Yes, Easter is here, and we must remember that it isn’t just time to eat the ears off chocolate bunnies and hide eggs for the kids. We must think of its religious meaning as well.
Yes, this is true and all well and good. But the coming of April also heralds some things of importance to the average sportsman, hunter, fisherman and other out-of-doors folks.
Although hunting isn’t really in vogue just now, the earliest spring turkey hunt I’m aware of is April 23, and many hunters are looking forward to that day.
But something else is happening on the last Saturday of April, and in a way sort of jumbles up the turkey hunt a little, for me at least. That is the annual opening day of the regular trout season, a day I and a lot of other trout fishermen look forward to each spring.
Some years my turkey hunt and the trout opener collide to a point where I may be seen trekking around the woods and waters with a fly rod in one hand and a shotgun in the other! Well, I really haven’t done that, yet. But I’ve been tempted. Maybe it isn’t even legal to do that, eh? At any rate, I don’t believe I’ll tempt fate.
However, I must fess up to something at this time. I won’t be hunting a spring turkey this year because, believe it or not Ripley, I forgot to get a license! What I will do, however, is trek north a few times and attempt to call a bird in for some of my usual hunting pals. I’m not the best turkey caller around, but have done so successfully a few times.
Ah, but that does leave me some extra time for the trout opener this year, and I’m planning to fish at several of my usual haunts along the Pere Marquette River, in the Baldwin area.
As a guy who prefers to fly fish rather than drown bait, I’m somewhat concerned about what’s been happening in and around the streams this year. And that would be the unseasonable weather we’ve been experiencing. It has already had an effect on the hatching of aquatic insects, and that is what most fly fishers try to imitate in their offerings.
Then again, truth be told, I’ve often whipped the waters to a froth with what I consider to be a good imitation bug with no luck at all, then switched to a simple attractor fly and had reasonable success. One never knows when it comes to fly fishing, and about the only sure thing is that your line will become festooned in nearly every tree over the river!
I’ll be out there in spite of that, however, and also doing a little turkey calling for my friends.
And as a parting shot about that turkey calling, I usually do my calling about 20-or-so yards behind the shooter. That, of course, allows them to be in the best position for a shot when a bird comes in. Most turkey hunters are aware of that, though, and the only problem comes when the bird waltzes in from the wrong direction! I had one do that one time, and that nutty turkey went right by me and right up to the shooter, who dispatched it with much ado! … Just lucky, I guess.
Well now, as said, April is here and spring has sprung. Indeed it is a great time of year. Go out and enjoy it.
Ed Gilbert is the outdoors writer for
The Daily News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.