What is a Wild Goose Worth?

A Recollection This past Wednesday night, I loaded my car up and headed north out of town to shoot league trap with my buddies.  While on the road that evening, I was fortunate to be blessed with three occurrences. 1) We finally had weather that was characterized by temperatures above 50 degrees 2) Eric Church seemed to be dominating the radio station I was listening to and 3) my DSLR camera was stashed in the back seat so I could capture this image of a big ole gander perched atop a tussock sedge.


While sitting on the roadside observing, I recalled one of my favorite Aldo Leopold quotes.....

“What is a wild goose worth? As compared with other sources of health and pleasure, what is its value in the common denominator of dollars? I have a ticket to the symphony. It stood me two iron men. They were well spent, but if I had to choose, I would forgo the experience for the sight of the big gander that sailed honking into my decoys at daybreak this morning. It was bitter cold and I was all thumbs, so I blithely missed him. But miss or no miss, I saw him, I heard the wind whistle through his set wings as he came honking out of the gray west, and I felt him so that even now I tingle at the recollection. I doubt not that this very gander has given ten other men two dollars' worth of thrills. Therefore I say he is worth at least twenty dollars to the human race."

Ecosystem Services

Aldo's story eludes to what environmental scientists call Ecosystem Services.  Quoting the National Wildlife Federation, an ecosystem service is "any positive benefit that wildlife or ecosystems provides to people".  These services are often hard to place a monetary value on and come in many forms.

A tomato plat grows in the authors backyard.

If you have a garden in your backyard, I can almost guarantee that you have benefited from at least one ecosystem service: pollination via wild honey bees.  According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, more than 90 American crops valued at more than $9 billion depend on bees for pollination.  While most of the bee colonies are now regulated by bee keepers, wild populations play an important role in pollination for backyard gardeners who do not keep bees themselves.

So if you have veggies and other plants growing in your backyard, wild honey bee populations should be important to you.  What would happen if wild honey bees or other pollinators ceased to exist?  How much would you be willing to pay to ensure the proliferation of  home grown groceries? Think about it.

Coming Full Circle

This brings us back to the goose - of what value is it to society?   First of all, there are birders who have an appreciation for these creatures and hunters that use geese as a food source.  Secondly, think about all the businesses that rely on sustainable populations of these birds, such as decoy companies, call makers, hotels, convenience stores, gunsmiths, boat fabricators and guides.  I'm sure, given a budget and years of research, one could make a valid argument linking jobs and economic trends in the waterfowl industry to fluctuations in waterfowl populations.   By figuring out the value that waterfowl have in dollars to the human population, we waterfowlmaniacs could have a better chance of educating the general public of the benefits these birds have to both hunters and non-hunters.

Last Words

I think Leopold made his case in attempting to place a price tag on his experiences with that lucky gander.  As waterfowl hunters, conservationists, and humans, it is our duty not to forget the enjoyment that we receive from the outdoors at little or no cost to us.  By giving back through organizations such as Delta Waterfowl, who have spent over 100 years studying the best management practices for sustainable waterfowl populations, we can assure that ducks and geese will fill our skies for years to come.  Hopefully one day my children's children will be able to pull over on the side of the road and appreciate the beauty of a lone gander, just as Aldo and I did.

Love Like the Duck

Instead of watching Dr. Phil or Oprah, people should look to waterfowl when it comes to relationship advice. Allow me to make my case.

A pair of mallards migrate north together.

90% of all birds are monogamous, meaning that they mate for life, and waterfowl are no exception.  Waterfowl fall under one of two categories when it comes to pairing up and breeding.  Geese and swans form monogamous pairs while ducks form seasonal bonds, in which male and female pair up for one season to raise a brood of ducklings  (although some seasonal monogamy and repairing have been observed in sea and cavity nesting ducks).  Either way, the birds seemingly have us whipped when it comes to "divorce" rates, especially when it comes to us U.S. citizens who bear a staggering 50% rate of divorce.

Now that I have provided all the scientific mambo-jumbo, I'd like to share an experience with you that I had this past weekend, for it is the reason that I've been thinking about this whole waterfowl and relationships topic.

Following our turkey hunt this past Saturday (read "The Link Between Two Souls") my father had to make a trip into town for a meeting, while I headed back to my own place.   A few minutes into my drive my dad called and told me I had better drive over by Fischer Law Offices with my camera.  He said it was a shot I wouldn't want to miss out on, even though it would be the saddest thing I'd seen in quite a while.

