“All good things must come to an end” so the old idiom states. And it’s definitely true of 2022’s spring turkey season, because it was good and has surely ended. After forty-five days of turkey hunting, I was pretty worn and ragged, but every day of it was a blessing. When the season ended this past Sunday at sunset, I will admit to feeling just a little relieved. But now, after sleeping in for fifteen hours, I feel ready to start all over again.
I guided others, scouted on the fly, and did anything and everything I could to ensure success for my clients, but it was a stretch of my turkey hunting skills to get the job done. One issue we had was a warm winter. See with all of the early spring-like weather, the birds, especially those along the coast, had begun to gobble and sort themselves into breeding flocks way back in January. By February, they had begun their breeding activity and by the time season opened, the action was hot. But, the gobbling and responses to my calling began to trail off quickly. By week three, I was struggling to find turkeys for my clients. Constantly switched up tactics and even employed a few tricks from my deer hunting experiences. Turkeys were still receiving invitations to ride back home with all of my new friends from north of the Mason and Dixon Line, but there was a definite lack of action. The final hunts required hours and hours of immobility, calling to, and waiting out silent toms, which wouldn’t even cluck to let you know they were on their way.
Not everybody got their bird; In fact, four of my thirteen hunters left for the cold weather without a turkey, however, only two of those four didn’t get to at least look at one over the barrel of his gun. But they surely saw turkey and had a great time chasing these Osceola wild turkeys.
On to the saddest part of the season, now it’s time to clean and sort all of my gear to be stored away until 2023’s season comes around. When I put away my calls, I use rubbing alcohol to clean any mud, blood, or other debris from the calling surfaces, then I store all of my calls and strikers in a dry container. My weapon, my Winchester 1300, I strip it down and clean and oil all parts then rub it down with gun grease. Guns only have two enemies, rust and politicians, and I’m not going to let mine get rusty. Game vest, my camo, and blind material will be ran through the laundry and hung in the closet. Now it’s time to rest up a bit, then get busy chasing wild pigs and scouting for archery season for whitetail; It’ll be here before ya know it!
As always, if you have any comments, questions, or just want to share your success from the woods, give me a shout out at [email protected] God bless and good hunting!