You can kill one wild turkey, filling that state’s only tag in the process, and feel great about it.
You can take one goose, a bird shy of your daily state limit, and feel like you fell a little short.
Waterfowling these days is about high volume kills, lots of buddies in the blind, hero shots with piles of birds in your inbox, an assortment of calls dangling from a band-decorated lanyard around your neck, and decoy spreads (and generous seasons) that exceed the imagination.
Wild turkey hunting is about killing a bird or two, often alone, maybe with many calls in your vest (especially in early season), or maybe just a diaphragm call tucked in the roof of your mouth (at the wire, traveling light), and a decoy you may never use all season.
In enjoy them both, but if challenged to select just one, wild turkey hunting, spring and fall, would have to be my no. 1 — no doubt about it. Waterfowl hunting fills in the obvious gaps in shorter autumn turkey seasons as my clear no. 2.
It’s not the same for everybody.
Spring turkey and fall whitetail hunting are often the two pursuits many sportsmen choose these time-constrained days. The beauty of it is that there’s no seasonal conflict whatsoever. You might be a “beards in the spring, antlers in the fall guy” too.
Then again I know some guys who only chase ducks and geese; those hardcore waterfowl superheroes.
So Strut Zoners, if pressed to the test, what are your no. 1 & 2 hunting choices? Just for kicks, what turkey hunting trip and for what subspecies would you take (and hunt) if finances (and opportunity) provided?
(Media courtesy photos: Mallard/Delta Waterfowl. Wild turkey/Jake Dingel, PA Game Commission.)