Spring Turkey: A Time to Think
(Photo courtesy of MidwayUSA)
There are probably a couple of dozen reasons that I go turkey hunting each spring. It’s hard to say which is most important – morning’s first light, the sound of the birds waking up – but they’re all special to me. The most unpredictable, of course, is getting a mature tom turkey close enough for me to pull the trigger while holding true.
Human eyesight is a strong sense. From the time I get out of my pickup truck until the time I climb back in, my eyes work overtime. The white-tailed deer, the turkeys, the wood ducks, the sunrise and the magnificent colors of spring … no, it’s not a dream. A man can drive down the interstate highway and enjoy the colors of fall, but turkey hunting provides a unique, close-up perspective of spring that nothing else quite matches.
Starting about first light, the gobblers begin to gobble, the song birds sing and the owls hoot. All of these sounds are magic to the ears and one of the rewards of getting up after only six hours of sleep and heading for the turkey woods.
There’s a side benefit also, based on the way I like to hunt, which is exercise. Some days are like boot camp, 15-minute double-time walks before daylight to get to the perfect place, crossing ditches 40 feet deep, up and down hills, and taking the long way, rather than the shortcut. After an endless, often inactive winter, I always get my legs and lungs back during spring turkey season, and feel fit and confident after three weeks of this unusual routine.
Probably the most important benefit is not even one of the reasons I go turkey hunting in the first place; it’s the time to think. You see, turkey hunting isn’t fast paced, except sometimes the last minute or so before you pull the trigger. Turkey hunting gives your mind lots of time to consider things; time to think about people, projects, work and about life. It is multiple iterations of critical thinking; my mind playing chess with itself. Even though I’m always a little tired during most of turkey season and sometimes I don’t shoot a single bird, my enthusiasm for life is always renewed.