I love turkey hunting but when the action is fast and ferocious, my level of enjoyment is ratcheted up about 100 notches. That was the way it was on a hunt where I realized there is a distinct advantage to possessing a high level of core strength and it was magical.
Just a day earlier we had a gobbler yelling his fool head off no further than 50 yards from our set up but he wouldn’t close the distance to give me a shot. Dejected, we made our way up an old logging road to find a lone jake at 20 yards which I promptly missed making my mood dip even further. But we hadn’t busted any birds (aside from a jake who had the bejesus scared out of him) so the next morning we set up to kill the loud mouth gobbler and it proved to be just the kind of turkey hunting I love. Fast,
ferocious and action packed!
Loud Mouth was off the roost and strolling within 20 yards of us within 10 minutes of setting up. Problem was he was on us so fast I couldn’t swing my gun to kill him. Loud mouth, a 2 year old tom and an absolutely clueless jake were on us and out of range in a matter of 30 seconds and heading to the same strut zone from the previous day. Then silence. Henned up!
We changed positions and had a 3rd gobbler sounding off to the north. Separated by an imaginary, magical line he wouldn’t cross, we called for 45 minutes before a satellite gobbler snuck in and busted us putting a damper on the morning. No sooner than we thought about packing up, Loud Mouth sounded off to the west. Hunting with my grandfather, I told him to stay put and call while I started crawling through the thick stuff to bag this bird.
On hands and knees with a back pack, 20 gauge and more calls than one hunter needs, I had a 100 yards to go before I could get a look at Loud Mouth. I’d crawl a bit and dump gear here, dump a little there and keep crawling. Before I was to the giant patch of honeysuckle I had gear strung throughout the woods for 30 yards. All I had left was a push-button call and a 20 gauge. This movement placed a tremendous strain on my core muscles but because I trained doing things like planks and bear crawls, I was able to get through the woods quietly and efficiently.
The last 20 yards were the hardest because I had to stay low to avoid getting busted. I pulled myself into the honeysuckle in time to see one gobbler sprint right past me. Like 4 feet from where I was sitting; something had put the fear of God into that turkey and I had a pretty good idea who it was. I hit the call, heard Loud Mouth sound off and there he was 25 yards at the top of a rise standing proud and tall; standing for about 4 seconds, that is, because my 20 gauge knocked him backwards into a complete flip. That, friends, was the end of Loud Mouth.
We have all been in a situation where we had to belly crawl to get a spring gobbler. It is much easier to move quietly and stealthily if you are in shape. As the spring season approaches, adding exercises like bear crawls to your workout will boost your chances of tagging a big gobbler!
If you need help developing a program to prepare for turkey season call the
Fit To Hunt staff at 314-807-8634.
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!