Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seeking the seemingly unattainable in turkey hunting

It was a fine morning for turkey hunting, even a very good one.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d give it a solid “8,” maybe a shade under a “9.”

But not a “10.” That’s perfection. And the last time I achieved perfection as far as turkey hunting is concerned was at least two years ago, maybe three. I’m not sure.

The only thing I am certain of is how much more difficult the turkey hunting’s become for me, and I have no clue to understanding why, either.

Problem is, the Ashtabula County woodlot that was so darn dependable for years has gone dry. Clearly, I’m neither hearing anywhere close to the number of birds that I did four or five years past.

Nor am I seeing many turkeys here swoop down from their roost trees just before daylight arrives.

Oh, I’ve tried visiting a few other plots; sometimes with a hunting companion and sometimes alone. We’ve heard an occasional gobble or watched an odd tom or two sail out of their roost trees, though it’s all been few and far between.

By all accounts this morning was ripe with promise, however. The skies were fair and the weather followed the passing of a cold front that saw rain the day before.

Tempering was the wind, too, and that always helps in turkey hunting.

Best of all the night before saw the roosting of two gobblers, noisy fellows who crowed their superiority before settling in for the night. Few things beat roosting gobblers to assure a good chance of calling them in the following morning.

Not these two gentlemen; not this morning anyway. They voiced their supremacy while still on the roost and then shut up when they came to earth. Compounding matters, the toms wandered off elsewhere.

Sure, I enjoy the extra fruits of a good morning as well as any hunter. This year I’ve had the honor of greeting any number of pileated woodpeckers - more than I’ve seen in decades.

And I was thrilled to have captured the glory of north-bound warblers and was equally pleased to watch a pair of wood ducks scout out potential tree denning sites.

Those perks are the icing on the cake, though. At least for those turkey hunters like myself who are experiencing a protracted string of bad luck.

I guess what I’m going to do is give the turkey hunting a few days rest. As nasty as the weather’s been and as poor as the water conditions remain, there are still fish to be had, and had them I will try.

Maybe that’s the best way to get through the remainder of this spring’s turkey hunting season. At this point I’m willing to try anything that’s legal. If that means a short time out at the tail end of the season, so be it.

I’d just like a few answers as to whether I’ve unintentionally walked underneath a ladder or crossed paths with a black cat. All I know is that this can’t continue.

Not when May has so many other possibilities.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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