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Turkey Season

Have you been waiting for turkey season since the last one ended? If so, you are like many of us who think about turkey hunting all year long. As I drive, I'm always glancing in the fields and wooded areas for turkeys. I look for sites that seem likely or sites where I've seen them previously. I never tire of seeing a gobbler or hens with poults.

For some of you, the season has already begun and maybe you've even taken your first gobbler for a ride. For many of us however, we're still in the anticipation stage. If you're like me in that stage, maybe a few reminders would be in order.

I always decide which gun I intend to take to the turkey woods and fields and then give it a thorough inspection and cleaning. If it has sights, I make sure they are tightly installed. After triple checking to make sure no rounds are in the magazine or chamber, I test fire the gun several times. I always begin the season with a "deep cleaned" bore

Next, a trip to the range is in order. No matter how many times I've used a gun for target shooting or hunting, I always check it at the range to make sure everything still works as it should. There are just too many things that can happen to leave this to chance.

Then I check all my hunting clothes to make sure I have everything I need. Gloves and facemasks seem to disappear and gloves get ripped on briars or simply wear out over time. I like to have at least 2 sets of both of these items since I've lost both in the woods on hunts.

I have become a "minimalist" hunter over the years but I still like to have several mouth calls with me. At any time one may just work better than another. I like to have a few emergency supplies with me. I carry a very loud whistle, a small space blanket and my cell phone. I have a few extra shells, a good knife and of course my licenses and tags.

Each year I remind myself of hunting safety. I always sit with a large tree to my back and I never wear anything that that is red, blue or white, even if I think it's completely covered. When I sit next to that tree, I make sure that I can move my gun in all directions without hitting anything. I also make sure that I can see the background of any place that I might shoot. Modern guns, chokes and shells can allow shot to carry very far.

Before I leave for the first hunt, I practice just a bit with a few calls to make sure they sound like I want them to sound.

Lastly, if I'm hunting alone, I make sure that a couple of people know where I will be and what time I plan to return home. Hopefully, I'll surprise them by being home early with a nice gobbler but if not, I'll let them know I had another great hunt anyway.

I hope you all have a great, safe season.

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