I hold a certain affection for hunting turkeys much the same as I do for woodchucks. They drive me nuts, and I finally figured out why. It’s the way they look at you. A deer, for instance, will stare right at you if they sense danger, which is a logical approach. A turkey or a woodchuck will appear as though they are looking perpendicular to you, but in actuality, they are giving you the business out of one beady little eyeball mounted on the side of their head. I’m not sure why it annoys me the way it does, but their stupid little eye games make me want to bring them home for dinner.
It’s embarrassing to admit that I don’t own a shotgun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve never had the desire to own one, but for some reason I’ve never purchased one. Times are changing, however, and the time has come to drop some hard-earned dough on a new scattergun. But which one?
My hunting forays have yet to include the need for a shotgun, except for a few squirrel hunts when I borrowed my dad’s single shot .410. And then last year I tried spring turkey hunting for the first time and a friend loaned me his Remington model 870 12 Gauge. I didn’t kill anything with it (except for a sapling or two) but my few experiences in the turkey woods last spring were enough to convince me that I needed to take up the hobby on a more serious level. To do that, I’ll need my own gun, I figure.
I didn’t get out as much as wanted to, but I was able to hunt enough times to know that I’ll be back. It was a lot of fun. As a newbie to the sport, I learned a few tips I’ll carry with me into next season if I can remember them by then – eleven months is a long time to remember something.
I was hoping to get out in the late season but for a number of excuses reasons I wasn’t able to. First, against my better judgment, I let myself down by allowing my work responsibilities to take precedence over hunting. That better not happen during deer season or I’ll be very upset, and I hate being upset.
The story of my second turkey hunt begins right where you would expect – at the beginning. All week I’d looked forward to redeeming myself after my opening day disaster. The only problem was that I’d be hunting alone for the first time, and I still lacked some essential equipment (and skills) to maximize my chances at harvesting a turkey. I knew I needed some more gear, and my research had led me to believe that a locator call, such as an owl hoot or crow call, was pivotal to locating birds in the morning.
I tell ya, it seems that every time I buy or borrow a piece of gear for my first turkey hunt someone brings up something else I need! I guess now I need a facemask because the sight of my face will be scary to a flock of turkeys. It’s not the first time I’ve been told my face is scary, but it will be the first time I spend money to alleviate the issue. Darn birds. They’re expensive! They’ll be a lot of value in every bite should I be fortunate enough to take down a bird.