Turkey reaping seems to be turning into something more than just a fad these days.
A few years ago, watching videos of stalking a turkey with a fanned out decoy was one of the wildest things to happen to turkey hunting in a long time. As it turns out, this technique is so effective it’s been called turkey reaping because the hunting has been taken out of the process. Just let that last sentence sink in for a minute. Are turkey hunting and turkey reaping the same thing, or something else entirely?
Turkey hunters tend to be a dedicated bunch. The National Wild Turkey Federation is one of the most respected conservation groups in the United States and they also tend to police their own. They follow the rules and there is nothing wrong with that. Now enters the turkey reaping phenomenon. How do the hard core turkey hunters who practice clucking and chirping on the way to and from work feel about it? Let’s take a look.
I don’t particularly like the idea of hunting turkeys by using this technique…mainly because I don’t think it takes much skill or woodsmanship to do it. I have always had this romantic attachment to the notion that turkey hunting was different because to be consistently successful, you had to develop skills and woodsmanship. – GobbleNut from OldGobber.com
It’s not just GobbleNut either. Many others feel the same way.
But what about the people that do this sort of thing? They buy a turkey license just like the rest of us. They go to the turkey woods just like the rest of us. However, they just have a different tactic to get their bird than sitting by a tree and calling one in. Honestly, what’s wrong with that?
For those opposed, turkey reaping is unethical, unsafe, irresponsible, and a violation of our hunting heritage. For those in support, it’s just another way to hunt turkeys. As you can imagine, it’s a hotly contested argument.
Decoy manufacturers driving the industry are all in a contest to create the most realistic turkey reaping decoy available. Hunting shows show their hosts participating in this practice as well. Unless more states make this practice illegal due to safety concerns, it seems to not be going anywhere.
For me, I have no dog in the race. It’s not something I do, but it’s not something I’m against either. What I do have an issue with are the social media hunting videos of want-to-be hunters wearing stupid costumes and turkey reaping to theme music just trying to get a “like”. For example, these “hunters” in a bigfoot costume. What the hell is that? This my friends is a disgrace and needs to stop.
So where are you on the issue? Is turkey reaping good for turkey hunting or is it destroying the sport from the inside out?