Gabe and his haul

Turkey Hunting: It’s All About the Conversation

3 Min Read

In the spring, there are two days that are extremely important to many of us here in the south. Those are Easter and the opening morning of spring turkey hunting season. This time of year, you can find myself, along with thousands of other hunters searching for long-beards in the pines. There’s something magical about hearing the thunder ringing in the woods on a crisp spring morning, and it’s something I wait for all year long. It’s become a tradition for me to achieve very little sleep the night before the season opener, but I have a feeling I’m not alone in that. The first gobble of every season is special. It rattles the woods and will send chills down your spine.

I think what’s so special about turkey hunting is the direct connection you create with the animal you’re hunting. There is a conversation presented in the woods between man and animal that is truly special. From the moment you hear the gobble on the roost, to the back-and-forth dialect you experience as your heart begins to race uncontrollably. This isn’t something that all types of hunting offers. There is a primitivity attached to turkey hunting that makes it unique. It’s not about setting up a tree stand months before the season or sitting in a heated blind watching a perfectly groomed food plot. Turkey hunting is about blending yourself into your surroundings in every aspect possible. 

Blending in with the locals – spring turkey hunting season.

The wild turkey can be found across the country, with four main subspecies in the United States. These being the Osceola (Florida Turkey) the Eastern, the Rio Grande, and the Merriam’s. While all of them have their own nuances, they have one thing in common; They are still turkeys. They have incredible eyesight, they’re in abundance in many areas, and they’re extremely vocal…hopefully.

Many of the same tactics can be used across the country for the different subspecies, with the terrain being the major differentiating factor. In the southeast, many of our hunts take place in close-quarter scenarios, where the slightest movement can be detrimental. We may not even see a Tom until he’s within feet because of the brush. On the other hand, in northern Kansas, you may see a strutting long-beard from 500 yards away. This is what makes turkey hunting so incredibly dynamic.

A successful hunt on public land.

If you haven’t tried turkey hunting, give it a shot. Chances are, it will probably become an addiction. There are many opportunities to get started, with an abundance of public land offerings around the country. With proper scouting, you can be extremely successful turkey hunting on only public land, which can’t be said for all types of hunting. 

Now, go getcha one.

By Gabe Lefebvre

Gabe knows things, but he really knows redfish things. He's hard to pin down, but he can usually be found in Florida on a polling skiff with a fly rod. He's not a one trick pony though and contributes to Field Ethos on everything from redish to waterfowl to turkey hunting.

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