27 minutes | May 3, 2018

Lessons Learned from an Unsuccessful Turkey Hunting Trip

You ever heard the phrase, "That's why they call it hunting"? Well, I said it frequently this past weekend after coming up empty hunting turkeys in Spokane, WA. For most of us (or all of us), the main goal when we are hunting is to harvest an animal for food. When that doesn't happen, it can be frustrating. However, there is a gift that is hidden in failure: the opportunity to learn from your experience and be a better hunter on your next trip. For me, I learned three very valuable lessons this past weekend turkey hunting. BE OBSERVANT. Regardless of the species that you are hunting, when you are out in the field you are surrounded by dozens of potential learning experiences, you just need to seek them out. Try to identify tracks and scat. If you can't identify them, take a picture and research them later. Look and listen for other animals in the area. Keep your eyes on the ground for bones, hair and other sign. Take note of the trees where a turkey is roosting or the paths that it takes. No hunting trip is a failure unless you choose not to learn anything. Get out there and be observant. ADAPT. When you're out hunting, you are playing on the animals' territory. You are the outsider. Animals live in their habitat successfully because they adapt to their surroundings. You need to do the same thing. When you're calling a turkey and he isn't reacting, change it up. Call louder or quieter, more or less frequently, try a different call all together. Like Matt Dale said in the previous episode, you have to listen to the bird and call accordingly. The same thing goes with hunting tactics. If you're sitting in a blind and nothing is working, move to a different area or try to spot and stalk. Whatever the situation, if things aren't working "as planned", you need to adapt. TRAIN. Can you be a successful hunter without training? Yes. Will you have more opportunities for success if you're in shape and able to climb higher, run farther, creep longer, hold position without moving? Absolutely. Training is like insurance, you don't "need" it all the time, but when you do, it can make the difference between bagging a bird and coming home empty-handed. For me, having done squats 3 days/week for the past month and a half allowed me to stalk a pair of toms downhill for 100 yards and charge full-speed at a jake through forested terrain. Both of these opportunities put me closer to birds than I would have been if I hadn't trained. You don't have to train, but if you want to have better opportunities for hunting, training is essential. If you're new to strength training or are just looking for a simple, full body program I highly recommend checking out www.stronglifts.com. I'm not getting paid to endorse this site, it's just what I use and it's incredible easy to follow and highly effective. They also have a free app that keeps you on track and charts your progress. Those are my three takeaways from this past weekend. What have you learned from a recent hunting trip? Leave a comment below so we can all be better hunter on the next trip. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast: we are on iTunes, Google Play and now on Stitcher! Intro and Outro music: Instrumental #1(Mountain Man) by Simon Kornelis
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