Why would anyone ever go out to hunt a wild turkey? They’re plentiful and cheap at the grocery store, and those birds are a lot more tender. If you go shoot your own, you’ll end up with a tough bird that basically yields just a breast, and it’s a lot smaller than one of its domestic cousins. And that’s assuming you bag a turkey at all — which is far from guaranteed, because the wild ones are a whole lot sharper than the birds living on the feedlots.
But the experience of turkey hunting is what keeps me coming back. I hunt turkeys because they’re hard. Getting a turkey to answer your call is tough enough, and that’s a real accomplishment. When one is in full strut 30 yards away, thinking he’s about to go on his dream date because I’ve successfully made him think that’s what is about to happen — that’s when I feel like I’m really, truly hunting. When you’re deer hunting from a tree stand, all you have to do is be quiet and hope a deer will walk by. That deer has no idea what’s going on — you rely on stealth. To hunt a turkey, you have to call that bird in to you. The turkey knows something’s up, but he doesn’t know it’s you. I love hunting turkeys for the same reason I love hunting ducks: To be successful, you have to fool Mother Nature. You have to want it. You have to work for it.
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