Turkeys win out over trout in May

In a previous blog I mentioned how, during May, one can be torn between trout fishing and turkey hunting, and how that’s not a bad problem to have. One should always be grateful if they are fortunate enough to enjoy any outdoor activity. 

Still, during the month of May I always feels torn between the two pursuits, as do many of my peers. We’ve tried combining the two with mixed results and usually end up with a natural concentration on one or the other. 

About a decade ago, I was in a hunting lease that I had specifically joined because it offered the opportunity to hunt turkeys. It didn’t hurt that a popular trout water with access was close by. The only problem was that it was about a 45-minute drive from my home, making it difficult to roost gobblers. 

Every time I went to this spot I had both turkey hunting and trout fishing gear with me. Although it was farmland, this piece of property was mostly hill country with a few open fields. One morning I got there early and set up in the biggest field. I never heard a gobble and within a few hours I was running and gunning over those hilltops without any luck. So I headed for the trout stream. 

The fishing was about as good as the turkey hunting and one angler told me they were biting pretty good earlier that morning. Of course they were. After an hour or so on the stream bank, I packed it up and headed home. It was just about noon when I passed the hunting lease, and I’m sure you can guess what was out in the field where I’d been at sunrise: a lone gobbler. I never did kill a turkey there, not for lack of effort, but eventually I did get some trout out of that stream. 

Living in the Adirondacks there’s a natural pull in the spring to head for the trout ponds. But it takes effort, time and planning. I love an early season trout fishing trip about as much as anything, especially before the blackflies come out. The problem is that I’ve become obsessed with turkey hunting and if the trout trip doesn’t happen in April, then it just doesn’t happen. 

Just as my deer hunting success increased when I put more time and effort into it, so has my turkey hunting. I’m sure it would be the same with trout fishing. And so I’ve made a choice — to pursue turkeys. What the oldtimers referred to as gobbling time only comes once a year, and when the full-time job, gardens and wood pile aren’t calling, the desire to hunt turkeys is. 

Yes, there are the afternoons and the option of filling your turkey tags early. I’ve tagged out by mid-May a few times, which has afforded some time for the garden, wood pile and even trout fishing. But I also find myself aching to be in the turkey woods and therefore will go out to call for hunters who still have a tag to fill. 

And such is the dilemma we sportsmen and women face each May. If it’s not trout that get passed over, it might northern pike, walleye or striped bass. For me, the wild turkey wins every time.

Categories: Blog Content, Bloggers on Hunting, Dan Ladd

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