Spring brings better weather, joyful birdsong, and flowers in bloom. Never mind all of that—far more importantly, it heralds the arrival of spring turkey hunting season. Many hunting aficionados believe this is THE superlative season to claim yourself a prized specimen.
Why Spring Is Prime Turkey Hunting Season
Spring is officially mating season for turkeys. Time for the male (tom) to strut his stuff, get down to some serious gobbling, and attract himself a compliant hen or female turkey. Gobbling refers to the sound made by the male—a call to action, of sorts. If it were a speech, it would probably go along the lines of “check out my plumage. I’m up for some action and I’m heading your way.”
Yet, hens like to play hard to get, and the tom often must go on a hunting expedition of his own to find them. When hunting, seek out the places where hens are roosting and nesting; if you have found them, your tom probably has, too. Get yourself set up nearby and wait for the gentleman caller to show.
Encouraging a Tom
Patience is a virtue, and you will need it if you’re planning to entice a tom to come to you. It’s hard to mount a surprise ambush on a tom when there are turkeys roaming everywhere. A bunch of startled turkeys is not conducive to stealth reconnaissance or a clean kill. Instead, encourage the tom to come to you by adopting the mating call of a female turkey (a yapping/yelping and cackling sound).
Choosing the Right Hunting Knife
You have your location and have mastered your call, but do you have a good hunting knife? There are lots to choose from—whether you are looking for a knife to dress your game while out in the field (preparing your kill to keep the meat fresh) or seeking something utilitarian for other activities.
Don’t get too starry-eyed over a large blade; it may look awesome, but you need to be able to carry it and control it—sometimes, bigger isn’t better. Lightweight and easy to use is efficient and effective. Design and budget will vary, so you will need to consider the best knife to suit your needs. There are three principal blades best suited to hunting: a clip point, a drop point, and a skinning blade. Come with us, as we hunt down the best for your expeditions.
A drop point knife is considered a very strong and sturdy option. You can spot a drop point knife by its curved, thick blade. It has an edge that is great for skinning game quickly, and you can also use it to break up pelvic and ribcage bones. The tip is less pronounced on this knife, and it’s easier to use than some of its counterparts. If you’re seeking a useful and robust knife, which you will be able to handle well, the drop-point could be for you.
The clip point knife is sometimes regarded as the traditional option and a great “all-rounder.” It would be a great addition to your kit. It’s less dense than the drop point blade and has a more noticeably sharp tip, enabling it to be used for more intricate cutting. The clip point has a long edge—great when used for long-stroke slicing.
As the name suggests, this knife has been made for a purpose—the purpose being to skin game. The skinning knife is extremely effective and efficient in meeting its objective. The knife has a narrow tip, in contrast to the wide curve of the blade. The skinning blade has been designed to make easy work of slicing and if you want to complete the job in super-fast time, this is the blade for you.
Fixed Blade Knife or a Folding Knife?
As fun as hunting is, it can be a messy business and, no matter how careful you are, using a knife always carries an element of risk. Blade length should be between 2.5 and 6 inches (4.5 inches being the optimum length for control and usefulness). Fixed blades are robust and can be easily cleaned. They remain fixed, and you can’t inadvertently close them at an inopportune moment. Folding knives are suitable for carrying because there is no sharp blade to worry about when transporting, and they take up less room.
Spring Hunting Season Is Short—Don’t Waste a Minute
Whichever knife you choose, make sure it’s sharp, it is well made (the blade should be of durable material), and that it has a comfortable handle. Choose wisely and, most of all, enjoy your hunt.