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Hunt Tip: Arrive Early for Henned-Up Toms

Eastern_tom6_300It’s one of the most aggravating occurrences for a spring turkey hunter, and it seems to happen more often than not during the early weeks of the season when toms are surrounded by hens. You know what I’m talking about: a bird gobbles his head off from the roost then shuts up when he hits the ground. Here’s how to beat him.

First, you need to be able to pinpoint the tom’s roost and get there before daylight. Preseason scouting really pays off on these birds if you can identify where they spend the evening and in which direction they go once they’re on the ground.

At the very least, make sure you roost the gobbler the night before you plan to hunt. Ease as close to his roost tree as you dare in the approaching darkness and try to pinpoint where he is. Mark the spot with a GPS or count your steps out of the woods for at least 100 yards until you come to a prominent landmark such as a trail or fence line that you will be able to identify in the dark. You can’t afford to be traipsing around the woods near the bird the next morning unless you want to spook it.

Get there an hour before sunrise, take your time and east into the exact spot where you left the bird the night before. Realtree Road Trips host Michael Waddell suggests getting as close as you can to the roosted bird, within 50 yards if possible. “Stake a decoy near your setup to give him something to see as soon as it gets light,” he says. You and your decoy want to be the first hen this big boy sees and hears at daylight.

At dawn offer up a couple of soft calls just to let the gobbler know you’re there. Make sure you’re set up so you don’t need to move. With luck, he’ll pitch down in range of your shotgun.

Photo courtesy of NWTF



Zumbo has to gobo. He is going to kill the mag with all his anti gun vomit.

Nice to know I'm a terrorist

Jon Beaudry

So, now you shut down the blog "for the time being". If that is not as big as a offence as Zumbo's words himself. That’s the same a saying your not going to listen to what we have to say.

Really did you think that not firing the guy but instead ending the dialog was the right thing to do? You can’t be that stupid.

What next shut down all the blogs?

For the rest of your pathetic magazines short life you will have to have email. Guess who will keep emailing until you’re gone. WE WILL.

Just step up to the plate and fire the guy. That is if you want a job a year from now. But hey it’s your choice you can sink your magazine if you want to.

Zumbo is Crap

Doug Howlett,

I can't help but notice that you only have 3 posts. Please do not shoot yourself in the foot like Zumbo, just so you can have 2000 replys. HAHAHAHAHAHA


for the good of the mag-FIRE Zumbo and we can get back on topic


Hey guys,

I just heard about Jim's post, and while I haven't seen what he said personally, I know Jim and don't think he meant any harm by it. Hell, he shoots probably more than most guys. If anything, he was probably just trying to stir the pot some and didn't fully consider how what he was saying might sound.

Until I get a chance to talk to Jim personally, I can't speak much to what he said though. I'm sure we'll get it all figured out in the next couple of days.

As for the impatient reply from Jon Beaudry, relax dude. I think the post was made Saturday and we haven't even been in the office since then. Monday's a holiday.

While it's obvious Jim wrote something that pissed a bunch of folks off, pulling down the offending remarks is about all we can do for the moment. It's not that we don't want to hear what you have to say. Heck, magazines--and Web sites--live for interaction, good or bad, with its readers. It's what sells magazines!

I know I will be interested to check out the chatter on what everyone has to say on the issue. I have to say, while I sure look forward to reading some well thought out comments, I can't help but laugh at some of the stupid, ill-informed comments that are being spouted at the same time. Either way, it's all entertaining. Thanks guys.


Scott Murphy


Hand crafted AKM stocks.


BTW, what message boards do you guys find the best comments and shared information on? I'm assuming that's where most of you heard about Jim's comments.

I have a few that I check from time to time, but figure there are some great ones that I'm missing. Thanks.

Jon Beaudry

OK, you had me with “Relax dude….Mondays a holiday”. But you started to lose me at “I can't help but laugh at some of the stupid, ill-informed comments that are being spouted at the same time. Either way, it's all entertaining.”

