Even veteran turkey hunters can learn a thing or two by listening to other experienced hunters

(Photo by Jerry Davis)

There may be more truth in an off-the-cuff comment by a Midwestern turkey hunting guide who said he could help anyone be a better turkey hunter with three simple recommendations.

Get a blind. Use a decoy. Set up where turkeys are likely to frequent.

For some, even long-time hunters, this spring might be a time to consider returning to turkey basics and attending a seminar. Most talks are free. Some are better than others. If the first words are something about a fool-proof call or a longer-range shotgun, get up and leave. Fnd another seminar or simply continue to make the same mistakes again and again.

Impatience in the fields and forests, becoming frustrated with not every bird responding, paying too little concern for camouflage, concealment and movement, and not spending time scouting are some of our sins.

Turkey hunting didn’t always seem to be so difficult when Wisconsin’s turkeys – actually Missouri’s turkeys, brought to Wisconsin – first heard us call and experienced our set-ups. But now it is, or seems to be, that many of us could benefit from hearing about the basics and not relying so much on better shotguns and more expensive calls.

One experienced turkey hunting guide, not bragging, said he could tell us how to be more successful with those three short recommendations. At least to start.

In very general terms, he is countering our impatience, poor camouflage and lack of concern for movement by putting us in a blind. Then, in an attempt to help Wisconsin’s turkeys become more honest, by giving them a decoy to look at.  Finally, there is no substitute for setting up where the turkeys frequent and waiting for several hours in a comfortable blind. A blind is now to turkey hunters what the treestand is to an archer

Listen to one of these experienced seminar leaders instead of trying to cover up mistakes with longer-ranged shotguns and louder calls and know we’re never going to fool all the turkeys all the time.

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