With turkey season right around the corner, stores are filling up with hunters getting ready for season. Everyone is stocking up on all new calls, choke tubes, decoys, anything and everything that will increase their chance of success in the 2010 turkey season. While this is all part of the excitement leading up to opening day, I would like to share with you how I have been preparing for the season. Of course I have rummaged through every isle containing turkey-hunting supplies, but I have also added a fun way to both save money, and deal with the preseason anticipation.

In the previous spring I had a very unlucky day that all hunters encounter, and to top it off I broke my favorite striker. As I was searching for a new striker I was shocked at how expensive a simple piece of wood could be. I made the decision to make my own striker, which turned out to be the best decision I have made in preparation for the upcoming turkey season. I started out by cutting some downed wood off of my property, rounding up a mix of oak, cedar, poplar, Osage orange, and white pine. In my down time during school I started working the wood into something that attempted to replicate a striker, but the jagged edges and unproportional handles were not sufficient for me. They produced a pure sound but I was also going for looks. I then stepped it up to shaping the wood with a lathe, this made getting perfectly shaped strikers easy. Once the initial figure was complete, I then handcrafted the striker to achieve its final appearance.

After completing a few, I have become addicted to making my own gear and I plan to also make my own box and slate calls as well. I urge you to head to the woodshop if you have the tools, and more importantly the time. Doing so is a great way to acquire appreciation for your gear, as well as a way to deal with those preseason butterflies. Good luck this turkey season and if you are not already in the mood, now is the time to start!

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