Reflections of a Good Spring

By

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1 | First Calls

The first calls of a new season are always something to savor. After a few weeks in the woods, you begin hearing yelps in your sleep.

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2 | First Gobble

Was that a gobble? Which way? It’s funny how such an unusual sound can cause us to forsake a normal sleeping schedule for a month.

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3 | Turkey Track

Even a good spring has its lulls—and then you see a fresh gobbler track in a new area. Hope is reborn.

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4 | Roosting Turkeys

In the turkey hunting game, the playing field resets every evening, shortly after sunset. Despite a lack of sleep, knowing exactly which limb your gobbler is sitting on makes for a restless night. The alarm can’t come soon enough.

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5 | Turkey Load

In a good spring, a turkey hunter will touch off shotgun shells that might cost $2.50 each and kick as hard as an African big-game rifle.

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6 | Closing the Distance

All that calling and maneuvering. All those mess-ups and bumped birds. Finally, longbeards are roaring at your every call—and they seem to be getting closer.

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7 | Waiting Him Out

Chances are you’ll hear old Tom sneaking into range before you see him. His footsteps will sound almost like a man's, walking slowly and cautiously. Then a flash of white and red will catch your eye…

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8 | Bird Down!

You were out of position, and you had to wait, seemingly forever, for him to step behind a tree so you could move. And after you moved, it was like he disappeared. Did you spook him? You cut on your mouth call and he gobbles 30 yards away. It sounds like a baby rattle is stuck in his throat. And then, there he is. In the open. In gun range.

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9 | Creek Crossing

Finding a spot to cross the creek in the dark was a pain. But with a gobbler burning your shoulder muscles, it seems you savor every task and every obstacle.

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10 | Good Spring

And after pictures are taken and fried turkey is eaten and the shotgun is put away, you’ll look back at that set of hooks you saved, along with a beard and maybe a fan, and reflect on what a good spring it’s been.

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In many parts of the country, turkey season is coming to a close. Looking back, was your season a good one?