’re going to have a lot of company when Opening Day starts. That would be the last place I’d hunt.”
“But what if I kill a bird even if all those guys are in there?”
“I’d be the first to congratulate you.”
Translation: the guy wants to score and get back to his fishing. Some years I want a quality hunt on unpressured birds, and not a slam dunk, even if it means carrying my tag awhile. Or not long at all: I killed three Opening Day gobblers in as many states last year (Texas, Vermont & Maine); one on Day Two in another (Florida). Presented as support and nothing more. The 2009 New Hampshire tag I ate. Yech. I digress . . .
“If you could only use one call, what would it be?”
“Why a slate?”
“It’s the first call I ever used all those years ago when I started. I still feel a good slate will allow you a greater range of both hen and gobbler yelps. The only trade-off is that it’s not hands-free like a diaphragm.”
Or this (different guy, but sort of like the first one):
“How can I make sure I kill a gobbler on Opening Day so I can get back to my fishing?”
“I don’t know. I don’t fish during turkey season.” I grinned. Long pause. Nervous coughing.
“Oh . . . I get it,” the guy chuckled. “I have to make my mind up as to what I really want to do.”
The laughs in the crowd said it all. Turkey hunting will never be fishing. Fishing is what you do when you can’t turkey hunt.