I arrived to the location he had indicated at about 9:00 AM, and there on the muddy boulevard between the sidewalk and a four lane highway stood a lone drake mallard.  At his feet lay his fallen mate, a hen who had obviously been struck by a car.  There was no doubt in my mind that the bird was dead, judging by the amount of blood on the road that followed her to that final resting place.  Without so much as a quack or a murmur, the drake just stood there - a testament to loyalty, faithfulness and undying love.

To top it all off, my girlfriend and I drove past this same spot at 4:30 that afternoon.  There, sitting in solitude next to the hen's cold corpse, remained the drake mallard.

A drake mallard stands watch over his fallen mate.

We could all learn a lot about relationships from this one little duck.  He and his mate likely both lived through tough times (braving harsh winters, flying thousands of miles during migrations, wetland loss and increasing predation amplified by a growing human population) just as we humans experience difficulties in our own relationships.  Yet we people often fail to overcome obstacles because we lose sight of what these ducks valued - having common goals, adjusting to deal with an ever changing world, and staying by your partners side through thick and thin.

Lesson of the day - love like the duck, and a little less like the typical human.

Class dismissed.

Posted on April 17, 2013 and filed under Life, Waterfowl Hunting.

The Link Between Two Souls

I couldn't believe my eyes as I peered out my bedroom window at 4:30 AM on April 13th in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Snow. This fluffy white stuff that had dominated our landscape for the past six months was going to wreak havoc on our chances at a spring gobbler.  We had hunted similar conditions the week before during the youth hunt which forced the birds to lock up and remain safe in their fortress constructed of dogwood, buckthorn, elm and ash trees.  With a disgruntled groan, I heaved myself out of bed, threw on my camo and grabbed a cup of coffee before stepping out onto the back porch.  Crisp morning air hit my lungs and I felt as though I should be gearing up to chase mallards instead of spring gobblers.  Despite the unfavorable conditions, I made the trip to my parents place a few miles outside of town.

When I arrived I found my father already up and ready to go – we charged out into the cold darkness, not sure what the morning would bring.  Both of us knew the approximate location of the roosting birds, so I set the old man up in a fallen boxelder tree right on the edge of the field the toms had been strutting in.  I took my place at his 4 o'clock and got the camera setup just before the Kings of Spring started to sing their praises.

A few of the many turkeys roaming my parents property.

Sitting there, listening to the distant gobbles of thunder chickens struck a chord with my soul.  I looked over to my father sitting a mere 10 yards away and began to reflect on why during moments such as these, when neither of us talk, did I feel the closest to him.  My father was always a busy guy while I was growing up, but he never failed to make time to take me "turtle fishing", go for walks in the local streams or cast for bullheads near the dam downtown.  He instilled a curiosity and appreciation for the outdoors in me which affects every facet of my life these days. I could never thank him enough for all the sacrifices that he has made over the years to provide for our family yet still dedicate what little free time he had to create memories such as these with me.  Here, in the middle of a small 20 acre woodlot, I had no distractions such as cell phones, accomplishing the next item on a to-do list or work related worries.  I could simply sit and enjoy all of creations goodness in the company of my father.  Spending time together outdoors was the link that bound us together.

Hero shot!

All of a sudden, my concentration was broken by the loud cry of a Tom that had just spotted our decoys.  The bird had slowly been working his way up the treeline from 100 plus yards  north of us.  While I had the camera rolling, I only caught the last 15 seconds of the bird running in due to a brush pile that had obstructed my view.  His few last steps before pouncing on our Tom decoy were cut short by a 3 inch magnum turkey load screaming out of the barrel of my dad's Benelli.  There before us lay the largest bird ever taken on the property - a nice Tom donning 1 1/4 inch spurs and an 11 inch beard. My heart flooded with pride for dad.

Though my parents will always think of me as a kid, I like to think that I'm ahead of the curve when it comes to philosophizing about life and understanding the importance of strong family ties.  Over the past few years, I have done less shooting and focused more on letting my father and sister pull the trigger.  I get just as much satisfaction by being able to share in the memory and take a few pictures along the way.

Thanks for everything dad - I had a great time hunting with you and hope that we can continue to share moments together in the outdoors.


My Father and I

Posted on April 16, 2013 and filed under Life, Turkey Hunting.

Do I Really Need This?

