Spring gobbler season coming, but not fast enough
It’s about this time of year when spring gobbler hunters start getting antsy, especially if they don’t have any trips planned to Florida to kickstart their season with an Osceola hunt.
Around here, it’s March, winter is still hanging on with a death grip, and the birds haven’t really begun to disperse so scouting is pretty much a waste of time. I’m fairly sure I heard a single gobble last week when I stood outside with the dogs one chilly but calm morning, although Paula is questioning that.
A trip to Nashville last month for the annual National Wild Turkey Federation Convention & Sport Show only did more to trigger our anticipation for the coming season, but it was, as usual, a great time and offered a chance to talk turkey, and listen as well, with numerous calling competitions that can only help improve your own calling this spring.
But for the most part, it’s a waiting game now. Still, there’s a few things you can do to prep for another memorable season in the turkey woods.
Paula and I always take an inventory of our clothing and gear, notably gloves and facemasks. By the end of May, we have usually taken several first-timers afield, and most don’t have camo gloves or facemasks/headnets. So we dole out quite a few of these each May. Throw in the inevitable loss of a glove or two and it’s a good idea to see just what’s left over heading into another season.
It makes sense, too, to hit your camo pants, shirts and jackets with some permethrin to combat the typical tick encounters each spring. Some areas we hunt are much worse than others, but we never know where we may end up on any given morning once we start running and gunning in an effort to find a cooperative longbeard. Permethrin is incredibly effective at keeping ticks at bay and even lasts through a few washings, although we often re-apply it just to err on the side of caution. We know too many people who have been affected by Lyme disease.
Obviously, there’s never a bad time to practice your calling, although our two Labrador retrievers may disagree. It seems like I always have a call in my mouth or, when I take a break from the keyboard, in my hands this time of year. And with the seemingly endless supply of YouTube videos and sound files available on Facebook, there’s simply no reason why you can’t improve your calling technique ahead of the season.
It’s coming. Maybe not as fast as we’d like, but it’s nice knowing seven weeks from as I type this I will be heading afield for the New York and Pennsylvania youth turkey hunts, which always makes for a memorable weekend and is a great way to launch another spring gobbler season.