I’m just over a month from opening day, and pretty much every weekend of the season is now booked. That opening weekend is earmarked for sitting under a tree and trying to lure an early season tom into range is pretty much a given. I’ll be guiding around a friend who missed last season via the birth of his first child on the weekend after that. Then I’m off to BC for a much anticipated hunt (more on that to come below), and then we get a three day weekend here in Ontario, which only means three days of turkey hunting and barbecuing in the evening. If I haven’t tagged out by then, and odds are I won’t have done so, I still get one more full weekend and a bonus day the week after that since this year the Ontario spring season closes on a Saturday. By then the mosquitoes are usually so horrendous that I almost hope for rainy mornings and windy days, just to keep most of my hard-earned blood inside my veins. This year, a Thermacell is on my wish list.
So from the above, I guess I am by definition a weekend hunter. I have no other choice, since I’m not smart enough to be a billionaire and not handsome enough to be a trophy husband. But that’s okay, since I’ve never used the words ‘weekend hunter’ as a pejorative term. One of the lies I tell myself is that if I had the means and resources to hunt every day, I may find it boring or somewhat like a chore.
Of course, we all know that isn’t true.
I’m always thinking of hunting, using my hyperactive imagination to run through hundreds of ‘what if’ scenarios and set-ups. I’m also constantly on the lookout for new gear, and aside from the Thermacell that I keep procrastinating on, this year I will require a durable, airline-capable hard gun case. I fly often in my line of work and I’ve seen the abuse that the baggage handlers of every airline subject baggage to. I don’t exactly “baby” my Remington 870, but the thought of it being flung and bounced around by anonymous airline staff makes me cringe. My analytic nature (combined with an unhealthy addiction to online hunting stores) has led me down several paths in researching the purchase of a gun case, some of which are hopelessly too expensive others which are obviously too flimsy for effective. I’m down to three options, so now I have to actually go to a store and inspect them myself.
I’m down to Pelican, SKB, and Plano cases. All have their benefits. Pelican cases are essentially bomb-proof, but will cost a portion of a mortgage payment. They also suffer from the notable handicap of not being available at any nearby dealers, so I have to factor the shipping of some seriously oversized equipment into the price. Plano cases cost the least, but all the reviews I’ve read indicate they are a bit on the flimsy side. I own a cheap Plano case already, but it was never intended to fly, it was more of car-case. SKB seems to have the case that fits the logical niche between the two, but like the Pelican case, seems to only be available as a shipped item (in from the USA so far as I can tell) so again this will add to the ultimate cost factor.
On another turkey gear note, my accomplice for the upcoming Merriam’s turkey hunt is well on his way, having purchased a box call, some mouth calls, and a crow call. Some heavy duty turkey loads and a facemask are all he needs now (unless he’s outfitted himself with those too, in which case he’s golden). I, of course, have much more in the way of turkey vest-cluttering debris that I have to attempt to pack out there, but who knows, maybe this trip will make me a more lithe and sensibly outfitted turkey hunter.
But not likely.