All of my gobblers are dead.
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.