All of my gobblers are dead.

Outdoor Life - - NO EXCUSES -

One sea­son, I scouted out a bunch of pub­lic-land spots and found so many gobblers that it seemed too good to be true. It was. On open­ing day, other hunters were all over my tur­keys. Spots that were full of ac­tion went dead quiet—be­cause the tur­keys were dead. I fi­nally shot a tom af­ter wad­ing through a hip-deep

swamp to get to a hard­wood ridge that no one else seemed will­ing to ac­cess.

Les­son learned: An­tic­i­pate pres­sure and leave the easy tur­keys for ev­ery­one else. When you find a beau­ti­ful field on pub­lic land that’s within walk­ing dis­tance of the road, don’t even bother hunt­ing it. If you get mid­way into your sea­son and find that all of your tur­keys are gone, throw your game plan out the win­dow and go scout­ing. Don’t burn a morn­ing in the same old blind when you could be out strik­ing fresh birds on new ground.

It doesn’t hurt to keep a pair of waders in the truck either. —A.R.

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