Today's blog post comes from my good friend and guest blogger Michael Kurtz.  Michael introduced me to both waterfowl and crow hunting when we were 13 years old.  Even though he currently resides in Indianapolis, we still make time to call each other every day to talk hunting. It's that time of year: the off-season.  We spend these next six months or so looking through piles of photos of our harvested game from the previous season, telling stories of the hunts to friends, and making a mental list of all the new toys and gadgets we want to purchase for next season.  But when you are making that list this year, think to yourself, “Do I really need this?”

I think the majority of us have fallen into the trap, at least one point in time.  I'm talking about the trap of wanting to buy the “latest and greatest” products to make it to the market.  Every year, big name manufacturers of products are coming after us outdoorsman and outdoorswomen with their product.  The fastest trigger speed of any shotgun; the newest call with freeze-proof reeds; the most comfortable waders to ever hit the market; the most realistic decoys a sportsman will ever hunt over.  The list goes on and on.  Even if you are able to say no to buying the product after seeing the first commercial on television, you may begin to change your mind and become more tempted after seeing that same commercial a dozen or so times.

Falling into this trap is often very expensive.  I can say first hand, because I fell into it!  A couple years ago, I got into this mind-set that I needed to start converting my collection of shell goose decoys into full bodies.  Every hunting show you watch and every picture you see in the magazines has a spread of fresh-off-the-press full body goose dekes.  And all those decoys are hauled into the field in an enclosed trailer.  Because I have been goose hunting for several years now, and like to consider myself as someone that knows what he is doing, I thought that I needed to catch up with modern times and go purchase the newer style of decoys.  I didn't want to be left out!


But here I am, only a few years later, in the process of selling both my full body decoys and the trailer that I used to haul them around in.  Why am I doing this you may ask?  Well, there are a few reasons.  Most importantly, I realized how purchasing full body decoys can have an impact on the billfold.  Can I afford it? Yes. Do I want to though? No.  When looking at my harvest numbers over the past few seasons, there has been little change.  I haven't killed any more geese now that I am using full bodies versus a few seasons back when I was using shell decoys.  So why spend the money on something I don't have to?

The point of this blog wasn't to talk you out of using full body decoys.  All I am saying is decide what is right for you.  Don't fall into the trap of spending loads of money on stuff just because “everyone else is doing it”.  If you do not want to spend the money on full body goose decoys, don't!  Spend your hard earned cash on the things YOU want.

For example; about half a dozen seasons back, I went to a banquet of some sort, and won myself a brand new Benelli Super Black Eagle.  I don't remember exactly what those were selling for at the time, but if I recall correctly, it was somewhere in the ball park of $1400.  I won the gun on a $10 raffle ticket.  Otherwise, there was no way I would have ever owned that gun.  At the time, I was a hard working high school student and simply did not have that kind of dough.  Now though, I have a good job and can afford that shotgun.  When the time comes for me to buy a new shotgun (currently I am still using that same Benelli I won a few years ago), you can bet I am going to buy another Benelli.  Not because I want to be one of those guys that has the best of everything, but because I LOVE THAT SHOTGUN!  But if I were to lose my job or decide to spend my money elsewhere, I would more than gladly pull out that trusty $150 Mossberg and keep shooting geese, just like I did in my high school days.  Why wouldn't I give up until I could buy the new Benelli?  Because I know that my Mossberg does the job just as well!

Just as I will, I know all of you reading this blog will be doing the same during this off-season; thinking to yourself, “What should I buy now?”  There will be plenty of new items to hit the market in the upcoming months.  You will watch plenty of commercials, television shows, and read articles by big-name companies telling you that you NEED to buy their product.  But it is up to you to decide what is right for you and where you want to invest your money.  So whether it is camouflage, decoys, guns, or calls, think to yourself, do I really need this?

"The Magnificent Seven" - A Tribute to Inspirational Tweeters


“You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your friends.” - Unknown

Over the next few weeks, I will be doling out seven shameless plugs to a band of individuals that I consider both friends and unforgettable people that I've met through social media.  While some of these relationships have been limited to 140 characters, many have extended to emails, weekly phone calls and even in person meetings.  One thing is for certain - I aim to share some sort of outdoor experience with these passionate sportsmen (and woman!) in the future rather than communicating through bytes of data.

* Special Note: Order in which I write about these individuals does not delineate favoritism, or your level of awesomeness! (Sorry Jeff!)

1) Chris Burget

This coming May, it will be one year since I have taken over the management of Sportsman Channel's social media content.  The months leading up to my full time position as Social Media Coordinator were spent learning as much as I could about Facebook and Twitter from content powerhouses in the outdoor space that I had done some research on - Chris just so happened to be my Tweeting idol.

Content is King!

