Almost all hunters have a species that ignites their passion to hunt more than others, although the reasons we head out seem common across species. Putting meat on the table to the experience of just being out in nature are some of the top reasons hunters hunt. For turkey hunters, hearing that first gobble is likely the start to a lifelong obsession, at least it seems to have for our NWTF headquarter staff. Below are the responses from several staff on what interests them most about turkey hunting.
“Pitting my skill and experience against a tom's wits. Am I good enough to fool this old gobbler? Can I make him do something that is against his nature? Can I be still until it's time to squeeze the trigger? Did I make a good call by sitting here instead of trying to move closer before setting up? It's a constant test of woodcraft, experience and being able to read a tom's intent. All of these things keep me going back for more.” – Matt Lindler, Acting Vice President of Communications
“While the animal might not be revered as highly as big game animals by some hunters, I believe it is a more challenging pursuit due to the wariness of the wild turkey. In addition, there are few other hunts with the same level of interaction, especially with regard to vocalizations. There is something about hearing a thunderous early morning gobble on the limb that sends shivers down your spine. Even from a nostalgia perspective, wild turkeys are unique to this continent and play a role in our American Heritage.”– Pete Muller, Public Relations Manager
“So many people miss the beginning of each day as they try to get those last few minutes of sleep. Hunters by nature hike into the woods in pitch dark to be in position as the night begins to fade. Not much can compare to watching that scene unfold while sitting against a tall pine and hearing that first gobble. Ultimately, it’s that gobble that drives me to shuck on camo at four in the morning. Although I am ready to take my shot if I get a gobbler on the line, it is almost a secondary thought.” – Susan Delk, Staff Writer
“I sat in a deer stand with my husband for a few years as a spectator to hunting. My interest in becoming a participant wasn't sparked until I accompanied him on a turkey hunt. This was the catalyst for my interest in learning to shoot and hunt. I love the interaction with birds, the thrill of hearing a tom gobble and the excitement of attempting to outsmart him. What is most appealing to me, however, is the time in the outdoors, experiencing the woods wake up, the beauty and solitude of nature and the time with my family.” – Mandy Harling, Director of Hunting Heritage Programs
"My initial interest in hunting came from my desire to source my own meat. After experiencing many early mornings and quiet afternoons in the turkey woods, it developed into a deep appreciation for the connections involved. I enjoy the sense of connection to nature and the wildlife I share the woods with, as well as the connection I feel to the hunting heritage of my family and hunting traditions of southern culture." – Catelyn Folkert, Digital Media Specialist
No matter what interests you most about turkey hunting, a gobble in the still of the dawn of day can shake even the most seasoned hunter. Fall turkey seasons are great for introducing new hunters to the obsession that is turkey hunting. Won’t you help introduce a new hunter to that experience this season?
– Susan Delk