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Monday, April 22, 2024
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The Longbeard Life

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Week two into turkey season and I’m living that longbeard life pretty hardcore. Up at four each morning and my head hits the pillow by midnight each night. I’ve got clients each day driving in from all corners of our country and it’s my job to find them turkeys and call them into shotgun range.

My clients thus far have been enjoying better than average success on some impressive, trophy quality Osceola turkeys. In conversation with a few of them recently, I was asked what is the one piece of gear I couldn’t get by without through the season. My answer seemed to surprise them as I lifted my binoculars and indicated that they were.

Each of the properties I hunt, after my initial scouting, I rely on my binoculars to locate the birds from a distance and to track their activities to establish a pattern. I write down everything about each of the longbeards I study and refer to that often. It’s that pattern I exploit. As a turkey caller, if I set up my client where that old Tom wants to go anyway, it makes me look like I called the bird in with skill.

I guess the argument could be made that time would be my greatest asset, for without the time to use those binoculars… Well anyway, I’ve been parked for hours at a time overlooking pastures, wood lots and easements in every corner of this county for weeks. I learn every thing I can about each individual longbeard.

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Such as the one taken by Renea Lensky last Wednesday. I’d watched that specific tom daily for a whole week before season opened. By the time Renea joined me mid-week in the blind, I explained the bird and his travel habits. I’d used the binoculars to get a good idea about his physical characteristics, all of the toms in my area. But, on this day, with Renea, I’d targeted one particular bird. I’d even used my binoculars to map out an approach.

Yeah, by glassing the terrain with the binoculars, I already knew which obstacles to avoid in advance as we entered the wood lot and once we were hidden in a patch of brush, the rest of the morning passed as if it had been scripted. Every movement of the bird was already familiar to me and when Miss Lensky’s shotgun fired a swarm of steel pellets his way, I was filled with a mighty satisfied feeling.

So yeah, what piece of gear do I find indispensable for turkey hunting? My binoculars.

As always, if you have any comments or maybe a story yo share, please reach out to me at [email protected]. God bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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