John's Journal... Entry 138, Day 1
The Turkey-Hunting Game
EDITOR'S NOTE: The game of turkey hunting is played in the turkey's backyard and on his terms. The strategies required to bag a tom turkey often may make war games look simple. The hunters who have amassed the most techniques, encountered the most turkeys and know what to do when the turkey doesn't do what he is supposed to do, will come home with bronze barons for dinner more often than other hunters. By taking this turkey-hunting quiz and learning what to do to bag turkeys, you can sharpen the skills that you will need in the woods when you play the game with the wisest wizards in the woods.
1. To take a turkey, you must first find a turkey. If
you've done preliminary scouting and located a feeding area, a roosting
area and a strut zone, yet failed to encounter the bird there, where will
you most likely find the turkey right after fly-down time?
typical strut-zone-hunting itinerary may read like this:
The hunter whose research tells him where and at what time these turkeys will consistently strut can put together a hunt plan so that he hunts three different strut-zone turkeys at three distinct times of the day.
2. The opening morning of turkey season has arrived. You have scouted for turkeys for two days prior to the opening of the season. Because of bad weather, you haven't heard a turkey gobble. You have put together no scouting plan that can tell you where the turkeys roost or feed. The only information you have to go on is that last year in this same woodlot you killed a gobbler.
should you do?
Answer: a) go to the place where you killed a gobbler last year -- Turkeys are creatures of habit, and they have a pecking order. When the dominant bird is harvested out of a flock, the next dominant bird will become the dominant gobbler. Usually the new dominant bird will gobble and strut in the same area where his predecessors gobbled and strutted, because the hens are already programed to come to this region during mating season to be bred. Therefore, the chances of killing a gobbler in the same place you killed a gobbler the year before are extremely good.
3. You are hunting in a river-bottom swamp. You have
located a turkey on the other side of a thigh-high slough. Which tactic
will you use to take the bird?
TOMORROW: FOOLING SMART TURKEYS