Finish your turkey hunt as strong as when you started it. Yamaha Outdoors photo.
By Steve Hickoff
You’ve just successfully fooled a spring gobbler into range and killed it. Congratulations. You’re still pumped but the turkey hunt isn’t quite finished. Many turkey hunting states in the Northeast have just started in fact. Here are some steps to closing the deal on your good day:
SAFETY SAYS: Check to see the safety on your gun is back in place. As bowhunting goes, retrieve your arrow and put it in a safe place too.
FILL THAT TAG: Find your turkey permit and tag. Fill it out properly. Attach it to the gobbler’s leg if it is, and exactly the way it’s required. Call in the kill to an automated attendant if it’s a law in the state you’re hunting or go to a checking station.
CLEAN IT UP: Pick up your spent shotgun shell nearby. You can use it when you mount your beard(s), spurs and fan. It also helps keep the woods as you found it. You’ve worked hard to locate birds. Don’t unnecessarily tip off another turkey hunter you’ve had success there.
CARRY IT OUT: Put the gobbler in the back of your turkey vest, first tucking his head inside a wing. This does two things: it contains the blood somewhat since you’ve likely made a successful head shot to anchor the big bird. As safety goes, it also hides the red, white and blue head as you move out of the woods and fields.
DRIVE IT BACK: Put the spring gobbler in the back of your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side, and keep it there. Your vest should hold it in rugged country. Bungee cords can help too, as can a big cooler holding the turkey.
STAY HUMBLE: When you get back to camp, try to be a little humble about your kill. Take a bit of time to reflect on it all.
NO “I” IN WE: Turkey hunting, as with times outdoors chasing other wild game, is often a “we” deal. Thank the landowner who gave you permission, your hunt host, your guide, your camp cook, your significant other, and everybody else concerned with making the experience right.
EATING WELL: Wild turkey is delicious table fare. Extend the hunt with some good recipes.