Striking up the turkey-hunting season

This is typically the time of year when I really start thinking
about spring gobbler hunting. True, anyone who knows me even a
little would say it’s always on my mind, but when the days start
getting longer, the snow begins to melt and I start working on some
spring gobbler features for upcoming editions of New York
Outdoor News, the intensity kicks in again.

One of my annual pre-season tasks is to take an inventory of my
turkey-hunting arsenal, from decoys to shot shells to calls and
accessories. This is one of those seasons where I say I need
nothing and I’m not stocking up on the latest and greatest in
turkey-hunting equipment. No change in shotgun (I think I’ve
already written about that); the same shot shells so no patterning
is really needed beyond a ceremonial shot or two at the range; and
certainly no new calls, decoys or camo.

In particular, I’m always stunned by my collection of strikers.
I’ve always been partial to friction calls; my buddies will only
half-joke that it’s because of my mouth-calling abilities. But give
me slate, glass or aluminum and my calling confidence soars.
Something about that magical sound, the feel of a pot call in my
hand, and the look of most of the friction calls I own. Yes, it’s
true; just as some flies catch fishermen more than trout, some
turkey calls are designed to attract hunters as much as
gobblers.

That said, the models I’ve accumulated sound superb. The challenge
I’ve created at this stage of my turkey-hunting career is that the
strikers have piled up to the point where I could start a modest
bonfire, and I’m not always sure which striker matches with what
call.

So I test them all each spring – or late winter, as is always the
case up here. Much to the chagrin of the three Labs who eventually
slink away to remote parts of the house, I’ll sit before a stack of
calls and a separate pile of strikers and mix and match until I
find what works best. I’ll dutifully take notes, maybe even write
on the striker handle what call it should be paired with.

It’s a great way to prep for the season, and an enjoyable way to
get a call back in my hands, do a little pre-season practice and
think about what I’d like to tote into the turkey woods this
spring.

And it sure beats shoveling snow.

Categories: New York – Steve Piatt

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