April is probably my favorite month because of one thing: turkey season. I started turkey hunting at the age of 13, and by far, it is my favorite (I also hunt deer, dove, squirrel and I like to fish). My dad did not hunt much, so I learned by trial and error, and early on, I made a lot of errors. In my opinion, turkey hunting is the most “real” or “natural” type of hunting. You turkey hunters will know what I mean by that. It’s just you and the birds out there. The interaction between hunter and gobbler is priceless. The successful turkey hunter must enter into the bird’s natural element and fit in completely to get the kill. The art of calling the mature gobbler is the most fun. Whether you use a friction call (wood box type or slate) or you use a mouth call (latex diaphragm type), learning to sound like a hen in order to lure the gobbler into range is most challenging. When you get the call right, and the bird thunders back with a mighty gobble that seems to shake the tree tops, you feel on the top of the world.

Even when you figure out the calling and you have birds answer back, it still doesn’t always work out. There are still many times when the bird wins. When that happens, the hunter begins rethinking strategy and calling and positioning. Nothing is more frustrating than spending several hours working a bird only to come up empty handed. Something happens that ends the hunt: a hen gets in the way, the gobbler sees me or I do something stupid. But that is one of the great things about turkey hunting: the frustration just motivates you more. I think it’s because of the challenge. If you don’t like challenges, then don’t go turkey hunting. But if you are up for it, get out there and enjoy God’s creation and try to bag that trophy bird.

First bird of the season, 4-2-13
First bird of the season, 4-2-13

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