Old turkey hunter tricks make hunt a success

by teddletonmr

Early spring in the Midwest United States is the time when Easter flowers and dogwood trees bloom; hunters gather morels and prepare for the opening day of turkey season.

April showers bring May flowers in the Midwest U.S. and harvesting morels is a time-honored tradition for many hunters. Nonetheless, in states like Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois avid turkey hunters look forward to opening day of the spring turkey season as though it is Christmas in April.
The important thing a top the turkey hunters mind, spring is the time of year when the old gobbler’s heart and birdbrain focuses primarily on gathering all the hens he plans on romancing.
This behavior has the hunter thinking of nothing else than pursuing the old long beard / gobbler AKA, un-killable bird. After all, working a wary five + year old gobbler into shooting range is the things daydreams focus.
Follow along as this old gray-haired turkey hunter shares the secret to success, learn the game, understand how to beat the odds, and develop the confidence that make it impossible to give up on the fair chase.

Turkey hunter's bag of tricks.

Old man shares good to know hunting tips

Here in the Midwest United States, where wild turkeys thrive and morels grow wild in the turkey woods, there are critters that will and do make venturing afield an uncomfortable experience when proper precautions are ignored. In fact, more than just a few painful situations have taught many a wise old turkey hunter many good reasons why they should take precautions that protect themselves from biting insects. One such insect, hunters and outdoors men & women alike dare not go afield amidst briar and bramble without practicing tick-bite prevention and treatment methods.


The face of the wild turkey

A face only a turkey hunter could love

Tick bite prevention & solutions

The best insect repellant and tick spoon

The important thing people should know about ticks. Woodlots where wild turkeys like to roost, dust, feed on acorns, bugs, and other such delicacies call home. Strut zones in fields full of tall weeds, blackberry thickets, and honeysuckle covered fence rows, small trees, and bushes adorned with countless low hanging branches provide sanctuary for an army of blood sucking ticks, mosquitoes and other such bothersome creepy crawlers ambush those of us that dare enter their environment.

Making insect repellants, such as Repel sportsman max 40% deet, Deep woods off, countless homemade concoctions or Skin So Soft, and Old Spice, type products favored by many an old hunter as must have items in a pant pocket, turkey vest, or daysack.

 Tick Spoon Using a tick spoon to remove embedded ticks is far better than burning them off with a match or lighter, using a pair of tweezers, or grabbing with one’s fingernails and attempting to pull the embedded tick without leaving the tick's head in the skin where it will become infected causing additional health problems.

Simply center the tick in the notch in the spoon, pop the tick out from the embedded head towards the tick’s rear end. 

Believe you me, when a tick has the audacity to latch on to one's genitalia, the tick spoon will quickly become the outdoors type person's new best friend.

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Strutting old Gobbler

Check out the hooks on this ole longbeard

Turkeys pay attention to small details

The wild turkey’s vision is 3-times sharper than humans.

The wild turkey has good monocular eyesight. With an impressive 270-degree field of vision, the wild turkey also sees some colors.

Click on the word Display just under the Tom turkey pictured to the right->. For a better idea as to how well the wild turkey sees their world.

Wild Turkey has two blind spots.

Three times sharper than a human hunter, monocular vision has limitations

Thankfully the wild turkey has a couple of blind spots in the old gobbler’s vision. With its eyes set on either side of the turkey’s showy head, the old long beard has two blind spots. One 5-degree blind spot is directly in front of the turkey’s beak, the second, directly behind the birds head.. Made larger when the old Tom is in full  strut, check out the photo below, comparing full, 3/4 and 1/4 strut tail feather configurations.

Wild turkey in full strut

The old long beard's tail feathers block his rear view when in full strut
Wild Turkey BY 2-12 03
Wild Turkey BY 2-12 03

10 X 50 Steiner Binocular

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What a hunter doesn’t see really matters

Many unsuccessful hunters believe their minds eye, rather the truth

The hunter’s mind’s eye has a way of distorting the truth at the most inopportune times. This is to say, when something is a bit too far away to see in clear detail, obscured by the terrain, or weather conditions. The hunter’s mind’s eye fills in the blanks using similar images captured in memories.

The problem with this type of behavior, more often than not it leads to misjudging a typical 2-year old adolescent tom strutting and gobbling his fool head off across a field a limb-hanger. There is simply nothing more disappointing than discovering the bird has modest 17mm spurs, rather than the anticipated 30+mm hooks. The solution, get a better look next time through a high quality set of binoculars.  I recommend the Steiner 10 X 50 military / marine.

The Steiner military marine 10 X 50 binoculars, in my view are without question the perfect combination of magnification, light gathering capabilities, and generous field of view, a little on the heavy side I grant you however, the premium quality German glass lenses are second to none. The solution to the weight issue is simple, purchase an Opticron universal binocular harness with quick detach feature, and the Bob Gear BOG-POD Binocular Rest and you will be ready for hours of glassing regardless, running and gunning, or taking a breather in a stationary hunting blind. 

Oh, by the way, I have been carting a pair of 8 X 30-G Steiner binoculars since the late 70s, 7 X 50-H since the early 90s, and with age the 10 X 50 military marine sure help my tired old eyes without spending a ton of money.

Glassing 101

Discover the best way hunters should use binoculars to their advantage.

The best binocular rest and quick release harness for turkey hunters

Setting in a blind or running and gunning, turkey hunters need high quality binoculars, rest and harness
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Turkey hunting gear & techniques

Hunt from a ground blind, run and gun, or go with the flow.

Before deciding on which is the best hunting technique for any given situation to ensure a successful turkey hunt, hunters should gain a better understanding of what things are important, and which are not.

After chasing the old long beard for 30+ years, I have amassed a rather large collection of turkey hunting gear. From custom hand made mouth, and friction calls, mass produced shock calls i.e. gobble tubes and the like. Although fun to collect and learn to use, so as to impress less knowledgeable hunters, and amuse our professional hunter friends, carrying a hunting vest full of such crap has many more disadvantages, than advantages.

Travel light, carry only the things you need, know how to use, and enjoy fair chase and the hunt for self-fulfillment.

Best of luck, teddletonmr

Must read for all turkey hunters

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Updated: 07/02/2014, teddletonmr
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