Chasing gobblers a sign of spring

Many of us start the day the same way, being awakened by a loud, annoying buzzer.

For a turkey hunter, a 4 a.m. alarm is nothing new. But there is a silver lining – the chance of a very heart-pounding blast of a gobble isn’t far away.

If you have never heard a turkey gobble, it’s the prettiest sound an ugly bird can make. OK, before you start writing me hate mail let me say that turkeys aren’t exactly ugly as their feathers have awesome iridescent colors of red, green and a little bluish shimmer. The males, or Toms, have a tail fan that rises to attract hens.

And of course there is the gobble, the sound that echoes across the mountains of the Poconos and into the valleys. For turkey hunters, the thrill of the gobble coming closer and closer is like the smell of bacon at fat camp – you just can’t get enough of it.

For me, I was introduced to turkey hunting about 10 years ago. Needless to say, I’m hooked. I’m more than hooked, I’m addicted to turkey.

Yes, hunters must endure the elements – ticks crawling up your leg, mosquitoes sinking into your neck isn’t all that uncommon either. But when there’s a longbeard at 60 yards and he’s coming your way, unless that tick is crawling across your nose, you had better not move.

A turkey’s eyesight is their best defense, so when I hunt with first-timers, that’s my first advice. If you can see them, they can see you – don’t move!

I’m big on sharing my hunting stories, both the good and the not-so-good. That is hunting, after all, more failures than anything else. To me, there is nothing better than sharing the experience. Last year my friend and former Stroudsburg football coach, Fred Ross, teamed up to tag Fred a dandy Tom.

He smiled, but I may have smiled more. I’ve grown to love bringing the experience of hunting to friends who wanted to try it, but didn’t know how. That was my story a decade ago when a friend took me along, up a hill, and down another, in the dark … enough of that.

This spring I plan to keep up with my blog ‘See you in the woods’ which can be found at PoconoRecord.com. My goal is to share the hunting experience with new friends and old this spring, and if there’s a story to tell, I’ll share it.

I’ll also be sharing some video on Twitter @Mike_kuhns because there’s nothing like sharing the fun of the hunt, and the gobble that comes with each spring.

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