The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


April 8, 2013

Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Lampreys the target of program


Dress for success

Full camouflage is a must, including gloves and facemask, but be careful here. Green-pattern, oak leaf, woodland and other camo designs one ordinarily associated with turkey hunting can make you stick out like a sore thumb in farm country. Wear the wrong color in the wrong place and you can pretty much forget about taking a bird.

The correct camo color and style will depend on where you eventually choose a set up point. If you hide and call in a woodlot, or call from one woodlot to another with open space in between, normal camo patterns will suffice, but if you have no other spot to sit in but in open territory, you have to match the colors surrounding you.

Corn stubble often remains in the spring season in farm country, as persistent foul weather sometimes prevents farmers from plowing those fields. If you hunt along the edge of corn stubble, you’d better match that color. Many waterfowl camo patterns incorporate corn stubble and yellow grasses, and these are thus smart choices for those setting up at such places. Setting up an ambush near a lone tree requires something dark in a tree-bark pattern.

The basic imperative here is to match the color of your hiding place, because hunting in farm country requires all the stealth you can assemble to fool these sharp-eyed turkeys.

Don’t under gun

Just as important is the correct choice of a shotgun and load. Ten- and 12-gauge shotguns with appropriate turkey loads are the top choices, simply because they pack more pellets and more wallop over a greater distance than do smaller gauges.

Some days are different, and you may call a tom in to close range, but that’s the rare occasion, not the norm. Most of the time you’ll be shooting in the 30-yard-range, or slightly beyond, because gobblers more often than not grow ever more suspicious as they close in on a position from which they hear turkey calls originate.

If you’ve hunted gobblers before and have seen the sight of their leaving strut accompanied by the quick change of head color from white to red, then you know either that you’ve either been picked off or, at the very least, that the tom no longer trusts the situation and is about to head for another piece of real estate. When that happens, and if the turkey’s within that 30-yard range, you’ll want to have enough gun to stop him.

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