The first time I had reached out to Chris was through a direct message on Twitter asking some questions on how to go about building Sportsman Channel's following.  Through a volley of emails and phone calls, I began to learn more about Chris, the brand Bulls & Beavers that he had built and what it takes to become an influential person on Twitter.  Written down on an old sticky note in my desk from one of our early conversations is the word "content".  Chris explained to me that building a social following was all about providing unique, quality and engaging content.  A concept that has provided a simple yet sound foundation for all that I do in the world of social media.  Thanks to mentors like Chris, I have developed a great passion and an ever growing knowledge about social media that helps me continually reflect on my social media strategy and use.


Chris Burget

Chris has also become a great friend of mine and "uncle figure" so to speak.  When not bouncing ideas off of each other pertaining to social media, we often discuss the outdoors, personal goals or our struggles in understanding the female cognitive processes (we may never find an answer!).  Chris has also indirectly taught me about taking chances, even if that means taking a completely different path in life.  After many years of building his brand Bulls & Beavers, Chris decided to re-brand and take on a new concept called Modern Outfitter - a site dedicated to providing outdoor enthusiasts with latest information related to the sportsman lifestyle.  Although Chris had to give up something he spent a large amount of time and money on, he took a leap of faith and ran with an idea that I believe will open many more opportunities for him in the near future!

Chris - I can never thank you enough for all the support, encouragement and friendship that you have shown me over the past year.  Every day I look forward to visiting the mountains of Idaho this coming August, sharing a mule deer camp and hopefully capturing your hunt of a lifetime on film!  One that we can reflect on years later when we are once again privileged to share a campfire in some other remote portion of this world.

Cameron Pauli is the owner of Cam Pauli Media, a Social Media Marketing Agency specializing in creating content and managing social networks for the outdoor industry.  He is also currently employed by Sportsman Channel as their full-time Social Media Coordinator. When not in the office, he is out in the field hunting or working on his photography/videography skills.  Please visit his website at www.campauli.com for more information or follow him on Twitter at @CamPauli

Corned Elk Brisket

Today's post comes from my good friend Ryan Callaghan of First Lite.  Fist Lite is a maker of next to skin and base layer products comprised of Merino wool.  Visit www.firstlite.com to learn why First Lite is what is going to make the difference on your next hunting adventure. This past September I was lucky enough to put an arrow through one of the largest cow elk I've ever seen.  After feeding the camp for a few nights I ended up with over 300lbs of boned out elk in my refrigerator ready to start cutting.  Due to a hectic lifestyle I kept the meat cutting simple, cutting as many steaks as possible.  Everything else (I keep all the fat) goes into a sack and gets ground.  Loins and tenderloins stay whole.  Looking at the condition of this particular cow I decided to  take the briskets whole and go big on S. Patties with corned elk - something I hadn't yet attempted.  To cut a long story short I will never leave a brisket to burger again.

Brisket Brined


water 1 gal

kosher salt 2cups

pickling spices 1 jar

Bay leaves 5

Garlic 1 head

raw cane sugar 1 cup


Bring all of this to a boil then let cool to room temp.  This was enough to do one large brisket (5-7 lbs) and one smaller 2-3 lb brisket.  The meat needs to be totally submerged, you can use something to hold the meat below the briney surface or go fancy and vacuum seal your brisket in with the brine.  Let sit for 4-6 days depending on the size of your meat.  You heard it, I said size of your meat.

Preparing to cook, I like to rinse the brisket under the tap then place in your pressure cooker and fill with cold water.  Let this sit for an hour to flush some of the salt from the brisket you can repeat this process or skip it all together depending on how spot on you feel the brine is.  While this sits strain all the floating goodness from your brine and let stand by until your ready to cook.  Pull the brisket from the water drain then add the leftover pickling spice and garlic from the brine to your cooker with the brisket and enough water to cover by 2 inches.

open cooker


Cook at pressure 15 psi 20 minutes for 2-3 lb brisket, I cooked for 20 then dropped the pressure and added halved potatoes and quartered onions then rolled the pressure back up for another 6 minutes and let the pot sit for 20 minutes off the heat before dumping the pressure.

Flavor was amazing but a touch on the dry side.  The big brisket 5-7 lbs I will cook to 30 and let the pot lose pressure naturally which will add an additional 30 minutes to the over all cook time.

If you do not own a pressure cooker get yourself one.  Or hopefully your mother will get you one for Christmas just like mine did.




