Editor’s Note: Chris Kirby is a World Champion turkey caller and he has been a Mossy Oak pro for many years. He’s the president of Quaker Boy Calls and has partnered with Mossy Oak to produce the Turkey Thugs line of turkey calls.
My dad, Dick Kirby, who created and founded Quaker Boy Calls, and I have been associated with Mossy Oak ever since the beginning of the company. My dad used to go on many of the Mossy Oak hunts that the company held years ago. One of the reasons we have been with Mossy Oak for so long is because of the quality of the people in the company, like Toxey Hass, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland and Bill Sugg. They have the same love of the outdoors and outdoor people that we have. So, both companies’ core values really match up.
My favorite Mossy Oak pattern is Mossy Oak Obsession. I turkey hunt so much in the springtime, and Mossy Oak Obsession matches the environment I hunt in, regardless of where I go turkey hunting. In the fall when I am hunting deer, I like Break-Up Infinity. But to be honest, I still like the old Bottomland pattern – Mossy Oak’s first pattern. To be successful at turkey hunting, you need to vanish in the woods. I prefer to hunt sitting in front of a tree. I want to have a clean shot at that turkey. Wearing the camouflage pattern that causes me to blend in with my environment so the turkey can’t see me is critical to my success.
Sometimes in May in Orchard Park, New York, where I live, we will have snow during the first of turkey season, although that’s a rare occurrence. I have hunted turkeys in snow storms in New York and in Wyoming, but really turkey hunting in the snow isn’t too much different from hunting spring turkeys anywhere in the country. The birds just may be a little less vocal and more sluggish in the snow. But once the sun comes out, the turkeys know that spring is the time of year they are supposed to breed. They only have 30 or 40 days to breed. So, the weather isn’t that much of a factor that keeps them from breeding.
I once killed a turkey in Wyoming just after he flew off the roost when there was 6 inches of snow on the ground. Here’s what happened. I really didn’t want to get out of the truck the weather was so bad. So, I cracked my window slightly open and called. I heard a turkey up on a hill gobbling his brains out. I got out of the truck and went into the woods. Within 5 minutes, that turkey came walking across the snow straight to me. I believe hunting turkeys in the snow affects the turkey hunters much more than it does turkey gobblers. On that hunt, there was no difference in hunting in the snow and hunting turkeys when there wasn’t snow on the ground. Other times when I have hunted turkeys in the snow, I may have to sit a little longer and be more patient.