Show Notes:

Duck hunting is an amazing pursuit and there is good reason it quickly becomes a consuming hobby for many of those who give it a try. On this episode I talk about the top 10 reasons you should hunt ducks!

Take Aways

  • There is nothing like duck hunting, and there are few pursuits that can be done as many ways as duck hunting. It is a fun, versatile, and rewarding experience.
  • If you do not like deer hunting there is a very good chance you will adore waterfowl hunting. It is an active and interactive style of hunting that is not boring and often has a lot of action.
  • Ducks come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. And you can hunt more than one at the same time. There is so much variety that for everything you might not like, there are many more things you can find to thoroughly enjoy.
  • Some people say duck hunting is too expensive to get started in, but that is because you are thinking about it like a lone hunter. This is a team sport. If you have three people that share in getting the necessary equipment, it can be cheaper than most types of hunting.
  • Hunting on the water at dawn is one of the most beautiful experiences in all of creation. This is a wonderful way to enjoy being outside!
  • Listen to the episode to hear the top 10 reasons to hunt ducks.

 

Show Notes:

Today was a dream come true in the turkey woods! Gobbler down within 5 minutes of legal shooting time! But it didn’t happen by accident, this turkey hunt took strategy, preseason work, and a carefully thought out plan including tactics that are out of the ordinary for me.  On this episode I share the story and the strategy.

  • I am so excited and so thankful to God, Josh for letting me hunt here, my family supporting my hunting season absences, and everyone who has helped me learn, grow, and acquire effective equipment over the years.
  • This was an awesome hunt, even though it was short. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of, taking a long beard at daybreak on opening day! Especially since I got skunked last season. It felt like a redemption moment.

Check out the video for the full story and the five strategies that helped me take this beautiful bird. 

 

Show Notes:

You cannot always control what comes at you in life, but you can decide how you will react. On this episode I share about how hunting not only helped me to survive a year of pandemic, but it helped me to thrive, to come out better.

  • Often in life we find ourselves in a mess because of our own mistakes or choices. Sometimes we are in difficult places because of someone else’s mistakes and choices. And then there are times where our lives are impacted by factors beyond the control or negligence of ourselves or those around us. Those can be exceptionally hard times because we do not understand the reason or the solution. We feel powerless in the face of factors beyond our control. But we are NOT powerless.
  • We have complete control over how we respond, how we bounce back, how we focus our thoughts and our lives. We can be driven to internalize our frustrations and fears, we can let those emotions lash out at people or groups, or we can let those forces propel us on to something good. Maybe even something better.
  • COVID pushed me deeper into the woods, more into my family, and more into God’s beautiful creation. I didn’t like everything about the past year by any means, but I focused myself on things that were good. And that didn’t just help me to get through, I came through better in many ways. This has been a year of thriving for me. The good outweighed the bad, the fun outweighed the loss, the beauty outweighed the ugly, and the peace outweighed the turmoil.

No matter what comes next, you don’t have to defer your thriving. You can thrive in spite of what happens. You can have your best  year yet.

 

Show Notes:

Turkeys behave differently as the day wears on, so to boost your odds of success you need to adjust your strategies right along with them. On this episode I talk about a variety of late morning turkey hunting tactics.

Take Aways

  • Prime turkey hunting is usually the first hour or two of daylight, but it is only prime because birds make the most noise and are the easiest to locate.
  • Turkeys can be called and taken just as well as the morning goes on. But the game changes as the sun rises.
  • Late morning you need to hunt sign, travel areas, and where you heard the birds and called to them early on.
  • Tom will at times come back after the hens have left them, if you were close to them early, you have a chance in that same general area later.
  • Covering ground becomes a different game as the day wears on. But patience and persistence are both rewarded.
  • Listen to the episode to hear a variety of late morning tactics.

 

Show Notes:

Hunting where turkeys are supersedes all gear and every skill, nothing can help you unless you hunt near birds. On this episode I explain how to find a great spot to hunt gobblers be it on public or private land.

Take Aways

  • Turkeys need food, and occasionally take a drink as well.
  • Turkeys love three main habitat features; open hardwoods, cover, and grassy fields
  • If you hunt where turkey’s want to be and spend their time you will have drastically more success than if you just hunt random areas.
  • Turkey’s are upland birds, so focus your search on places that are dry and support good tree growth.
  • Whenever you are hunting you should also be scouting, trying to determine where your next hunt should be.
  • Turkeys are perhaps most visible when flying up to a high tree to sleep, if you can catch a glimpse in the evening you have found a spot.
  • Birds can move quite a bit of distance in a day, but they often roost in the same areas, look for roosting evidence.
  • Every time of day has its advantages for scouting. Try scout early in the morning to listen for gobbles, or mid day to look for ground sign, and late in the day to see them going to roost.
  • Listen to the episode to learn how to find a great turkey hunting spot.

Show Notes:

Different tactics are needed to be successful hunting silent turkeys. Lots of gobbling sure helps, but you can still take a turkey even on a quite morning. On this episode I talk about the strategies needed to be successful when birds give you the silent treatment.

