By Preston Pittman
Good binoculars, like Alpen’s, are like a second pair of eyes, especially when you’re hunting in open areas like fields, pastures, farmlands and agricultural regions. One of my favorite tactics when trying to spot deer and turkey is to climb a tree while carrying my Alpen binoculars, get the lay of the land, determine the size of the turkey or the deer out in the open and study the terrain to identify the best way to approach the animal without spooking it. These are the “gimme” situations. Most people don’t realize that http://www.alpenoutdoor.com/html/binoculars.html binoculars become vitally important during the early part of turkey season when you’re hunting open hardwood bottoms where you can see 150-or 200-yards away. With my Alpen binoculars, I’ve got almost equal eyesight to the turkey – a bird well-known for its visual sharpness. I can see a tom almost as far away as he can see me. Too, I can see if a little ditch, a drain, a small hill or ridge is between me and the turkey that I can use as cover as I approach the bird.
One of the most-difficult turkey-hunting situations is when you have a gobbler with hens. The best way to take this bird is to determine his route of travel and then try and get out in front of the turkey and let the gobbler and his hens walk to you. With your binoculars, you can see the direction the turkeys are walking, identify the boss hen who leads the flock, determine the length of the gobbler’s beard and study the terrain you’ll have to cross or go around to get in front of that flock of turkeys. During turkey season, you also can use your Alpen binoculars to read the turkey’s body language. Every creature God has put on the face of the earth speaks not only with its voice, but also with its body.
One of the most-critical moves a turkey makes that a hunter needs to know is when the turkey comes to attention and double stacks its wings. When a turkey sees something he doesn’t understand, his neck goes up and almost every feather on his body acts as though super glue is sticking it down. The bird will be as slick and shiny as a new penny. When one wing comes up and lays on that turkey’s back, if you don’t take that bird before the next wing comes up and lays on his back, you’ll get nothing because that turkey will be out of there. With your
With your Alpen binoculars, you can see a gobbler coming towards you with his tail feathers cocked a little to his left or right instead of having his fan (tail feathers) straight out. Whichever direction the turkey cocks his tail feathers indicates that the turkey is trying to impress something in that direction. The gobbler may hear or see another hen and try to draw her to him, preventing him from coming to me. But because I’ve seen the subtle change in his body language, I can determine if I need to pick up the tempo and possibly the volume of my calling to get the gobbler more interested in me than in the hen he’s trying to impress. Studying the turkey’s body language with my binoculars before he comes in really close often will let me know whether that gobbler will come really close or not.
Also, you should carry a good pair of Alpen binoculars with you for safety. You may hear a turkey gobble and see movement 150 to 200 yards away and assume it’s a turkey. But if you use your binoculars, you may see that what you previously thought was a turkey is actually another hunter going after the turkey you’re hunting. Binoculars can make you a better hunter. But they also can make you a safer hunter. So, if you’ll be hunting this spring, don’t go into the woods without a good pair of Alpen binoculars.
About Preston Pittman
Preston Pittman of Petal, Mississippi, the founder of Preston Pittman Game Calls, is the only person to win five divisions of the World Turkey Calling Championship: the World Open, the World Two-Man Team, the World Champion of Champions, the World Gobbling Championship and the World Natural Voice Championship. Pittman also holds other world, national, regional and state championships. Over his career, he’s won over 150-plus World Turkey Calling Championships.
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