Little Things Make A Huge Difference In The Turkey Woods

Recently I was speaking to an old friend and he used a phrase – fool’s spring – that I hadn’t heard for some time. This year winter/spring has proven many a fool’s spring. We were discussing the weather and how it affects the mood of human kind. It’s a scientific fact that the more sunshine a human gets the better he or she feels. The better one feels the more one smiles and we all know that a smile can change a day.

If we know anything about this yearss weather, the recent thaw is only a brief look into things to come. With warm temperatures coming soon, some folks seem to leave their coats and hats at home. With that in mind ”fool’s spring” also signals flu and cold season. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

For me the lack of snow is much less complex. The sound of a gobble at first light signals to me that spring is finally here.

After all the hours of preparation, road time, poring over maps, laying down some sole leather, fine tuning calls, sighting in your guns and the rest of those little things that make turkey hunting special.

There are several things that make spring turkey hunting exciting, but one of things that I get up early for is the sound of the gobbler at first light. Having a wild critter, no matter if it’s a turkey, duck or deer, respond to a call you produce is exciting.

Of all the things that I don’t look forward to each spring season is the lack of sleep. During the process of doing our preseason spring turkey homework, the lack of sleep begins. I’m a big proponent of getting as much sleep right before the season opens, knowing that sleep will come difficult after May 1.

The older I get, the more I begin to understand the little things are what makes the difference in being successful. That includes knowing when to move or when to stay, which call to use, which bird to go after or which area to hunt. Understanding the affect of lack of sleep and how it will affect your hunting and the decision making is important.

While I’m no doctor, I do know what lack of sleep does to me. Years of guiding and hanging around hunting camps and watching how hunters react to no sleep has taught me a bunch about sleep, or the lack thereof.

My system may not work for everybody, but I have found that different variations of it can work for most. For me, I have found that getting to bed no later then 10 p.m., which allows me to get up around 3:00-3:30 a.m. and hunt until noon. Sometime in the mid-afternoon I try to sneak in a power nap. I generally can keep this up for a few days, but then I have to play catch up on my sleep.

Now, it’s not a widely accepted or discussed practice, but during those slow times, while I’m sitting comfortably under a big old oak tree I catch a few minutes. There is something about sleeping in the woods, the rest seems to more relaxing and peaceful.

While much has been written about turkey hunting safety, seldom do we hear about the lack of sleep. It’s widely known that lack of sleep can affect your vision, reflexes and judgment.

With just over a couple weeks left till New York’s special youth spring turkey season, the 2013 annual Youth Spring Turkey Essay Contest is nearing the April 10 deadline. So far the we have already received several youth essays.

The contest is open for all youth in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties who are 12-15 years of age and that have a New York State hunting license and proper tags.

The essay shouldnt be more than 400 words. The topic is: If you could pick one person to go hunting with, who would it be and why. Each essay should include full name, age, email address and phone number.

Essays should be submitted no later then April 10, with the winner be announced the following Sunday. The winner will receive a guided morning hunt (winner picks either day) for Spring Turkey with me during the Special Youth Spring Turkey Weekend (April 20-21), a TruWoods camo jacket and an Oak Ridge Game Call of his/her choice.

The winner must have his 2012-13 small-game hunting license and spring turkey stamp and be ready to get up at O’dark thirty. The winner will contacted via email and/or phone. The essay should be emailed to me at