Lessons from the Turkey Blind

POSTED: 04-25-2014 IN: Uncategorized

Few things are more exciting than opening day of Turkey Season.  It’s like a breath of spring air for those of us who hunt.  I remember my first turkey season like it was yesterday.  I was 11 and in my mind, these Thanksgiving, over-stuffed birds would wander by my blind and I would pick one off with ease.  Turkeys have a false reputation.  Toms are fast and they are smart.  I’m pretty sure the first one spotted me a mile away and just came by for fun.

This was also my first taste of underestimating my opponent and became, what I see now, as an incredible first step in negotiation and setting up a deal.  I started thinking about what that Tom wants, what he needs and how to lure him in.  I wanted to stir no suspicion, maintain a low profile and take down that target.

So I watched those birds and found the perfect place to set my blind.  Then came decoys to draw them in.  And I sat and waited and listened to them talk, so I started calling back.  The next thing you know, the big Toms come strutting out of the woods, deliberately heading to the decoys.  I was patient and chose my moment carefully.  But I knew before I ever drew my bow that it was the preparation that closed the deal, not the arrow.

Here are few tips to prepare for your hunt, no matter the target:

1)    Do your research.  Knowledge is power.  And power is leverage.  I promise, it always comes down to the details.  Know the territory and do what you can to anticipate your opponent’s needs and wants.

2)    Put the game into play.  I set my blind and decoys in a spot that was close enough to lure them to me.  Because from step 1, I knew I wasn’t going to be chasing down a wild turkey.

3)    Choose your moment (or let it pass).  This might be the hardest thing to do because it is human nature to anticipate.  But in a turkey hunt, if you choose the wrong moment, all the birds fly.  So wait for the right moment.  Trust your instincts, your gut will tell you when its time.

I spent a lot of time writing in a turkey blind over the past few years. The first draft of The Hunt was composed in tree stands and blinds and fields and farms all over the United States.  I never knew how closely my hunting skills paralleled my business skills until it came out in my writing.  I can truly say I’ve learned as much from the animals I have pursued as the businesses I have built.  And I’ve got to thank the turkeys for this particular lesson, it has served me well.





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