St Paddys corned elk


Ignorance is bliss,  I really look back on all of the ways I've prepared wild game and feel genuine pain over some of the ways Ive misused cuts or  quite shamefully haven't used at all.

Thanks for reading and remember if you have any comments or questions to leave them right here at the FLog.







Posted on March 18, 2013 and filed under Big Game Hunting, Recipes.

Anatomy of a Viral Facebook Post

Managing a Facebook page, or any social platform for that matter, is no easy feat.  Social media is a constantly evolving and fluid beast that is difficult to tame, even by those who have worked in the industry since the term was first used in the mid 1990's. But despite the proliferation of new social platforms, or the way material is displayed, one thing has remained the same.

Content is still the King.

In the Beginning


Roughly 5000 years ago, an individual or group of people in Mesopotamia must have wanted to share or pass down information to other individuals, and written language was born.  These could have been simple statements like "Hey, there is a mean ass tiger the woods.  You might not want to go there".  In turn, these people could now share that information with other villagers not wanting to fall prey to a tiger.

Today, we're still doing the same thing.  Only now we have this beautiful thing called the internet which allows us to share content through an even more captivating creature - social media.  And if content gets shared at breakneck speeds, experts deem it as viral.

Viral: becoming very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the Internet

Now this is where I become straight to the point and teach you how to create a viral Facebook post that will support your brand and foster both B2C and B2B engagement.  There are four key components to a viral Facebook posts - the perfect image, overlay text, associated copy and branding.  Let's break down a recent post that I created for Sportsman Channel that reached over 550,000 individuals in 48 hours.

Sportsman Channel's #1 Facebook post as of 3/12/2013

The Perfect Image

Open your Facebook app on your phone and start scrolling.  Which pieces of content catch your eye?  Most likely it's not text, but images.  Having quality imagery makes a world of difference when it comes to viral content.  Photoshop skills will also come in handy when overlaying text, adding logos, resizing and modifying pictures to make them pop!

* Ultimate guide to resizing images for social media: http://bit.ly/Wffq3t

Overlay Text

This is probably the hardest part for me - coming up with some tidbit of information or funny saying that people are going to want to share.  Obviously I wanted to give our female audience a little love with this post, so I began thinking about women, their role in the family and how much time they spend with kids.  After a little research I came up with what you see.  I like using colors that pop for key words that grab attention - think how boring it would look if the text was just black.

Associated Copy

Copy was extremely important to the viral spread of this post.  There were two call to actions - "LIKE if your mother taught you to hunt" and "SHARE" to essentially pass on the tradition (we do these every Thursday).  If I hadn't included that message, do you think this post would have been as successful?  Share your opinions in the comments box below.



Always include either a watermark or logo on your content when posting to social.  This helps build the association between the brand and the quality of the content you are posting.  I take great pride in every single piece of content that goes up on my clients sites, Sportsman Channel's social platforms and my own.  Time and time again we receive comments and emails about how great Sportsman Channel's posts are - put effort into creating quality content, and the viral portion with take care of itself.

"Long Live the King"

Cameron Pauli is the owner of Cam Pauli Media, a Social Media Marketing Agency specializing in creating content and managing social networks for the outdoor industry.  He is also currently employed by Sportsman Channel as their full-time Social Media Coordinator.  Please visit his website at www.campauli.com for more information or follow him on Twitter at @CamPauli

Posted on March 12, 2013 and filed under Social Media.

A Hunting Dog Saved My Life

Over the past year, I have determined that my guardian angel does not sport a pair of wings or a glowing halo.  Instead, she is a four legged hunting machine that slobbers water all over my kitchen floor and sheds enough hair to make my house look like an untidy barber shop.  Her name is Lily. sidekickLily and I started our journey together at what most would call the worst of times.  I was going into my senior year of college working as an intern for Sportsman Channel, just purchased a house and was recently engaged.  So many things were changing - I really had no extra money or time to take care of a dog.  But on my way out to shoot trap one night, I saw a sign that said “Chocolate Puppies For Sale”.  Being an avid waterfowl hunter who finally had a place of his own, it only seemed fitting to add a dog to the chaotic mix.

I took all of the puppies out into the yard and began observing them.  Some of my resources suggested picking a pup who was curious and active, while others boasted drive to fetch was the most important quality.  As I looked on trying to determine which one was the best text book dog, a small female puppy with a light chocolate coat came over and sat next to me.  She did not bark, whine or even want to play – she just sat there with a look of content.  While I knew my choice would go against every book and person I had consulted, I ended up taking that puppy home.

