The last few youth turkey seasons have been tough at best. Those that have stuck it out and finally harvested a bird learned one of the best lessons life can offer.
For once the weather man was wrong and in a dry direction this time. With rain forecasted in our area this past weekend, young turkey hunters were preparing for another cold, wet hunt. I wasn't excited about another soaked bird weekend, and was ready for a struggle. Your most important thing to remember as a turkey hunter is to never give up. Keep on trying even when things are not working out and the weather isn't cooperating. This die-hard attitude tends to pay off even for the least experienced of hunters. Keeping a positive attitude can make all the difference when times get tough. Learning to deal with adversity and react in a manner that makes the best of the situation is a life skill that will surely be used by a youth hunter in the future.
Turkey hunters woke to a frozen winter looking environment this past Saturday. This was only the second time in my life that I would be turkey hunting in the snow. This type of weather has a negative effect on the birds, and typically sends you home cold and empty-handed. Rather than head out at first light, we chose to let it warm up a bit and hopefully heat the birds up, too. I have found on cold mornings that gobbling and breeding activity tends to be suppressed. As the day progresses and the sun rises, heat is generated, which gets the birds excited. An otherwise tight-lipped gobbler will sometimes holler his fool head off when he finally gets a taste of sun.
Kody Olsen was my youth hunter again, and we were determined to get it done. He had hunted with me the previous two seasons, but we were only able to get close once. The weather made it nearly impossible to tag a bird, which isn't easy most of the time even on the best of days. Kody was dropped off by his father at 8 a.m. Having been injured on the job, he was unable to join us, but still made sure to get his child out. This is the factor that dictates the success of every hunter. Getting into the woods is the first and most important step in the battle. Most of the time a turkey hunter’s biggest enemy is his or her own pillow.