by Victoria L. Walker - Thursday, March 23, 2017
Spring hunting is on the horizon and hunters everywhere are busy making preparations before opening day. From gathering gear to being with family or friends, each hunter has something they look forward to when a season comes around. We reached out to some of our friends and asked what they’re doing to get ready for the big day!
I really enjoy sharing my love of the outdoors with others and its become my annual tradition to do just that during the youth turkey season.
Getting kids excited about hunting requires nothing but investing time with them. First and foremost, I make sure they are safe and that they have a positive experience throughout the day.
Before heading out into the field, I spend time going over gun safety, get them use to the shotgun, and have them practice on turkey shaped targets. It’s not only a fun way to learn the patterning process but also helps build confidence.
Kids have a short attention span so I like to keep them involved in every aspect of the hunt. From helping with preparations to setting up decoys and even practicing those turkey calls keeps them engaged.
The entire process is a learning experience. Depending on the child, it’s a great opportunity to teach dressing techniques and meal preparation if you’re fortunate to harvest a turkey that day. It’s also a time to teach how hunting is conservation.
The memories created afield will last a lifetime and beyond and I’m glad I get to be a part of that journey with others.
Lee and Tiffany Lakosky
Spring is one of our favorite times of the year in regards to hunting and just being in the outdoors! There is so much to do between shed hunting, starting to plant and of course turkey hunting - we are never not busy! Preparation for us is a bit similar to our other seasons; we have our wildgame trail cameras running all year so we are checking those constantly to see if any long beards are on them as well as scouting for the season opener. Equipment preparation is also essential!
As far as traditions, nothing too formal just yet. We just make sure we’re out opening day! We enjoy spending the time together as a family and as Cameron gets older and when our little girl joins us, we’ll be starting some new ones for sure!
When it comes to spring turkey season in my hometown of Montdale, Pennsylvania, you can bet my wife Tiffany and I are hitting the woods! It’s tradition for my wife and me to hunt together on opening day each turkey season. It’s something we can count on doing together since I’m typically running all over the country filming for HeadHunters TV. If you know me, then you know hunting turkey is one of my most favorite things to do, especially when I’m able to yelp one up for my wife!
As far as traditions go, it’s real basic for me. From the moment that sun rises and I’m out in the woods as they come alive, I stop for a brief moment to give thanks to the good Lord. I love to hunt, I love the woods, and no matter where I am I love opening day!
Nothing gets me more fired up after a long winter than to hear the first gobbles of the turkeys here in Tennessee. It lets me know that spring is extremely close and that turkey season is right around the corner.
My favorite thing to do in the spring is hunt turkey and black bear. Although there are no black bears in the Nashville area, I do hunt them out west. There’s something about sitting in the turkey woods or in the mountains in the spring while all the vegetation is still blooming. It feels as if there’s a newness to the world and the slate is wiped clean, making way for a positive and productive year.
Whether I’m traveling for bear out west or heading back to the farm in Wisconsin for turkey, I get all my camo, calls, decoys and any other gear I may need ready for the road. I shoot year round so that I’m as proficient as possible and am practiced up with my diaphragm calls well before season opens.
My kids usually get involved in the turkey call practice sessions at the house. We will go outside on some calm evenings at last light and try locating a vocal tom that may be roosted nearby. It’s fun to see them get as excited as I still do to hear a gobble. Letting the kids get involved with all the preparation leading up to opening day has been something of a developing tradition and if they take to hunting as I do, I will always nurture that. If it’s not something they gravitate towards as they grow older, I feel it’s important to expose kids to hunting and have them understand the process and respect for where our food comes from. It’s fun memories we get to make together.
Until recently, we didn’t really hunt in the spring. Instead, we looked forward to fly fishing and for the warmer weather to come in to melt the snow so we could hit the four-wheeling trails in the mountains of Wyoming.
For a long time, we mostly hunted large game and began branching out to other species, especially birds. Last year we started turkey hunting and we’re so glad we did!
To help us get ready for turkey season, we shoot clays with our shotguns, try to scout out different locations, and talk to land owners who will give us access to their property. Being as prepared as possible before opening day is important and something we look forward doing together as a family. We’ve recently started incorporating stops at a gas station early in the morning as we make our way out for a hunt and getting doughnuts is something that’s been added to the mix of our hunting traditions that we’ll include this opening day! Plus it makes getting up early a little easier for my daughter – and me!
Spring hunting is a blast! It's been a long off-season so I'm roaring to go when turkey season opens up! It usually goes down like this:
The night before I have everything lined up to be prepared as possible. If I could sleep in my hunting clothes I would, but my wife won't let me. I always set two alarms for opening day so I don't snooze by accident. I also like having friends (hunting buddies) over at the house the night before where we talk about hunting and our strategy. That’s something I always look forward to. Sometimes the excitement and preparation is as much fun as the hunt!