Got to hunt turkeys last week with the boys from Down ‘n Dirty Outdoors. I had a strong suspicion that was confirmed on the hunt in southwestern Kentucky. Mark Coin and Jason Kidd are real deal, turkey killing machines. Even though weeks of heavy rain left serious flooding in big chunks of their hometown hunting grounds, they knew exactly how to get to the birds and fire them up.
Despite a spring with weather easily labeled as despicable and just two days to hunt, the D n’ D guys put me on a tom that marched right in to eight yards before I pulled the trigger. I probably could have let him come a couple paces closer, but didn’t want to risk not getting the shot on camera for them. The result was definitely final.
The hunting success and spending enjoyable hours hunting in the company of Mark and Jason started me thinking about what it takes to become “that good” at any kind of hunting. I count both of them on a very short list of guys who can “make it happen” no matter how tough the conditions or the birds.
Besides the obvious passion and commitment, I believe it takes a fantastic place to hunt and access to lots of acres to hunt on. The D ‘n D team is blessed to have both right at home in southwestern Kentucky. What I saw in just a couple of days gives me every reason to believe this area is more densely populated with turkeys than any other region in the country. And they’ve worked out agreements for exclusive hunting on more than 10,000 acres there.
This is critical for anyone who wants to develop great hunting skills, because you need lots of contact with game and the “luxury” of experimentation. Since D ‘n D is in the business of developing game calls, it’s essential to their success.
Think about it. If game is sparse and each encounter could be the only chance to bag your bird that season, you can not afford to mess up. You’ll stick to the tried and true strategy you believe gives you the best chance to take that one bird. You may put another fan on the wall and white meat on the grill, but you won’t learn much.
But if you are confident that even if you “mess up” a bird you’ll have another encounter in an hour or two, you can afford to take more chances, to experiment and to try something that’s all new. From the successes, and even more from each failure, you have a chance to learn. And that’s how you become a better hunter of turkeys … or any game for that matter.