Steve Hickoff is the Realtree Turkey Hunting Editor and Blogger. He’s been beaten by more birds than he can remember. Still he kills enough to eat well, and fool with beards, spurs and fans until the next season. Pennsylvania born and raised, Maine is his home base now. A full-time outdoor communicator with a couple university writing degrees, he chases spring gobblers and fall flocks around the country. It's "all turkeys, all the time" on the Realtree Turkey Blog.
Turkey Hunter Makeover
Do you need a turkey hunter makeover?
My teenaged daughter watches any number of those TV makeover shows. They take a person (usually a woman), dump their old “out of style” look and establish a new one courtesy of a show-sponsored credit card (not that I watch too long, eh). Then the show hosts rave about the new look (their idea, after all) and we move on to some other reality fashion show after the commercial break.
I wouldn’t know this stuff existed if I wasn’t my little girl’s dad and hey maybe broadening my horizons is okay. It does get me back to what I prefer to do, namely, thinking about gobblers and hens in the off-season and hunting wild turkeys in season (spring and fall). My mind wanders a bit these days as we wait. For instance, what would a turkey hunter makeover look like? What if there were an outdoor TV show called Turkey Hunter Makeover? (Remember where you heard it first.)
Would the hosts take a look at your old tried-and-true Remington 870 pump turkey killer and insist you upgrade to a slick autoloading Versa Max? (I killed spring turkeys with both shotguns this past spring season — put in just to show my old and new school tendencies along with my “it’s all good” diplomatic politics.)
Would they, the hosts of this hypothetical show, insist you dump the classic bead sights and use something like a Trijicon RMR sighting system or some other modern option? Would they make you traditional bowhunters trade your tools for a crossbow? How about your footwear? Would your 18-inch rubber boots (a.k.a. “Alabama tennis shoes”) get tossed for a cooler option? Maybe you still only use that old Lynch box with all the notches on it for dead gobblers? Would you ever consider trying something like a three-reed mouth diaphragm? Still staking old decoys instead of the new hyper-realistic models? You get the idea . . .
What about apparel? You old-school camouflage guys may not have opted for more recent Realtree choices. If someone offered to buy you some makeover items at Bass Pro Shop, would you? Should you? And what of you retro guys who don’t wear much camo at all? Would you give up your earth brown and brush green clothes?
If you resigned yourself to a turkey hunter makeover, where would they start? What modern gear or apparel upgrade do you wish you could have? Or maybe you don’t want to fix what ain’t broken?