Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's next?

Here I am in my backyard with one of the hens on the "turkey pole" I shot Sept. 17. Photo by Zac Arnold

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS editor

What a strange season this has been so far.

After deciding not to sulk over losing my Sanilac County, Mich., spot where I could early doe hunt, I embraced the revamped fall turkey season.

Traditionally, the fall turkey season has started in early October. For this year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment moved the season up to mid-September. Probably in hopes of getting more hunters to help trim the ballooning turkey population, mainly in southeastern part of the state.

In addition, it allotted 40,000 tags in the area with no limit per hunter.

I rather liked the change in months. It is hard to pull away from the archery deer season to chase fall turkeys. Every once and awhile I do like a change of pace, and would swap my bow for a 12-gauge, but it wouldn't be as often as now with it opening up Sept. 15.

The end result for this hunter was three turkeys in two days. One of which had a beard 13-1/2 inches long.

There are many different opinions weighing in on what constitutes a trophy, but in my book, a fall gobbler is at the top of the list. It's hard enough just finding them let alone getting in gun range because unlike spring they're very unreceptive to calls. Really they have no need to investigate another call.

I did just what you want to do: find where they want to go and be somewhere along that path. A main locator would be a food source. And I lucked out, the place where I decided to set up -- between a known roosting area and a cut corn field -- was indeed where they were headed every morning.

Ordinarily I would have already been busting through the ferns and multiflora rose in hopes of downing grouse and woodcock, but today, Tuesday, Sept. 28, the first day I would attempt to get out saw an all-day rain.

I'm thinking it might be tomorrow but it's tough to pull myself out of the rack after a night of work.

Now with the bow season fast approaching (Oct. 1), I'm hoping to cash in on the same luck by taking a nice buck.

Can't wait to find out.

(For the story and pictures on Mac Arnold's fall gobbler, log on to www.macshuntingmag.com.)


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