Jerry Carlson's Apr/May Tip
HMG Pro Staff Tip - Apr/May
HMG Pro Staff - Apr/May
April/May 2015 - Chasing Spring Turkeys
by Boomer Stelmach
Signs of Spring are showing in the Midwest, the snow is melting & the days are getting longer. This morning’s coffee tastes extra awesome, cause it includes me dreaming about chasing Gobblers in South Dakota, Wisconsin & Minnesota. This love affair started 15yrs ago in Missouri and continues to consume me every Spring!
Scouting – Turkeys are creatures of habit, they typically retire at sundown (roost) to the same tree bunch & follow the same trails in the woods/hills/fields. Grab yourself a pair of binoculars & start patterning the birds on your land. Scouting can vary from driving your favorite pick-up truck down a country road or camo up with a spot/stalk adventure. Don’t get closer than 200 yards while Scouting, you want to keep everything as “normal” as possible – leading up to your hunt! Scouting the evening before becomes a ritual for my hunting crew/I; the same country songs, 30lb+ Turkey stories and an old Thermos with decaf coffee. Have fun with it, but take it serious – plan on minimum an hour for a good quality Scouting Mission.
Blending in the Woods – Turkeys have amazing eyesight and are very observant creatures, hence they are hunted by predators every day. Leverage “MotherNature”, the best camo is natural SHADE. When I’m spot/stalking or taking a more permanent position; I always try to stay in the shade. You movement is more concealed and less opportunity for the sun to shine/reflect off your gear & gun. I also tend to favor darker camo patterns for increased flexibility in the woods/field.
One last item, I still worry about scent control and will wear my ScentBlocker RECON gear when chasing Gobblers. Yep, I understand Turkey’s don’t focus on scent but other pesky critters in the woods do; I’ve spent so much time prepping to hunt this beautiful Merriam - why chance a WhiteTail winding me that alerts the entire woods.
Mobility – There’s been some awesome Technology & Innovation over the last few years in Turkey Hunting – especially in Ground Blinds & Turkey Vests. This year I’ll bring a couple of my Clam Elite Hunter blinds (http://clamoutdoors.com/armor_hunting/thermal-hunting-blind.html) on the my Turkey adventures, cause they conceal movement well when hunting with a buddy. The key to Ground Blinds Shade placemnt (sound familiar) and keep the back windows covered (sunshine doesn’t come thru).
When I’m hunting alone or on a spot/stalk mission, the Turkey Vest is nice piece of gear to have – plenty of pockets, seat for your rear end and a game vest. I like the Bone Collector Thunder Chicken Turkey Vest (http://www.robinsonoutdoors.com/shop/bone-collector-thunder-chicken-turkey-vest.html), as its light and I don’t feel bulked down when crawling thru the woods.
Get your Gun Ready!!! – Shotgun Fitting can increase your odds by 30%+, a Professional Gunsmith can fix you up for typically less than $100. My buddy at Keeler’s Gunsmith (www.keelersgunsmithing.com) taught me a couple things and dialed my gun into fitting my buddy better. He focused on 3 Items: Your Shoulder Sweet Spot, Cheek Placement & Level Eyes. When these 3 Items come together, you flinch less when shooting and hit more bird – a definite must.
My coffee is done and it’s time to get the rods/tackle ready for inside the Alumacraft; thinking about doubling down with some Walleye fishing in the Dakotas!
Good Luck and Be Safe!!!