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Anticipation of Turkey Season

March 15 marks the opening of the turkey season in several lowcountry game zones in South Carolina. For many a hunter, this is paramount to not just a holiday, but equal to a “holy-day”.

As spring is ushered in by the echo of gobblers announcing their intentions from tree tops, every sunrise is greeted with the chorus of willing Tom’s in search of a volunteer for their advances. For hunters, this means only one thing, turkey season is fast approaching.

There is a lot to do for the turkey hunter preparing for the season. There are calls to locate, doctor, and in some cases replenish; shotguns to pattern and other tasks to complete before the starting of the most glorious six weeks of the year.

Tops on my list are replenishing worn out diaphragm calls and practicing with them. Like too many turkey hunters I do not practice my calling year around. Rather I wait until mid-February and start digging out the calls, buying new ones and begin to practice. Unlike many, the diaphragm call is not easy for me. I am prone to use it as a last resort. Preferring the friction calls (more on that later). However, being the consummate turkey hunter, I will not, I repeat, I will not enter the woods without a plethora of calls.

Back in the day, as the old saying goes there were single reed, double reed and if you could find them triple reed. Now days when I peruse the aisle at the local sporting goods store, I see (and I counted) no less than 23 different cuts of reeds on these calls. How in the world people can come up with the different cuts on these latex reeds is beyond me. But like many others, I buy them and try them, and time after time, I return to the one that I can blow the easiest, and best. It’s the “bat-wing” cut of diaphragm.  

Recently I purchased four different cuts of calls, (it came in a variety pack) so I thought “why not?” I soon learned that the turkey call industry is similar to the fishing lure industry. Where many of the lures are designed to catch fishermen not fish. Turkey calls scream at consumers from their packaging and demand that we buy them, all the while knowing they sound nothing like a turkey, at least not a South Carolina turkey.

But I also picked up a few “bat wing” cut calls from a well-known manufacturer and really was impressed at how well it sounded. My many hours behind the windshield are spent Yelping, cutting, clucking, purring as I try and get ready to chase turkeys.

For the turkey hunter the anticipation is almost as much fun, as we ride along serenading some far off gobbler of our dreams getting ready for the start of the best time of year. Turkey Season.