The final approach to turkey season
It’s just about this time of the year that I really get turkey fever. You know, that final two-week period that serves as the countdown to the spring gobbler season. There’s plenty to do in preparation but I put more time into scouting right now than anything else.
First, another youth hunting weekend is coming up and my mentee and I have been invited to hunt some private farm country which I appreciate and am excited about. It’s much easier for both the kid and I if we hunt farmlands than it is to have them follow me around in the Adirondacks. But some scouting is needed as I’m unfamiliar with the farm and its turkeys, so I’ve been scoping out the property in hopes of pinpointing some birds. We’ll see how that plays out.
Otherwise, it’s on to my main woodland haunts, some of which are on public land. I’ve been driving the early-morning backroads, listening for birds and have been seeing some turkeys. I’ve got a few toms pegged so far and in the final days before the opener will be checking on them to see if they’re still around. Usually they’re not too far away from where I find them in late-April.
One thing I never, ever do while pre-season scouting is call, at least with a turkey call. I do some owl hooting and blow on a crow call to get a shock gobble, but that’s about it. Again, it’s mostly just driving roads or walking trails, and doing a lot of listening and observing. The goal is to find birds to hunt during the first two or three days of the season, which is a time I feel is one of the best to tag a gobbler.
As for calls, blinds, dekes, clothing and gear? I got that out of the way earlier this month but I do pick up the box and slate calls nearly every day at some point. And I also checked my shotgun pattern at the range recently, so all that stuff is ready.
Now, with the clock ticking towards another spring season the focus will be on locating turkeys. May 1 will be here before we know it.