I’m more excited for the wild turkey season this year than I’ve ever been before. Up until now, I’ve always had a little bit of trepidation mixed in with the excitement. I was nervous about going, because I hadn’t learned how to call the birds. Most people I hunt with carry five or six different calls every time they go out after the birds. Some have more than a dozen, and they know how to use them all. But until recently, I hadn’t mastered even one of them.
A few years ago, I was the winning bidder on a turkey hunting vest at the NWTF banquet, and the vest came with a call in every pocket. I should have learned how to use them then, but I kept putting it off.
There were box calls, diaphragms, slates, and even a crow call to use as a locator. It’s still not the setup some of the die-hard turkey hunters I know use, but it’s not bad for a neophyte like me.
But for the past month or so, I’ve been practicing my clucking, purring, plucking and cutting pretty much non-stop. My wife’s getting a little edgy, and she’s having a harder time masking her homicidal glares than usual. The kids are acting pretty jittery, too. Our youngest was making turkey sounds in his sleep the other night. And the dog is completely confused. She doesn’t know whether to try to flush the bird, sit at heel, or flee from the room. I should probably do my practicing well away from the house, but it’s just been too chilly at night to do that, and evenings are the only time I have to practice.
So the family’s just going to have to hope I get a turkey early this year. And to do that, I need to get good with the calls. To get good, I have to practice. I just hope the family doesn’t kill me in my sleep before I get to go hunting.