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Don't forget essentials of turkey hunting

By the time most of you read this, spring will be in full function and lots of readers will be trying to function on “gubment” time.

I'm gonna run for something again one of these years, and staying on “old time” will be on my agenda. By “old time” I mean that's the time I was born on. I still say “Daylight Savings Time” is communist inspired.

Jesting aside, turkey season is open in many areas. I am pretty sure most of the readers of the Delta Farm Press are farmers and ag-related businessmen. Many of us like to pursue this wild bird. Those of you who don't, if invited, attend said hunt. This is just simply one of the best times to be in the woods.

With spring, the world as we know it is coming alive. The hills of Louisiana and Mississippi offer an almost romantic picture of the various plants starting their life cycle. The dogwood trees of the South are a classic example.

Now for the “stuff” that most turkey hunters I've been around use. I still carry my stuff in a bag. It's an old WW II canvas-type thing with a shoulder strap on it for carrying.

I notice lots of hunters now wearing a “turkey fest.” You know — it's camouflaged, has a little cushioned seat attached to the back of it, and has several pockets or orifices in or on it.

Now for the tools of the trade. Don't even get outta the truck without insect repellent. I carry a ThermAcell, Deet and an aerosol can of something. Believe me, the mosquitoes will find a warm body to feed on.

My second item is a pair of lightweight camouflage gloves and facemask.

At the start of every hunt, I have a heavy duty all purpose trash bag, simply to sit on. This common bag will keep your rear end dry and maybe slow the ticks. We can now basically go turkey hunting.

But, wait, there's more. In my bag is a 99-cent emergency poncho. I can't tell you the times I have been caught in rain without absolutely nothing to keep me dry. Remember, turkeys have to go about their day-to-day chores, rain or shine.

My next item is a better pair of hand-held pruners. One can quickly remove most vines, limbs, palmettos and other vegetation to provide shooting room.

I rarely ever go into the woods without binoculars. I have a small pair (absolutely waterproof) of binoculars that accompany me. Remember, we are in the woods, still and quiet. You just never know what you might see.

Next are my calls. Box calls, friction calls, slates and striker are carried in my bag. Mouth or diaphragm calls are simply carried in an empty snuff can.

At the bottom of my sack is a small flat of aspirin, some type of Sting-Eze, a small whet rock, chalk for my box calls, a small (extra) flashlight, a small piece of nylon rope about 4 feet long and three shells. Two are for turkeys and one reload for snakes.

Some of these items will make for a much more enjoyful outing if you have them and use them. Of course, shoot your shotgun and “pattern” the shells you intend to use. You might not get but one shot.

Whatever you do, hunt safely. No game animal is worth a human life, eye, hand or other personal injury.

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