CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Spring gobbler hunting is an exercise in stealth.
Hunters dressed head-to-toe in camouflage sit quietly for hours on end, making sounds like hen turkeys, fervently hoping some love-starved longbeard might gobble a reply.
Sometimes a gobbler responds. Unfortunately, sometimes another hunter responds - and that's when accidents happen. Either the hunter sneaking toward the caller gets shot, or the hunter doing the calling gets shot.
Neither should happen. If hunters followed simple guidelines set forth by the National Wild Turkey Federation and state wildlife agencies, no one would get shot.
The cardinal rule, of course, is to properly identify one's target. That means knowing, with 100 percent certainty, that the target is indeed a bearded turkey gobbler. Most of all accidental shootings occur when hunters shoot at sounds or movements instead of clearly defined targets.
Other rules include: