Turkey-hunting's top tactic: The nap
I won't lie: these early-morning turkey-scouting and -hunting missions take their toll, especially when they're combined with some National Hockey League playoff games that always seem to evolve into an overtime marathon on nights when I've got a longbeard roosted for the next morning.
There's really only one way to deal with the problem.
I take a nap.
Not the so-called power nap, those 20-minute doze-offs that leave you refreshed and ready to tackle some serious work in the afternoon. That falls woefully short of doing the trick when you're up at 3:30 a.m. and the Penquins head into double overtime against the Flyers, Rangers, or whatever team they're tussling with. No, some real sleep is needed here, so much so it may not even qualify as a nap, especially when you're getting more sleep in the afternoon than you do overnight.
Sure, on occasion, especially after a chilly spring morning, I'll get back to the sun-warmed truck and won't even fire it up for the drive home, instead tipping the seat back and basking in the mid-day sun for an hour or so. I'm usually awakened only by my own snoring, a state trooper or farmer tapping on the window to see if I'm alive, or what I'm sure was a gobble on a distant ridge.
But usually the real nap involves a trip back home, working some emails and returning some phone calls, maybe inhaling a sandwich and some cookies then heading upstairs for a serious, under-the-covers sleepfest, drool on the pillow, the whole nine yards.
Over the years I've developed an incredibly efficient schedule. Up at 3:30, work some emails (NYON readers are sure I work all the time, and I won't correct them on that), head out scouting or actually hunting, return home, work a bit, nap, get up, work some more, eat and head out scouting and roosting for the next morning. Evenings are spent alternately watching hockey and working before staggering off to bed for a few hours.
It makes for a hectic spring, for sure, so much so I no longer even think about attempting the brutal turkeys-and-trout daily double. The fish can come later, after the turkey tags are filled and there's no one left to take out there, and that rarely happens.
So I hunt. And nap. And work. And scout. And sleep. And hunt.
And I'm done with this blog. Which is good, because it's time for my nap.