This is a very mundane time of year. Snow is melting into a muddy mess, ponds and lakes are thawing and my camo slumps hopelessly in the abyss of my basement closet. This is especially true in Canada where the turkey season does not open until April 25. Combine this with the elimination of the spring bear hunt in Ontario and you find many hunters getting a little stir crazy! I try to stay busy. Shed hunting, scouting and looking for other reasons to avoid the “honey do” list, which has grown faster than a Willie Robertson chia pet beard over the grueling deer season.
But February has passed and I am finally getting ready to gear-up for gobblers. This means taking the opportunity to engage in one of my favorite past times, something I like to call ‘tinkering’. This is something any avid hunter or angler knows a lot about. Sharpening fish hooks, rearranging the tackle box, bending the lip of your favorite crank bait, and tuning your drag just right (something you will inevitably realize is completely too loose your first day on the water).
Hunters are waxing their bow strings, cleaning their guns, re-fletching arrows, adjusting their calls, changing over arrow heads, and cleaning up their decoy so he looks just right on opening morning. Yes, the saying ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ need not apply if you have ever climbed a tree with stick and string or hand-lined a big ol’ catfish.
For me ‘tinkering’ before turkey season is one of my favorites. I customize my mouth calls and spend countless hours annoying my dog. You will notice I did not say wife because I plan my turkey calling when she is out shopping or something similar. I work tirelessly to get the perfect rasp. A little cut here and a slit there. Customizing your calls can be very rewarding. Effective??? Well who is to say really… We are lucky to have a number of local parks filled up with turkeys and where hunting is prohibited. I drive over and try my calls, paying close attention to how the turkeys react. Other parents often shoot you funny looks when you are squawking from the top of the jungle gym though.
Tinkering with my bow… ahhh this is the best. I don’t shoot a lightning fast, drag racing, supersonic arrow slinger. I shoot a 60lb bear truth 2. For deer hunting I have it “tuned” for maximum penetration and good blood trails. A speedy string, light arrows and mechanical 2 blade broad heads that leave giant exit wounds. For turkeys however my game plan changes. I look to hit hard with big mechanicals and penetration doesn’t matter so much. I decrease my draw weight so I pull easily from sitting without much movement. I change to a heaver slower arrow that can handle a big three blade expandable and packs a mean wallop! I even go so far as to switch out for a smaller peep sight as I am not likely to be shooting in low light conditions.
There are lots of articles out there about bow hunting equipment and what is the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to be set-up. I play with my setup because it works for me and I love to ‘tinker’. It’s one of the great parts about hunting, there is no one right way to go about it. All I know for sure is there is is more than one way to pluck a turkey so have fun with it!