I can’t defend all of the replies totaling 3500 to 4000 on his offensive blog entry or the 1500 to 2000 replies on his “apology”. There would be more if the blog was not taken offline. I would guess it was a mix of anger, humor, sarcasm, and hate mail possibly lacking of taste.

Regardless of what the general community may have been provoked to say, Zumbos comments were of the worst kind. They touched a nerve that is very sensitive at the moment. I can understand you do not want to be quick to judge him. For you that is an honorable thing to do and that is very kind of you.

For the rest of us the wound is deep and considered by many to be unforgivable. He expressed the same mindset of many weak people have that it is acceptable to lose your freedom and liberty one small piece at a time. He was willing to sell us out because it was not a freedom HE enjoyed. Again that is another terrible act, to hold the belief that other people’s freedom does not have merit. This shows little respect for others and worse yet little respect for the people profits from.

I hope this invokes some empathy in you that you can understand how I think many people feel about this.

I answer your other questions. I heard about this on Getoffthex.com ( http://getoffthex.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/998104881/m/1161063072 ). Getoffthex is a small community of Law Enforcement, Military, and civilian/Private Military Contractors. You will need to create an account and it is advisable to introduce yourself on the Premium Members forum.

I also heard about this on AR15.com ( http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=548211 ). That thread is currently up to 51 pages. I was surprised. Many would advice you to take AR15.com with a grain of salt. There are many people there from all walks of life.

I hate to have a closed mind. I also would not want to be quick to judge and quick to anger, worse yet toward somebody I know little about. But many people see this as an active war zone, and you need to discern friend and foe. Zumbo was in a position of respect and trust, and now we discover he is not a friend but he is a foe. The damage is great.

Here is what the Brady Campaign has to say: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=88508969&blogID=231738183&MyToken=b78d8cde-11c1-447e-82ba-73d10ed74753

The irony is Zumbo thought his guns are safe, but the next day here is what the Brady Campaign had to say about that: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=88508969&blogID=231968340&MyToken=b78d8cde-11c1-447e-82ba-73d10ed74753

Yep, those “Sniper Rifles” are indistinguishable for every hunter’s rifle. Just food for thought.

Charles Warner

The history and precedent leading to the 2nd Amendment began several hundred years before its creation and has its origin in England. The concept of citizens or "subjects" bearing arms dates back to at least the 12th century when King Henry II obligated all freemen to possess certain arms for defense. In the following century, King Henry III required every subject between the ages of fifteen and fifty to own a weapon other than a knife. This was of such importance that Crown officials gave periodic inspections to guarantee a properly armed townspeople. This was because England did not have a police force until 1829, and in the absence of a regular army it was the responsibility and duty of the subjects to keep watch and ward at night to confront and capture "suspicious persons". This remained relatively unchanged until 1671, when Parliament created a statute that drastically raised the property qualifications needed to possess firearms. In essence, this statute disarmed all but the very wealthy. In 1686, King James II banned without exception the Protestants' ability to possess firearms, even while Protestants constituted over 95% of the English subjects. Not until 1689, with the rise of William of Orange, did the Protestants possess firearms once again with the newly enacted law that reads, "That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their defence suitable to their Conditions, and as allowed by Law". The tradition of securing a military force through a duty of universal military obligation for all able-bodied males follows from the Elizabethan era militia in England.[1][2]

The English Declaration of Rights (1689) affirmed freedom for Protestants to "have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law."[9] When Colonists protested British efforts to disarm their militias in the early phases of the Revolution, colonists cited the Declaration of Rights, Blackstone's summary of the Declaration of Rights, their own militia laws, and Common Law rights to self-defense. While British policy in the early phases of the Revolution clearly aimed to prevent coordinated action by the militia, there is no evidence that the British sought to restrict the traditional common law right of self-defense. Indeed, in his arguments on behalf of British troops in the Boston Massacre, John Adams invoked the common law of self-defense.[3]

