Geared Up For Gobblers
by David Blanton
Getting your turkey hunting stuff together well before opening day makes sense. Consider your total turkey hunting package, not just the obvious items, such as calls, gun and loads. Think about all the other essential gear that can make or break your hunt.

Find your flashlight and put in fresh batteries. The same goes for your pocket camera. A small pair of compact binoculars can come in handy. Pack your turkey vest with extra loads, turkey calls and locator calls. Did you remember chalk for your box and/or sandpaper for your slate?

The bigger items need to be packed too. Remember a rain parka or a rain suit. Decoys and the blind need to be ready to go and I mean packed in immediately transportable form. Turkey hunting often means a lot of walking. Are your hunting boots well broken in and freshly waterproofed?

Remember the old adage — it’s better to have it, and not need it; than to need it and not have it.

Turkey Hunting Safety
by Bill Jordan
Turkey hunting safety is very important. While wearing camouflage and calling to mimic a turkey, other hunters may not recognize you as another hunter.

Hunt defensively. Always sit with your back to a solid object that covers and protects you from the rear. Have a good field of view and be alert for other hunters moving into "your" area. Do not signal with your turkey call, wave your hand or make any sudden movement. Speak loudly and clearly in distinctly human tones.

Never wear the gobbler-head colors of red, white and blue. A glimpse of a white T-shirt or a red bandana could make you a target. Pant cuffs that ride up, exposing white socks or shins, and light boot soles can spook a gobbler and also compromise your safety. However, wearing a bit of fluorescent orange while moving is a good idea.

Give other hunters a safety break too — be absolutely sure of your target before you pull the trigger.

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