A good friend once told me that while hunting is not a spectator sport, adding a best buddy to the mix can boost enjoyment and add efficiency to the experience.
By Gordy J. Krahn
Turkey & Turkey Hunting Editor
I took that to heart when I first began hunting turkeys in earnest and as a result have shared the spring woods with a long list of top-shelf hunting partners. I’ve always believed that the measure of a man is greatly enhanced by the company he keeps. And that rings true with an even higher degree of sincerity in regard to the quality of hunting buddies he keeps. I’ve been fortunate to have known — and hunted with — many such indisputable men. Those who lurk in the early morning gloom doing their very best to imitate a seductive hen turkey — each adding his signature touch to this ancient springtime ritual.
When I took the job as managing editor of Turkey & Turkey Hunting magazine back in the early 1990s, I was new to the game — in fact I was barely aware there even was a game. Growing up in northern Minnesota, I had never seen a wild turkey, much less hunted them. In my mind, that was something you did “down South,” and I was perfectly content to hunt the grouse, waterfowl and whitetails that were plentiful in the Northern wilds where I lived.
But that all changed when I moved to Wisconsin and became immersed in the turkey hunting culture, which, to me, even then was more theory than practice. At that time, master hunters Gerry Blair and Jim Casada were co-editors of Turkey & Turkey Hunting magazine and they were the patient mentors who put me on the path to turkey hunting addiction.
I figured the best way to get up to speed — and do it quickly — was to spend time in the woods with those guys who knew a hell of a lot more about hunting turkeys than me. And because of my position with the magazine, it was my good fortune to not only hunt those naïve birds in the Badger State (the season opened in our area soon after I arrived), but to take to the field with a who’s who list of accomplished turkey hunters the likes of Will Primos, Jim Casada, Jim Spencer, Cuz Strickland, Eddie Salter and others. I quickly learned the value of good hunting buddies. And I eagerly shared my new-found knowledge with any newbie to the sport who would have me along.
I tell you all of this not to demonstrate my good fortune, but to make this point: Hunts that are shared are hunts that are enhanced in every way. Make it a point to take a buddy along when you hit the turkey woods this spring. Whether it’s your spouse, a son, daughter or grandchild, or even a work mate, your time spent in the woods will be enriched by their company.
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