By: Owen Nizzi
There isn’t a sound that can beat the way a gobble sounds on a crisp, sunny May morning. If you don’t believe me, then get out and go turkey hunting. Pennsylvania has one species of wild turkey, the Eastern Wild Turkey. There are four main species – the Eastern, Goulds, Rio Grande, and Oceola. These birds exist all throughout the United States.
In order to turkey hunt in Pennsylvania, you have to swing by your local outdoor store and pick up some tags. After getting your tags, you will need full camouflage and a weapon to harvest the thunder chicken. You want full camouflage for turkey hunting due to the turkey’s amazing eyesight; if you’re not careful they will spot the white of your eyes from a decent distance. Most of the time, turkeys are hunted with archery equipment or shotguns in a 20 or 12 gauge with turkey loads and a trusty turkey choke, such as a Jelly Head or Undertaker.
Here at Eisenhower, there are many prominent and experienced hunters; however, eighth grader Paul Swanson is a master at laying the hammer down on the thunder chickens. The Squire called him in to figure out just how he does it.
The Squire: Paul, how long have you been turkey hunting?
Paul Swanson: Well considering I’m only in the eighth grade, that only gives me a little time to hunt; I started chasing thunder chickens three years ago.
TS: Do you enjoy turkey hunting more than deer hunting?
PS: I do enjoy turkey hunting more than deer hunting because you can walk around more while turkey hunting.
TS: So you’re a run and gun type of man. During your years of turkey hunting, how many thunder chickens have you laid the smack down on?
PS: Well, I have only killed two gobblers during my three years of turkey hunting.
Usually, turkeys are called in to decoys and then shot. You are going to need some calls and decoys; some popular call brands are Zink, Knight and Hale, and Quaker Boy. Decoys can be kind of pricy, but the best quality decoys, in my opinion, are the Avian- X and Dave Smith Decoys.
Speaking of decoys and calls, Paul, if you’re still on the other line, what does your turkey hunting vest consist of?
PS: I like to have decoys, mouth calls, and box calls.
TS: Do you call for yourself or have someone call for you?
PS: I usually have my dad call for me, but, on occasion, I will attempt to entice the gobblers.
TS: That’s all we have for you Paul, thanks for your time.
PS: Anytime. Good luck to all the turkey hunters out in the woods this spring.
Before hitting the woods this spring, make sure you have your license and proper hunters’ safety certification. Everybody be safe in the woods this spring.