Shortly after bringing Lily into my life, everything turned upside down.  My fiancé left me, and I began to struggle to focus at both work and school.  I became severely depressed, and unknowing to many of my family members, I began drinking excessively.  I could not mentally handle all the stress that I was under – thoughts of taking my own life came frequently.

lostIn the middle of it all, one person (in my mind) stuck with me.  Lily never left my side when I broke down.  She always seemed to do something with the intention to make me laugh and get my mind off things.  I started devoting more of my time to dog training and focused on getting my life back on track.  The more time I spent with my dog, the more I realized how much I could learn about life from her.

As it turns out, I think that Lily came into my life at the perfect time, despite what anyone else thinks.  Without Lily, I don’t know if I could’ve made it out of that mess.  Her unconditional support and faith in me intensified my drive to become a better person, and still does today.  There is a quote that I ran across not too long ago that goes like this: “I hope to be at least half the person my dog thinks I am”.  My goal is to live up to that statement, as it can only make me a better person.

This blog post was about a very difficult time in my life.  Today, I am happy, healthy and enjoying life to the fullest.  If you or someone you know is going through a rough patch and would like to talk, I can always be contacted via info on my website at www.campauli.com or direct message me on Twitter at @CamPauli

Posted on February 12, 2013 and filed under Life, Lily.

Send that Thunder Chicken to the Freezer

With almost three months to go, some folks may call me crazy when it comes to the amount of prep work I do prior to turkey hunting season.  But ever since I harvested my first tom six years ago, I can't shake the turkey fever which sets in at the end of every January for me.   Diaphragm calls have made their way back into my lunch box again and weekend scouting trips become more frequent.  I begin to find myself dreaming more and more about the sound of a tom spitting and gobbling during one of those aromatic spring mornings. While the experience of turkey hunting is enough to satisfy my soul, there is just something about the challenge of harvesting a wary old gobbler to me.  It takes great skill and patience when pursuing the true King of Spring.  Below is a list of four key steps that I have come up with to help you better understand your quarry and give that Thunder Chicken a one way ticket into your freezer.

1) Scouting

No matter what type of game you are pursuing, I can never stress scouting enough.  Taking the time to find birds in a few different locations.  This will give you options when it comes time to fill your tag.  I like to have at least three properties on lock-down every year at least two months before season opens.  Waiting until the last minute to ask permission results in limited hunting opportunities, as many landowners have probably already given the green light to other hunters.

2) Determine Roost Sites

Determining roost sites can make your life a lot easier when it comes to hunting turkeys.  Turkey's here in Wisconsin tend to roost on south facing slopes or down in valleys where they are more protected from the wind.  Eastern birds often roost in maple, large oak, pines, elm and cottonwood trees.  In western parts of the country, turkeys are known to roost in trees such as fir, spruce, cottonwood and pine.  Roosts almost always have a water resource within 400-600 yards and are often times found along the edges of fields/meadows.  This allows for the birds to have an open landing zone when flying down from their roosts in the early morning.

The King of Spring from Cam Pauli Media on Vimeo.

3) Patterning Birds

Now that you've scouted out an area and determined a few good roost sites, it's time to pattern the birds in your turkey woods.  Often times I will put out my Moultrie trail cameras at least two months prior to my hunting season.  This gives me ample time to see where the birds are going, and at what times of the day they are on the move.  Trail cameras are placed along edges of fields or under potential roost sites.  Often times I will spend 5-6 mornings before my season just sitting in different locations on my properties to film and photography the birds I see.  This gives me a better understanding of the flocks in my area and where I will have the best chance at harvesting a mature bird.

4) Concealment

Author Cam Pauli with his 2011 harvest.

Pop up blinds are without a doubt are one of the most popular forms of concealment when it comes to turkey hunting.  They are easy to setup, transport and allow for a greater range of motion while going undetected.  While I own one myself, I prefer going a more natural route.  After patterning birds in my area, I like to create all natural blinds on built out of logs, sticks and brush.  These blinds are often usable for 3-4 years and often become better over time as vegetation grows and weaves its way through the material.  After I have a few constructed on the property, it is fairly easy for me to move around with only my gun and turkey calls.

Abraham Lincoln said it best, ""I will prepare and some day my chance will come.""  Make that day your best chance at putting a Thunder Chicken in the freezer.

Cameron Pauli has been an avid turkey hunter for the past six years of his life, 3 of which he has spent as a prostaffer for Flambeau Outdoors.  To learn more about Cameron, you can visit his website at www.campauli.com or follow him on Twitter at @CamPauli