John's Journal...

How to Survive Turkey Season

Remedies and Buddies

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Behold the turkey hunter. Up before first light, coffee in hand and dressed in full camo, he approaches the new day ready to attempt to outsmart one of God's noblest creations. At least, that's how we like to think. But the rest of the world sees the turkey hunter as short-tempered, slow walking, and grumpy with a runny nose and a sore throat who constantly complains about what he has to endure to hunt gobblers and how he's so tired. Most of us have learned we may take a gobbler, but the birds will beat us up in the process. We went to the medical community to learn how to survive turkey season. Dr. Joe Hudson, an internal-medicine specialist, ER doctor and turkey hunter in Birmingham, Alabama, explains how to prepare for woods and camp.

Why This Remedy Will Hurt:     Click to enlarge
I enjoy nothing more than a good cup of coffee in the morning. The bigger the cup, the more I enjoy it. However, according to Dr. Hudson, "Alcohol and caffeine will dehydrate you. Being dehydrated in the woods will make you feel sluggish and out of sorts, and you will suffer from fatigue. You can carry a sports drink to prevent dehydration if you do drink coffee or alcohol in the morning or the evening. One cup of coffee won't hurt you. However, if you drink a quart of coffee in the morning like my father-in-law does before he hunts, you may experience dehydration."

How Turkey Hunters Inflict Misery on Themselves:    
Hudson warns, "Turkey hunters often inflict misery upon themselves. But you can keep from hurting yourself.    
* "Buy new, larger pants. If you've put on 5 or 10 pounds since last turkey season, and the waist of your pants no longer fits, don't insist on wearing them because you don't want to admit you'vClick to enlargee gone up a size. Tight pants will make you uncomfortable and restrict your movements. Bite the bullet, and buy new pants.    
* "Take plenty of socks with you. Wet feet cause foot fatigue and discomfort. Change socks at least between the morning and afternoon hunts, and wear clean socks at night.    
* "Purchase the best innersoles you can find. Check at an athletic shoe store for innersoles that long-distance runners wear. Innersoles will absorb the shock from walking in the woods, hunting and climbing.    
* "Carry good padding. Turkey hunters often sit for a long time in the same place without moving. If you sit on the ground and lean against a hard tree, your muscles will quickly become sore and cramped. Comfort on the stand often relates to how well you sleep that night when you get back to camp. I like a Hunt Comfort cushion.    
* "Clean out your hunting vest. Instead of trying to put all the things you want toClick to enlarge carry in your hunting vest, take out everything except what you absolutely must have. Extra shells, a lightweight rain suit and a few calls should be all you need. If your turkey vest weighs 5 to 40 pounds, you will strain your back, neck and shoulders. Then, if you kill an 18- to 20-pound turkey, carrying it out of the woods will only add to your load.    
* "Carry an extra pair of glasses with you. If you wear glasses, make sure you wear them to avoid headaches that come from eyestrain. An extra pair will help you out if you lose or break the first pair."

Why Hunt With a Buddy:    
"One mistake that makes many turkey hunters miserable is picking the wrong hunting buddy," Hudson emphasizes. "If you're middle-aged or older and relatively short, don't hunt with someone in their teens or 20s who is tall and in good shape. A run-and-gun hunter will push you past common sense to keep up with him. If you pick a buddy who hunts at your same pace, both of you probably will have a better hunt and not be as fatigued or sore after the hunt." Turkey hunting doesn't have to disrupt your life. If you use these tips to inject some sanity into what can become an insane sport, you'll feel better, others will enjoy your company more, you'll have more productive hunting, and you will survive another turkey-hunting season.

For more information about Hunt Comfort, go to

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Survive Turkey Season "

Day 1: Get Plenty of Sleep, Lower Your Resistance and Monitor Your Heart
Day 2: Dealing with Social Problems, Water and Vitamins and Lyme Disease
Day 3: No Alcohol, More Sleep, Regular Eye Checks and Body Conditioning
Day 4: Why a Turkey-Hunting Camp Is a Foreign Environment    
Day 5: Remedies and Buddies


Entry 452, Day 5