Back in April of 1984, I was a bona fide turkey-calling bad ass—or so I thought. Thanks to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s trap-and-transplant program, we finally had enough wild turkeys to hunt in southern New England. I had practiced calling for hours and hours with a simple peg and slate in anticipation of our first season, and on my first day of scouting managed to call in four adult gobblers. It was simple. It was a piece of cake. I yelped, they gobbled and came right in—four times. There were birds in every place I stopped and they all came as if on a rope. I was a turkey-calling God!
Imagine my trauma when I compared notes with outdoor writer and turkey hunting veteran Mike Pearce shortly after my heady scouting trip.
“Hell, my kid can call a turkey in three weeks before the season opens,” Pearce said. “They’ll pretty much gobble at everything and anything that even remotely sounds like a hen. And they’ll also come right in—it’s that easy. You didn’t spook them afterward did you? Calling birds in before the season can mess up your season.”