Zeke Wilson.jpg

Opening days can create great anticipation, and this year’s spring gobbler season was no exception for myself and many in the area.

Wet, rainy weather prior to the opener allowed hunters to survey the local turkey population, and many awoke Saturday with confidence.

I managed to convince a good

friend to accompany me with the promise of tagging out early, based on what I had seen the day prior. Four longbeards and two hens were in a promising area, and the hopes of a double were on our minds.

Surprisingly the sun rose, and we never heard a gobble. The two hens did follow the routine and worked their way into shotgun range and at least

provided some up-close activity. Our hide was

excellent, and neither hen detected our presence,

providing some unique bird watching.

With the writing on the wall that our first spot was a bust, we proceeded to cover ground in hopes of striking a hot tom. My Plan B and C had hunters at them, and we scrambled to investigate other less-promising


Without a cellphone, I would have deemed the day a loss; however, I had received several photo messages

indicating some turkeys were killed.

Finally, at 11:20 we heard our first gobble and soon realized the bird was hot and willing to play the game. Before I could sit down at the base of a large maple tree, the bird had gobbled four times and was narrowing the

distance between us.

Unfortunately, the gobbler came to an open hardwoods bench just below us and would come no further. A property line and terrain had inhibited us from where we would have liked to set up.

If possible, positioning the shooter 30 or 40 yards in front of the caller will in most instances eliminate the problem of a gobbler hanging up. All we could do was watch as the bird strutted back and forth in all his majesty

wondering why the hen would not commit.

With a rangefinder on one knee and my phone on the other, I watched the time dwindle down and noon came. Slowly the bird worked away from us, and I was pleased that our perseverance had paid off with some


The recent rains have once again allowed locating water-logged turkeys out in the fields. While field birds can be difficult to call to an edge, knowing where they are frequenting will pay off as the season progresses.

Saturday was a good

example of days when it is all but impossible to get a

gobbler to answer a call. When the birds go silent, a hunter can play the waiting game a lot easier with

confidence that birds are in the area.

Hunting as many days as possible will allow you to be in the woods when everything is right and turkeys gobble at anything and everything. The excitement of a responding tom is what makes turkey hunting so exciting, yet a silent bird still tastes great.

Hunters have the entire month to tag their tom, and one should not be

discouraged if the season started off slowly.

Trout anglers should be planning their next fishing trip as the streams will have good color. Stocked trout can become smart and often will quit feeding when they can see anglers and their lines. When the water is tinted, anglers have a better chance of getting bites from trout that have been pressured for more than a month.

Fishing pressure has

dramatically decreased since opening day, and finding a stretch of approved trout waters without another angler in sight is possible.

The warming temperatures should bode well for fly-fishermsn as more insects begin to enter the waters. When trout key in on a hatch or a particular insect, it can be all but impossible to hook them on anything but.