Finally, turkey hunting season is here. Before the actual hunting starts, there is the matter of gathering gear and getting everything ready. After a long winter, this is a welcome task and even more so this year due to all of the crazy things going on in our world.

I’m not sure why, but every year the first thing that I always do is tape up my old gun, and I mean really old shotgun, with camouflage tape. I guess maybe it’s symbolic in that once the old shotgun is ready, I am ready to hunt. I mean, you can get by with every other piece of turkey hunting gear, but you can’t bag a bird without a gun.

The next task is to gather up the decoys. Typically I might put up a couple of blinds and stash decoys inside them so I don’t have to lug them all around. I learned a long time ago that the decoys are much easier to find if I put them away after every season and put them all together and in the same place.

I have two turkey blinds that have seen better days. Neither are close in age to my old shotgun but both show the battle scars of years and years of use. If you noticed the empty shelf space at the store where the duct tape is supposed to be, that’s my fault. It has become an annual spring ritual to patch the blinds up and proclaim that they only need to get me through one more year and that I will buy new ones next year. For one reason or another the blinds got pardoned again and I never make it to the sporting goods store to replace them.

Scouting, that’s something that I always like doing. In the winter the birds flock up and as the spring thaw happens, the birds disperse. This year, for whatever reason, it seemed like birds hadn’t returned to my spot. They just weren’t there and I found this out just days from the start of my hunt. Recently on a Saturday afternoon, my wife Susan and I were getting ready to head home after walking in the woods. She waited in the truck while I walked 30 yards back into the woods. Before we left, I wanted to try and get a gobbler to respond to my call just so I would know if any birds were in the area. After three failed attempts I jumped back into the truck and told her that it didn’t look good for my season. She asked me: “What about that gobble after the first time you called?” From inside the truck, with only the driver’s side door open, she had heard a gobble that I could not.

Obviously, I am excited about turkey hunting. I certainly won’t have any problems getting up early in the morning so that I can be in the woods ahead of the first gobble of the day. What do you suppose the chances are that Susan will get up that early to come out with me to hear it?