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Remember three basic rules of turkey hunting

Spring is almost upon us. Already our agricultural community is waking up from a winter rest. Almost everything we hunt will be safe until this fall. I urge you to take just a few minutes to prepare the tools of our recreation for the coming year.

To wit: our firearms. If you are like me, you hunt rain or shine. Remember riding your off-road vehicle one morning in the rain? Your gun got wet.

Oh, you might have wiped the barrel off with an oily rag and maybe some other metal parts, but the truth be known, your firearm might be rusting inside or under the stock.

Some of the semi-auto shotguns might require a steady hand and eye along with the BARs, 742s and Model 100s.

If you can't take your firearm apart and get it back together, find a good gunsmith in your area and have it cleaned.

Remember, some of the firearms we are hunting with today are over 50 years old and still working as they were intended.

And there is always the historical aspect of an older firearm being passed down to a younger generation.

Me, I'm ready for turkey season. I am quite sure turkey season will open somewhere around March 21 here in northeast Louisiana. Hopefully, by then I'll have enough annual or sick leave “to set siege” on this truly remarkable bird.

Some folks say a wild turkey is smart. I don't know. To do some of the things they do under any given situation is just beyond belief.

One day a gobbler might wade around in a mud hole eating something in said mud hole and the next gobbler might come to a bit of water and act like its three-phase, 480 volts.

I am, however, absolutely certain of one thing. There are three basic things that must occur to bring a bird home.

One, there must be a hunter in the woods.

Two, there must be a turkey in the said woods. And three, there must be a turkey that is ready to “see the light.” Key in on item three.

I am reminded of a spring turkey hunt here in northeast Louisiana that occurred a while back. Hunting buddy Mike May and I were on a morning hunt on what turned out to be a beautiful day.

Mike and I have hunted together for nearly 30 years. We hunt together, yet are as different as night and day. Mike likes to “fast-break” an early morning gobbler and had me trying to do it years ago, but I learned better around the “45” mark.

On this morning we walked nearly a mile into the woods to wait for daylight. Sure enough, at the given time Mike “owled” and immediately heard a mature bird gobble. Off he went.

Me, I found an ambush spot, put out my decoys and started calling.

Needless to say, I couldn't call up anything but three hens. Along about noon, here comes Mike. He walked right up on me.

Well, it wasn't nothing to do but eat a snack, rest and visit.

Along about the time I'm starting to rest pretty good, Mike whispers, “Don't move — turkey.”

I want you to know Mike called this old long beard gobbler right up in among the decoys. Now, I've still got my back to the turkey but have turned enough to see every move. At about 15 steps Mike dumped the first load of 6s from the 3-1/2 inch double barrel. I promise you, the turkey “ducked,” turned and ran off with the second barrel right behind him. I didn't even have time to shoulder my shotgun.

Remember the three basics.

If you get a chance, take a kid fishing or hunting. For that matter, take anyone.

One doesn't have to kill to enjoy our outdoors. Some of the best meals and friends are made “at the camp.”

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