John's Journal...


My Hunt With Wozniak

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Bob Wozniak of Boston, New York, one of the true masters of the sport of turkey hunting in New York State and a member of the Quaker Boy Calls' Hunt Team, has hunted turkeys for more than 30 years. He's bagged a gobbler or called in a gobbler for someone to take every year that New York has had a turkey season. Let's look this week at some of Wozniak's best northern tactics for taking toms in the spring, since many northern states still are having turkey seasons.

Click to enlargeGobblers screamed in the distance as I moved in beside a big oak tree on the edge of a hay field. Chris Kirby of Orchard Park, New York, the president of Quaker Boy Calls, and Bob Wozniak sat behind me. Once I got into position, Kirby gave three soft yelps. A troop of jakes came trotting over the hill. I had my Remington 1187 SP perched on my knee, ready to take the shot if a longbeard ever appeared. The turkeys came straight to me in single file as I counted six, 1-year-old gobblers. As these jakes walked and fed less than 20 steps from where I leaned Click to enlargeagainst the tree, I whispered to Kirby and Wozniak, "They're all jakes. But the birds we heard gobble were mature toms. One's got to show up." I kept waiting but never saw a longbeard. Finally, I heard Wozniak quietly say, "John, your gobbler is less than 35 yards from you, following five hens. You're on the wrong side of the tree to take a shot or to even see the bird."

Once the jakes left, I slid back behind the tree where Kirby and Wozniak sat. "John, if you only had sat on the side of the tree facing the turkeys instead of beside the tree, we'd be taking a longbeard home with us right now," Wozniak explained. "I know Click to enlargedetermining where a turkey will go is hard. I also realize your moving to the front side of the tree with those jakes close by would have been difficult. But when you've blocked off 50 percent of your field of view by sitting beside the tree instead of in front of it, you've lost your chance to take the longbeard. However, don't worry, we'll try to find another turkey to bag."





Check back each day this week for more about BOB WOZNIAK - A GREAT NORTHERN TURKEY HUNTER

Day 1: My Hunt With Wozniak
Day 2: Hunt Near The Traffic And Walk Instead of Ride
Day 3: Hunt The Drums And Don't Depend Just On Your Calling
Day 4: Endure Pain And Don't Be A Copycat
Day 5: Know Which Turkeys To Go To



Entry 298, Day 1