Spring forward, into turkey season

Spring, spring, spring. With all this snow melting on the ground, it’s easy to see spring coming. Before the previous couple of winter storms came roaring through, the foilage from the daylilies and iris had already broken ground.

While technically we are springing forward late tonight, early tomorrow, I’m looking forward to spring turkey season. Opening day is only 28 days away, so I figured it was time to transition our gear from deer to turkey. The first thing I did was dump everything out of our back packs.

deer supplies

deer supplies

A few things will go back into the packs, but in order to keep order some things had to go. The deer calls, scent cover, scent spray, hand warmers, rattlers, and big gloves were put up for next deer season.

Turkey season most definitely takes up less backpack space, which is good because we can’t always use the big blind. Sometimes we have to tote chairs and popup blinds, so the less weight in the packs, the better.

My idea of essentials for turkey season.

My idea of essentials for turkey season.

With the exception of the big flashlight, there is not a lot to pack. The most important things are your hunting license and photo id. I keep my hunting and drivers license in a waterproof pouch, in my pocket. Last year we ended up getting a boatload of licenses, so this year we are opting for the Sportsman’s License. It includes all we need for archery or big gun, big game or small, and fishing.

The second most important thing, when you are not hunting on land that you own, is a letter of permission from the land owner. They are kinda bulky for a pocket, so we keep ours in zipper bags, in our packs.

The rest of the stuff is perdy much what I took for last year’s spring and fall turkey seasons.

  • binoculars
  • trash bags and vinyl gloves
  • toilet paper
  • range finder
  • his and hers turkey calls (mine is the green one)
  • rail and bow string wax
  • call chalk
  • ink pen

The ink pen is something I’ve added this season because we needed one, one day during deer season.

This is all the pack gear that can be packed this early. We take bottles of water, but do not pack them until we walk out the door. Decoys and pop up blinds are usually put in the truck a few days in advance of opening day.

Since I got zero turkeys last year, none within the range of my crossbow (because guns are too loud), I may try out the new turkey gun Big Sexy got me. It can’t be any louder than Thor (my muzzleloader that I got my two bucks with). Speaking of bucks, Mr. Dallas called back early February, turned out spring came early…

This is John. John Deer. My 12 point buck. I wipe him down weekly, so I had to call him something.

This is John. John Deer. My 12 point buck.

 

 

 

 

Girly Girl Adventures in Fall Turkey Hunting

I’d been looking forward to opening day since, well, closing day of spring season. Having not gotten my own turkey in the spring, Big Sexy shelled out another thirty on my “big gun” license. I love Tennessee, but I just don’t understand why one must get a billion different licenses just to hunt. I’m up to $130.00 in the license department and have yet to so much as catch a fishy-poo (Good thing I decided to be a hunter for the whole “grass-fed, free-range, no anti-this-or-that” instead of the delusion of thinking “game is saving money” concept, huh? lol). Smart guy Big Sexy is though, we’re getting the “Sportsman”‘s license next year so not to have to deal with needing one for this, another for that, and so on.

Four-thirty came early this morning, so early that I was in the blind a full hour or so before the butt-crack of dawn, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

In the cover of night we arrived at the hunting grounds. It was a decent 61°, with a light mist. A big change from the 38° for last weekend’s deer hunt, and this time I was a tad over-dressed with the coveralls and wool socks, but I swear the temp was going down as the sun was coming up, toasty as I was, it all worked out.

Big Sexy popped the turkey blind up right beside where we’d previously seen turkeys. We got my chair, shot gun (with turkey choke), back pack, and other essentials.

After setting up and His Hotness going further into the dark of the woods to his deer stand, I figured I had a good hour before sun up and pulled out “Clockwork Prince” (Book 2 of The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare and fell back into nineteenth century London with the Shadowhunters and Autobots.

While I couldn’t see the sun actually rise through all the clouds, I did see that daylight was upon me. I put away my headlight and book and pulled out the turkey box. There were cardinals, owls, crows, and smaller black birds all around. No turkeys. I called and called “here turkey turkey” < totally joking, I purred and clucked like a good lady bird. Lotta good that did me, I heard a THUMP and looked to my left to see the most beautiful hawk had just took a swipe at my blind.

This is not "the hawk" from this morning. This is another beauty that hangs out in the back sometimes.

This is not “the hawk” from this morning. This is another beauty that hangs out in the back sometimes.

He musta really thought all that noise was from a lady gobbler shut up in that blind because he swooped again, this time going for my decoys!

That turkey fan I saved from Big Sexy's spring gobbler made for a nice decoy on a stake. Hey!! What's that back in the bushes???

That turkey fan I saved from Big Sexy’s spring gobbler made for a nice decoy on a stake. Hey!! What’s that back in the bushes???

I’d guess it was three hours into my hunt while trying to find some gobblers to gossip with, that I looked up and saw gigantic rabbits hopping down the road. (Ok, I’m kidding, them weren’t no rabbits!!) Seriously though, about halfway between my decoys and the telephone pole, some perdy Bambi mamas came traipsing out. The lovely ladies musta made plans earlier because they took a hard left, totally away from me, never even looking back.

Being a law-abiding citizen, I was sitting in my blind with a turkey-choked shotgun, no bow for Bambi-mamas, so I did what any other hunty girly girl would do. I texted Big Sexy and said “You shoulda stayed with me, I see deer”. (Did I mention it was a whole hour and half earlier than we normally see them deep in the woods?)

I must tell you that deer are quiet. (turkey are pretty quiet too) Those ladies pranced up a gravel road without a sound, so it was no surprise to me when I looked up and saw big ole stud-muffin Bambi daddy prancing out of the woods. (OK, maybe I was a little surprised, he was big, that’s his back in the background of that pic up there) The big guy went to the left after a small breakfast salad, following his ladies at a nice distance, so not to look to eager, I’m sure.

I went back to calling turkeys, watching the battle of the birds (crows and hawks), and thinking about how cool it was to see the deer when out of nowhere there were more deer. The second group was too far down the road for me to tell if they were ladies or gentlemen, so I didn’t really dwell on it, when something caught my eye in the distance.

Phones don't do zoom well.

Phones don’t do zoom well.

When he looked my direction, I felt our eyes lock. Having on full camo and face paint, he musta had his glasses on to see the whites around the blues of my eyes. (yeah, I know he didn’t actually see “blue” but the contrast, yeah, that’s it)

Instead of turning left, this guy decided to hit the salad bar to the right of the pic.

He then came back to my side of the road...

He then came back to my side of the road…

I figured he was just a little curious about my decoys and tried to keep taking pics.

When he got really close to the decoys, I figured he'd leave, but no...

When he got really close to the decoys, I figured he’d leave, but no…

I’m thinking this guy was a teenager because he was so nosy. He ended up coming right up to the decoys and bent his head down for a quick snack. It was then that we locked eyes again, me figuring he would bolt, him looking all dreamy (giggles). I swear the next thing that happened shocked me.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that guy was sweet on me because he came all the way up to the blind. I had to shoo him off, not once, but twice. (Makes me think of that commercial, but with deer/turkey instead of credit/car “Bad deer ruined my game” lol)

Anyways, as magically as the deer had appeared, this little guy finally got the hint “Hey dude, I’m married!!” and disappeared.

A while back when I saw my first deer “in real life”, I said it was “the best day ever”. I’ve got to say it again today, because today was even better. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t get a turkey, I’ve got until the 24th to get 6. With plenty of hunting friends I’m sure to get at least a drumstick anyways.