Some have seen the Second Amendment as derivative of a common law right to keep and bear arms; Thomas B. McAffee & Michael J. Quinlan, writing in the North Carolina Law Review, March 1997, Page 781, have stated "... Madison did not invent the right to keep and bear arms when he drafted the Second Amendment—the right was pre-existing at both common law and in the early state constitutions."[4]

Others perceive a distinction between the right to bear arms and the right to self-defense; Robert Spitzer has stated: "...the matter of personal or individual self-defense, whether from wild animals or modern-day predators, does not fall within, nor is it dependent on, the Second Amendment rubric. Nothing in the history, construction, or interpretation of the Amendment applies or infers such a protection. Rather, legal protection for personal self-defense arises from the British common law tradition and modern criminal law; not from constitutional law."[5] Heyman has similarly argued that the common law right of self defense was legally distinct from the right to bear arms.[6]

The potential connection between the right of self defense and the new constitutional protection of a right to keep and bear arms contained in the Second Amendment depends on the distinction whether 'keep and bear arms' is synonymous more broadly with the right of individual self defense or does 'keep and bear arms' pertain more narrowly towards use of arms in a military context, or, in the case of the Common Law while still under the British, in service of the king and country. This distinction was not subject to serious judicial notice until the first gun control laws were passed in the Jacksonian era. Judges in the nineteenth century split over how to interpret this connection; some saw the Common Law right and the protection of a right to keep and bear arms contained in the Second Amendment as identical; others viewed these as being legally distinct. Texts from the era of the Second Amendment are largely silent on this important question.

Charles Warner

In 1786, a decade after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the United States existed as a loose national government under the Articles of Confederation. This confederation was perceived to have several weaknesses, among which was the inability to mount a Federal military response to an armed uprising in western Massachusetts known as Shays' Rebellion.

In 1787, to address these weaknesses, the Philadelphia Convention was convened with the charter of amending the Articles. When the convention concluded with a proposed Constitution, those who debated the ratification of the Constitution divided into two camps; the Federalists (who supported ratification of the Constitution) and the Anti-Federalists (who opposed it).

Among their objections to the Constitution, anti-Federalists feared creation of a standing army not under civilian control that could eventually endanger democracy and civil liberties as had happened recently in the American Colonies and Europe.[7] Although the anti-Federalists were ultimately unsuccessful at blocking ratification of the Constitution, through the Massachusetts Compromise they laid the groundwork to ensure that a Bill of Rights would be drafted, which would provide constitutional guarantees against encroachment by the government of certain rights.

The Federalists on the other hand held that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary, particularly since the Federal Government could never raise a standard army powerful enough to overcome the militia. Leading Federalist James Madison wrote:

Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.[8]

Similarly, Federalist Noah Webster wrote:

Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state.[9]

One example given by Webster of a "power" that the people could resist was that of a standing army:

Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.[10]

The controversy of a standing army for the United States existed in context of the Continental Forces that had won the American Revolutionary War which consisted of both the standing Continental Army created by the Continental Congress and of State and Militia Units. In opposition, the British Forces consisted of a mixture of the standing British Army, Loyalist Militia, and Hessian mercenaries.

Federalists, on the other hand, believed that federal government must be trusted and that the army and the militias "ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal" of federal government. This belief was fundamentally stated by Alexander Hamilton:

The power of regulating the militia, and of commanding its services in times of insurrection and invasion are natural incidents to the duties of superintending the common defense, and of watching over the internal peace of the Confederacy.[11]

The origin of the Second Amendment also occurred in context of an ongoing debate about "the people" fighting governmental tyranny, (as described by Anti-federalists); or the risk of mob rule of "the people", (as described by the Federalists). These feelings can be seen in the "a force superior" quote of Noah Webster above, and in contrast, when John Adams wrote of his fears about Antifederalists in the ongoing revolution in France:

The State is in critical Circumstances, and have been brought into them by the Heat and Impatience of the People. If nothing will bring them to consideration, I fear they will suffer[12]

Reaching a compromise between these widely disparate positions was not easy, but nonetheless, a compromise was negotiated with the result being the Second Amendment.