I isolated myself recently for nearly a week at a cabin and land to spring crossbow wild turkey hunt in rural southwest Nebraska.

I had isolated myself with a longtime hunting friend, Jim Druliner of Omaha, NE. We drove nonstop from Omaha to our destination in southwest Nebraska and back. We washed our hands a lot. We continually disinfected equipment. And we easily kept our social distance from each other.

Turkey hunting lends well to social distancing which translates to maintaining at least a 6-foot distance between people and anyone who is sneezing or coughing.

Jim and I both thought if we got opportunities to bag bearded birds, definite bonuses would be achieved.

That is how we viewed this year’s annual, opening week spring crossbow wild turkey hunting trip to the relative safety of isolation in sparsely populated, rural southwest Nebraska.

It was great to be there in these unsettled times. With the bombardment of news and updates regarding the novel coronavirus the need to go outdoors for passionate turkey hunters like Jim and I was huge!

As avid hunters, we possess a major advantage of other outdoor enthusiasts: We know what it feels like to be completely isolated, and to be alone, most notably in a turkey hunting blind for hours. As Henry David Thoreau once said: “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”

For us hunters, we are used to sitting alone in different blinds quietly for long stretches with our thoughts, waiting for a moment that may never present itself.

I think it is important in an atmosphere of uncertainty that we return to our old, familiar companion – solitude – to sort things out and gain a clearer understanding of life and its challenges.

Just experiencing various aspects of the hunt was therapeutic enough for us. Spending quality time outdoors has always been and continues to be a key cog for both of our personal mental and physical well-being. We are aware studies show exercise, sunlight, and being outdoors help bolster our immune systems.

All of us, not just Jim and I, need to be taking care of our immune systems especially now.

The time we spent in southwest Nebraska offered many positive facets. Allow me share several of those with you. Among them were:

The character of a remote cabin in the woods.

The quiet solitude in a blind.

The picturesque sunrises and sunsets.

The warmth of a wood burning stove after a cold day’s hunt.

The wildlife and the crazy breeding antics of those wild turkeys.

Sharing a little wild turkey video from my recent crossbow spring turkey hunting trip to southwest Nebraska.

Posted by Greg Wagner on Saturday, March 28, 2020

The appreciation of a nearby spring wetland.

Bonuses received!

Your blogger with an adult tom turkey harvested with a crossbow during the Nebraska 2020 spring archery wild turkey hunting season in rural southwest Nebraska. Photo by Jim Druliner of Omaha, NE.
Jim Druliner of Omaha, NE poses with an adult tom turkey he took in rural southwest Nebraska recently with a crossbow during Nebraska’s 2020 spring archery wild turkey hunting season.

Below is information about how to spring wild turkey hunt in Nebraska in a safe and responsible manner through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • If you do not feel well, do not go hunting! It is that simple. Remove the chance of the coronavirus disease infecting someone else. Limit interactions only to those people you know have been isolating themselves for the same time frame, and from the same exposures you have. This is crucial to flattening that curve, and slowing infection rates.
  • When it comes to public lands to spring wild turkey hunt, head to those state wildlife management areas or walk-in lands that are not well known and just off the beaten path. If there are vehicles parked in a lot or alongside a gravel road by signs on fence posts, drive to another wildlife management area or walk-in land to hunt nearby where there is evidence of nobody there. Additionally, avoid touching signs and other objects or using facilities.
  • For asking landowners permission to turkey hunt, it is best for hunters at this point to not knock on doors or approach landowners. Hunters should use an app like OnX to find out who owns land in a specific location and then use a website such as anywho.com to learn phone numbers where landowners may be contacted.
  • With the use of portable, camouflaged blinds, it is not difficult to socially distance. Two blinds set up side by side will offer some shielding from each other and can easily by spread apart by 6 feet or more. Remember, each person must set up his or her own blind!
  • Obviously, you can carry and use hand sanitizer for frequent hand-washing. Keep in mind though you can utilize biodegradable soaps such as Campsuds for hand-washing at any decent water source, hand pump, spigot or ground hydrant.
  • Hunting solo? File a plan. Tell someone you know and trust where you are going, when you are leaving and when you plan to come home. And follow that plan!
  • All hunters should have a fully charged mobile device on their person. Keep that mobile device handy in an easy-to-reach pocket just in case you get in a comprised situation but please do not take unnecessary risks!
  • Observe all turkey hunting safety rules and guidelines as they apply to the use of archery equipment and shotguns in the field.
  • Upon return from your hunting adventure, leave your footwear outside perhaps on a porch, wash your clothes upon arriving at your house, and disinfect gear.
  • Properly cleanse any parts of your body that were subject to exposure by a person coughing or sneezing. That means take a shower! Place emphasis on scrubbing your hands, face, and neck.
  • Stay up-to-date with reliable details about the coronavirus in Nebraska at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website at this link.
  • Keep abreast of changes to your Nebraska Game and Parks Commission resources, facilities and outdoor activities here.
Posturing jake wild turkey hunting decoy (DSD). Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The post Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Goes Beyond the Hunt in These Times appeared first on Nebraskaland Magazine.

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