Take Aways

  • Quiet turkeys is not the same as no turkeys. There must be birds around for you to have a chance.
  • Before making a decision on what to do on a silent morning, review the evidence in your mind about why you believe gobblers are in the area.
  • If turkeys are quiet you need to be quiet. Call sparingly and do not make any identifiable human noises at all.
  • Patience is the biggest skill on quiet mornings.
  • The two kinds of birds you are mostly likely to call in are the ones that heard you early and joined up with real hens off the roost or birds that are traveling through the area.
  • There is no such thing as a bad day in the turkey woods!
  • Listen to the episode to learn how to hunt silent turkeys

Show Notes:

It is an age old turkey hunting question, should you take a shot on the jake that comes by, or hold out for a mature tom. On this episode I examine the ins and outs of this question and heartedly answer it from the perspective of the new hunter.

Take Aways

  • A jake is a juvenile male turkey that is 1 year old, they have a shorter beard, staggered tail fan feathers, no spurs, and weigh a couple pounds less.
  • A tom is a mature male turkey that is 2+ years old, they have a longer beard, uniform tail feathers, developed spurs, and are a bit larger.
  • Turkeys do get a little heavier the older they get, but diet matters much more than age.
  • Younger birds are usually more tender and tasty than older birds.
  • Jakes tend to be a little less cautious than mature birds but may also not react as strongly to calls.
  • Jakes often travel in pairs and groups, even during the season. They can breed but it is unlikely they will unless there are no toms in the area.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the answer to the question of whether you should shoot jakes, and the reasons behind it.

Show Notes:

I have seen almost every turkey hunter I have ever known make the same critical error. This includes people who are brand new to the sport and those who have been hunting for 40 years and have written books on the subject. This has cost people many successful hunts (myself included) and it has cost many a measure of their health as well. On this episode I talk with Bill Dickinson, an expert hunter, doctor, and co-founder of an amazing outdoor company that is doing some of the most important work in the industry.

Take Aways

  • Until recently there has been no great ways to hunt turkeys and protect your hearing. Ear plugs ruined the hunt and electronic ear plugs only sort of ruined the hunt while creating other issues.
  • Hearing loss is cumulative over time. Every shot taken potentially harms your hearing some, for other it causes more harm.
    • Research shows that some people’s hearing can take more of a beating while other people lose their hearing faster. But sometimes even those with robust hearing are unexpectedly just one gunshot away from partial deafness
  • Bill, who is a doctor of audiology, co-founded a company called Tetra Hearing with the express goal of not just preserving people’s hearing, not just preserving the sound of the hunt, but improving the auditory experience of the hunt WHILE protecting your hearing.
  • For those with perfect hearing, Bill’s product enables you to hear like normal while magnifying the sounds that turkeys make so you can hear them from further away.
    • As soon as you pull the trigger a sensor causes the device to go from amplification to suppression, blocking out the sound of the gunshot like traditional ear plugs.
  • For those with poor hearing, Tetra’s product acts as a hearing aid, amplifying the sounds of the woods to match your hearing level and augmenting the unique sounds that turkeys make.
    • And again, as soon as you take a shoot, it is instant hearing protection.
  • Always wear hearing protection of some kind, if at all possible. ESSPECIALLY when you may be taking multiple shots or hunting with others who may be shooting too.

You can learn more about Bill’s work and company by visiting TetraHearing.com and you can take a free hearing test to help assess your current condition. 

(Disclaimer, there are no affiliate links, no commissions or kick backs, I do not make a dollar if you purchase anything. I genuinely and strongly believe in the work Bill is doing)

Show Notes:

Turkey decoys are all the rage, and just like any tool there are times they are right for the job. But on this episode I look at times when decoys are very much the wrong tool for the job and can even cost you the hunt.

Take Aways

  • Decoys are like a screw driver, they have a few focused uses. But they cannot be the only tool you use.
  • Decoys are a big industry and have great marketing, but even a gold plated screw driver still only has a few useful applications.
  • In the real world you need to be concerned with how other animals interact with your decoys, not just how turkey’s like them.
  • If you hunt on public land, decoys could attract other hunters as much or more than turkeys.
  • Weather plays a part and can effect decoy appearance and behavior.
  • Many people change the way they hunt to be less focused on taking gobblers and more focused on how to best use decoys…
  • Jake decoys and tom decoys may turn off more birds than they attract, especially later in the season.
  • Listen to the full episode to here the 3 times turkey decoys do more bad than good, and stay turned for a bonus situation or two.

Show Notes:

Calling a gobbling turkey to you is the main way to hunt these birds, but that does not mean you should never move from your position. On this episode I talk about times when moving can help boost your chances of calling a turkey to you.

Take Aways

  • Turkey hunting is most often an active sport because hen turkeys are constantly in motion. So if you move you are actually becoming more realistic.
  • Never move when a bird is close and coming to you, there is a time to move and a time for perfect stillness.
  • Even on small properties, there are times where small movements can make the difference.
  • If you call a lot, it can hurt you to stay in one spot. Hens just don’t do that.
  • Turkey hunting is like a dance at times, you move, they move, you move, they move, and hopefully you get the tom to work closer and closer.
  • Dress to move, pack light, and be nimble on your feet.
  • A little noise is ok. Turkeys make noise when they walk, and if a gobbler thinks you are a turkey then he will expect you to make a little noise when you move.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the 5 times you should move on a gobbling bird.