Spring Turkey season opens at our place this Saturday April 2nd and the opener always brings back memories of past seasons. I remember turkey season many years ago when as a teenager I would chase turkeys through the woods in Llano and San Saba counties with just a mouth call, a shotgun and dressed in Army and Navy surplus camo clothing. There were a lot of times that ole gobbler would see me move or the shine of my gun or face and be gone in a flash. As my skill developed and I learned about face paint and gun camo I became more proficient at bringing home a gobbler. I remember seeing the first outdoor television programs showing someone using a turkey decoy and how the turkeys came to the call looking at the decoy and not the hunter. I finally found a plastic turkey decoy in one of the outdoor catalogs and ordered it. There was no Internet or online search and ordering at that time, just the Gander Mountain and Cabela's catalogs. I could hardly wait until season to try out my decoy. The success I had with that plastic decoy through the years helped me take a lot of gobblers and even a few with my old grizzly recurve bow.
Many years later I was watching the tube one Saturday morning in the off season and here were these two guys in a weird shaped camo tent hunting turkeys in the middle of a field with a decoy right outside the tent. I thought I can’t believe this will work as the turkeys will see that tent out in the middle of an open field and won’t come anywhere near it. I was starting to think the turkeys were tame as the turkeys walked right up to the decoy and one of the guys shot that turkey at mere feet from the tent. I knew it must have been a fluke or a place where turkeys had not been hunted much at all. Flipping through the channels a little later in the morning I saw another hunter setting up a turkey decoy and one of the strange camo tents in another open field. He then proceeded to call several turkeys right up to the tent and took one with his bow. I went to the catalog basket in the bathroom library and started looking through the pages of an outdoor catalog. I had to have one of those magic camo tent blinds. That was the beginning of my love affair with pop up camo blinds and turkey hunting. These things allow the regular guy to have success with shotgun or bow in hunting turkeys just about anywhere. I have had people that can’t even call send me emails about having turkeys come to a decoy set up outside a pop up blind. If you are like me you will find a lot of uses for your blind. I have used mine on deer, hogs, and predators. I have even hunted waterfowl and sand hill cranes from one of the blinds. It pays to read and watch for new techniques and gear to be used in hunting. Sometimes it will even change the way you think and hunt. Have a great time chasing a gobbler this year. Have fun and above all be safe.
Remember to take someone new to the field and get them started hunting. Once upon a time someone took the time to take you hunting. This article is dedicated to the friends and loved ones that took the time to take me hunting through the years. I hope I made the cut, Wild Ed