Turkey Hunting: The Time Is Now

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The new year has just rolled in and many hunters are wrapping up duck and deer seasons.  Typically the lull between seasons is hard for a hardcore hunter to endure, especially the lull before the spring turkey season.  Instead of toiling in "pain" and moping around the house and annoying those that live with you, why not immerse yourself in preparing for the upcoming turkey season? It should take the edge off!

Show season is upon the outdoor industry with sportsman shows going on all over the country, which often showcase new gear for 2014.  There is already plenty of new items being advertised for turkey season 2014.  Winchester has come out with a new turkey load called Longbeard XR, as well as Avian X revamping their already popular line of decoys.  Show season is also great in that there are a lot of custom call makers that don't have websites and their excellent calls are only available at shows, so you'll need to stock up before it is too late.  If you enjoy reading  Col. Tom Kelly has released a new book called A Matter of Context.

Gun and call maintenance, is super important to a successful season.  Guns and calls are the "tools of our trade" and they need to be in top working condition.  We have done an article about call maintenance on here before, Turkey Hunting: Pre-season Call Maintenance.  Gun care/maintenance is essential to being successful in the turkey woods.  A hunter will want his gun in proper working order at all times.  Routine cleaning is always important, but what about a DIY turkey gun makeover?  Heading into the 2014 spring woods with an update to your turkey rig is sure to help pass the snowy winter months before you can chase thunder!  A while back Field & Stream posted an article that outlined how to give your turkey gun a makeover.  It goes through step by step on what to do and where to find the items.  It includes updating your stock and a trigger job.  This turkey gun makeover is sure to help you deal with those flare ups of spring fever in a "reasonable" manner.  Instead of a leafy tape, I prefer the wraps available at Mossy Oak Graphics, these wraps are high quality and go on without much fuss!  They have a wide range of Mossy Oak patterns available, I prefer Bottomland!

Lastly, and probably most importantly is land "management".  This is meant in three ways; first taking care of your land if owned by you, secondly managing the properties you have access to, and thirdly gaining access to new lands.  Now is the time to do this!  Your own land can always be improved in the habitat department.  Depending on where you live in the country, you may be able to plant things that will draw and hold turkeys.  Trails can be trimmed to improve access to your land.  Wooded areas can be opened up to allow for new growth that turkeys love. 

Permanent blinds can be built as well to make your hunting experiences more pleasurable if sitting on the ground isn't your thing.  Now is the time to check in with landowners to see if you still are able to access their properties.  It doesn't hurt to drop off "gift" items either to show your appreciation.  There is nothing worse than finding out you've lost an awesome piece of turkey land right before the season opener.  While you are out checking with landowners that already allow you on their land, you should try to gain some new spots.  Maybe that farm or wood lot that is always holding a gobbler has changed hands or nobody has asked permission.  It is worth a shot, the worst they can say is no. 

All of these things mentioned above will help you pass the time from now until Spring Turkey Season a little easier than past years.  Don't get me wrong it's a long wait and there is nothing more that I'd rather do than hunt turkeys, but if I can't hunt them, then I like to immerse myself in other things related to hunting them!  May the time between now and your opening day pass quick and painlessly!
Shoot em' in the face!
Rex Reynolds IV
My name is Rex Reynolds IV, I live in Hammond, NY. I am a high school Special Education teacher. I have been in love with the sportsman lifestyle for much of my life. I began turkey hunting in the Adirondack Mountains about 15 years ago. I have grown more obsessed and successful with each passing season. I have since moved out of the mountains and into the agricultural lands along the St. Lawrence River. I greatly enjoy every spring turkey season and have been introducing new hunters and youth hunters to the sport of turkey hunting. I hunt turkeys approximately 20 of the 30 days in the season. I enjoy sharing my outdoor experiences with others. I also belong to the Mountain Hollow Game Calls pro-staff. It is truly an honor to contribute to Wild Turkey Report. Link to my Pro-staff page: http://mountainhollowgamecalls.com/pro-staff/rex-reynolds/
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