photo of mourning doves

Turkeys don’t become decoy shy, but some toms do get “turkey shy” after they’ve lost a few fights. These subdominant birds are wary of any aggressive-looking rival and will avoid a decoy in the menacing strut or half-strut position. Instead, use a meek standing jake that appears too small to be dangerous. Combine it with a single hen, then use soft, seductive hen calls.

Don’t encourage your retriever to hit the water with the high-speed leaps you see at field trials. The leaps are impressive to watch, but in real hunting conditions, dogs that hit the water hard can get hurt by submerged rocks or logs. Instead, work your dog frequently where harmless but annoying underwater obstacles slow his entry. He will quickly learn to jump with caution.

During thunderstorms, crouch on a foam mattress or pack of clothes to minimize your body footprint and to insulate your feet from the ground. Don’t be the tallest thing around. Avoid high ground, clearings, large trees, and tent poles. In boats, lay fishing rods flat, lower radio antennae, keep feet and hands out of the water, sit low, and don’t touch the radio or other metal objects.

Long casts are impressive, but you’ll work more water and catch more fish if you start short and lengthen each subsequent cast by 10 feet. By varying the distance, you make your lure swing on a different arc with each retrieve. It will pass through more positions where fish may be holding. After you’ve covered all the water you can reach, change position and begin again.

When boat-trailer lights fail, it’s usually because corrosion has caused a defective ground. For a more durable connection, drill a hole in the trailer tongue to fit a stainless-steel screw. Size doesn’t matter. Polish the area around the hole with sandpaper to expose new metal. Insert the screw through the end of the ground wire terminal and tighten it against the exposed metal.