Spring is here and that means it’s time for turkeys! I bought my OTC spring turkey tag a couple weeks ago and look forward to the season opening next weekend.
While it normally takes a couple of weeks before things really start to heat up in the mountains and foothills in Colorado, at least the season is opening. While I’m hunting public land, I know a general area where there are some turkeys so I have high hopes to bag one this year. Of course, when I told my brother I got my turkey tag he stated, “Well then we know the turkeys are safe.” He really doesn’t have a lot of faith in me. I’m 0-2 the past two years, but I have a feeling about this year….I hope!
A friend just texted me this past weekend a picture of two gobblers he shot down in Texas. He had the great experience of being able to call them in himself. He called 4 toms into 18 yards with a couple hen decoys before shooting one with his Browning 12 gage over-under. While the other three ran off, it wasn’t more than sixty seconds before a big tom came from the other direction and started to attack the tom that was just shot. My friend has another tag….and had another shot in his over-under, so he introduced that bird to some hot lead! This tom was a mature bird with an 11-inch beard!
Seeing that picture and hearing that experience made me that much more eager to get out to hunt. To get ready for this year I’ve taken three main steps:
- Purchase Turkey Gear: I recently purchased a strutting tom decoy. I have a couple hen decoys and hope that sticking a gobbler out there will bring in a feisty bird. I also purchased a turkey choke for my shotgun. I look forward to pattering it and getting a bit more distance for my shot. I’m hoping these couple purchases help me be successful this year.
- Get in Shape: It’s amazing how that after a fall of elk and deer hunting how quickly I can get out of shape. While I’m not horrible, I clearly need to get back into hunting shape. Over the past month I’ve been running and working out to get back into hiking shape. While turkey hunting isn’t normally near as many miles as elk hunting, I still plan to put on 5-6 miles each day I’m out. While I always enjoy hunting, it is more enjoyable when you can breathe hiking up the mountain and you are incredibly sore the next day!
- Scout and Learn: I’ve done a fair amount of online scouting this winter looking for better areas this spring and I’ve identified a couple areas I’m excited to explore. I’m always looking to expand and grown in my hunting areas. I’ve also found different resources to help me grow in my turkey knowledge. Since I’m a relatively new turkey hunter and have not had a mentor to teach me, I’ve had to look for other ways to learn. I found a very helpful book on turkey hunting (which I will give a review on here in the next couple weeks), and have found a number of online resources to learn from. A great introduction to turkey hunting is a short video I found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. You can find it here. I hope to use this knowledge to finally bag a bird.
While I can’t guarantee that I will get a tom this year, I can guarantee that I will put my work in and that I will greatly enjoy my time in the woods. If you have opportunity to get out for turkey this spring remember to enjoy it and have a great turkey experience regardless of the outcome!