Just a quick update here this morning; shaping up to be a busy week again this week. We are into that spring period where I wish I could make the clock stop–in the next few weeks there will be so many things to enjoy in our Nebraska outdoors that I am afraid I will not have time to enjoy it all. My kids and I have been concentrating on the spring turkey hunting, and every time I hear a turkey gobble I can focus on nothing else. In addition the fish are biting and the mushrooms are starting to appear (note to self: tell the secretary that you will be “out of the office” for the next 8 weeks).
I stayed late at the office last Thursday evening, so I could get some “stuff” done. That meant my son Daniel slipped out for an evening hunt without me. And he scored! He has spent some time over the past few years hunting on his own, but until last Thursday night was not quite able to close the deal by himself. He came home after one hunt a year ago and had a sad story to tell about missing one, but not this year! From the way I understand it, he spent some time trying to catch up with a Tom that was gobbling when he got out there, but that Tom had a bunch of hens and ended up heading the other direction. So, Daniel picked up and headed for one of those spots where we have scouted birds and knew that they loved to hang out in the area. To keep from spooking any birds that might be close by, he snuck in and set up against the first good tree; quietly staked out a couple of hen decoys and settled in to do a little calling. Not long after that some birds fed into his area, hens and jakes and then a couple of big Toms come parading in from behind him. He whacked the first one a grand total of 10 paces in front of him!
That is a 21.5-pounder, 9-inch beard and 1-inch spurs on each leg. Daniel even has his decoy posing for a picture (she is not smiling much though). Nice turkey, now the old man needs to punch a tag!
Let me offer a couple of other comments. If you ask me the “secret” to spring turkey hunting, I will tell you to scout, scout, and then scout some more. Sure, I love to call the birds and have done that with several different calls, but I learned a long time ago that the world champion turkey caller ain’t gonna call ‘em where they don’t want to go. We hunt spots that we have hunted for years and have an idea where the birds are at and what they are doing, and we spend lots of time scouting before we ever carry a shotgun with the intent of punching a tag. No, the turkeys do not do what you expect them to do, but the more time you have spent doing your “homework” the more often you will be in the right place at the right time.
Secondly, you may be looking at the photo and wondering how my son was hunting by himself and still has a photo taken in the field? Well, we discovered a handy little tool called a “GorillaPod”, http://joby.com/gorillapod . With that little tri-pod and a digital camera with a timer anyone can take photos of themselves just about anywhere. I will tell you that I absolutely hate game and fish photos taken in the back of the pickup or back home in the garage. I believe the memory of the hunt or fishing trip is preserved much better by photos taken at the time, on location! Sure, a person has to plan ahead and carry a little bit of extra gear with them, but for me, in my opinion, it is worth it!
Well done, Daniel!