Gobblers have been sounding off for weeks now, and even though we're still almost two months from the spring turkey season, opening day will be here before you know it. It will pay to be ready.
To get ready every hunter has his own routines. Yours might be to leave early for work, and stop at key places to listen for gobblers sounding off at sunrise. Or you might take the long way home and drive on country roads, scanning fields for flocks of turkeys that are attracted to the farmer's manure spreader like bees to clover.
You might be touching bases with property owners to make sure their permission is still good. You're probably getting into the woods to see what changes the winter has brought, or where loggers have been working, or where turkeys are feeding.
Without a doubt, preparation for spring gobbler season includes daydreaming about the gobblers you have known. It doesn't matter whether you got the best of them, or they got the best of you. But you think mostly about that second group so you won't make the same mistakes next time.
Serious turkey hunters do those things, but maybe you've gone beyond all that. If so, you're probably a gobbler "geek." Geeks aren't just nerdy computer guys. Every endeavor has its own geeks yes, turkey hunting can be an obsession.
Do people think you're obsessed with turkeys, maybe even a little odd? Maybe they're right. To help you find out, I've devised a little test. If more than two or three of these are true of you, you're probably a gobbler geek.
When "The Everyday Hunter" isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting. If you want to tell him exactly where your favorite hunting spot is, contact him at EverydayHunter@gmail.com. This column and others can be accessed online at www.EverydayHunter.com.
1. You use only three or four turkey calls, but you have several dozen, and it's not nearly enough.
2. You've designed and built at least one turkey call and even if gobblers don't respond to it, you figure someday one might.
3. In the weeks leading up to turkey season, you'd rather lose your wallet than your diaphragm calls.
4. If your house is on fire, your collection of turkey beards and spurs is the first thing you'd rescue.
5. You relate everything you do to some aspect of turkey hunting. Examples: Shopping for a new truck is like scouting for turkeys. Asking your boss for a raise is like calling in a gobbler. Waiting for your kids to come home at night is like calling in a gobbler that's "hung up."
6. Most of the pages saved on your computer are turkey hunting and topo map websites.
7. At a job interview, you stipulate right up front that any job you take has to be flexible enough to let you hunt until noon during May.
8. You think the naked, rubbery, warty, red, white and blue head of a wild turkey gobbler is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen next to your wife, of course.
9. You don't understand why your wife doesn't appreciate the comparison of her beauty to a gobbler's naked, rubbery, warty, red, white and blue head and you probably never will.
10. You call spring gobbler season "widow-making season." So does your wife. She doesn't mean exactly what you mean but she means it just as literally, so watch out!