Now’s the time

February 12, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I found out recently that I got picked in the turkey hunting lottery for both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Already, I have started planning for the two hunts, which both will occur in mid May.

I started by calling landowners and securing permission to hunt on several properties in both states. Then, it was on to equipment preparation, starting with my shotgun. This is a good time of year to clean your gun and make sure it’s in good working order.

I tried cleaning the gun myself and did some disassembly to get at the trigger assembly. Problem was, I couldn’t figure out how to put it back together again. So, I brought it in to the gunsmith to have it cleaned and reassembled correctly. It’s now ready for pickup and I will have great confidence in using it for my turkey hunts. That is, after I take it out to pattern it with my turkey choke and ammo.

Even though I am using the same choke and ammo as last year, I still want to take it out to the gun range to make sure it’s shooting the same. Most likely, one shot at 25 yards will do the trick. Plus, I can also check to make sure the gun doesn’t jam after the first shot. If the next shell goes into the chamber, I know it’s good to go. Last fall, the gun jammed after I took a first shot at a turkey and I wasn’t able to get off a followup shot after not bringing the bird down with the first one.

I rarely have needed a second shot on a bird, but it’s nice to know that the gun will work for a second shot if I need it. Actually, if all goes well, I will need to take just two shots in the woods this spring, one in Minnesota and one in Wisconsin. The warm weather we’ve had within the last week has really got me thinking about turkey hunting.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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