Nothing like a turkey hunting dream

Imagine yourself on the point of a mountain just before dawn on a spring morning. I know that will take a lot of doing this snowy day but dream with me.

Across the ravine, a deep ravine with a stream running at the bottom, a gobbler is bellowing from the point of that mountain.

You give him a few soft yelps just to let him know you are hearing him and where you are and he thunders back. So far, so good.

So you wait until you hear him fly down and when he gobbles from over there, you give him a few louder yelps. Will he fly from that mountaintop to this one? You know it’s not likely, but you hope against hope. Getting yourself and your hunting buddy from this point over to his point is going to be a long climb.

You’ll have to go down your side, cross that creek and scale the far mountain. And what will be the chance he’ll even be there when and if you get over there?

This is exactly the situation I faced a lot of years ago the very first morning I ever hunted with a man who would become one of my best hunting buddies, Buck Alt.

He had told me just an hour before we set out on this hunt that he knew where every gobbler in Wayne County was but the strategy and calling would be up to me.

So, it was up to me to decide how to handle this gobbler that would answer my calls from the far point every time I offered some but had stopped gobbling on his own. What did that mean? What should we do?

And while I stood there thinking on the problem, Buck kept whispering to me ” I really don’t think we can get that bird to come over here, I think we should leave him be and go find one that isn’t so hard to get to.”

Two hours later, Buck hoisted that bird over his shoulder and confessed that he never would have thought to do what I did. That day, he concluded that I had descended on a cloud and from that day on, I could do no wrong.

So what did I do? Well, that and the figuring out how to handle other difficult gobblers that Joanie Haidle, my present – day best gobbler hunting buddy, and I have run into will be the topic of the two seminars that Joanie and I are going to be presenting at the Jaffa sports show.

For the past several years, spring gobbler hunting has changed. Gobblers gobble on the roost then shut completely up when they fly down. They won’t answer your calls most of the time. The old days of gobbler hunting, called for just running around until you heard a bird sounding off, then you chose a tree and threw your best calls at him, and soon here he would come. In fact, many of the gobbler TV shows give the impression that is how easy it is. When he gets balky and silent, we just don’t know what to do.

That’s what we are going to talk to you about in the seminars: what are gobblers thinking and how can you dope out what they are doing and why they are doing – or not doing – it and what can you do about it? Joanie and I have both battled cranky, obstinate gobblers, sometimes together sometimes separately, so we will have lots of stories to tell.

Each tale will have a problem and our suggested solution. How do you learn to think like a gobbler? Can you dope out his behavior problems? Do you have a bag a tricks to try on stubborn gobblers and how do you know when to try what? It should be every interesting and we look forward to talking with each and every one who attends these two seminars.

The seminars are slated for 3:30 Friday afternoon and 5:30 Saturday afternoon. Also Joanie will have a booth at the show with her calls each day so look her up and chat.

There will be a sanctioned turkey-calling contest at the show on Sunday starting at 1:30 p.m. The best callers in the state will be there and you can learn a bushel of calling tips just by watching not to mention the pure entertainment value. I will be emceeing the contest.

This show has a huge docket of well-qualified people presenting information you need to know. You’ll love Matt Morrett – the headliner – a Pennsylvania man who has made good in a very competitive field. Curtis Fry with the championship dogs and training methods, a man who has a string of championship-trained dogs to his credit will be there.

All the latest gear and gadgets we can’t live without, outdoor publications and archery and fishing contests and much more to keep us occupied. See you there!