Spring is on the horizon and Michigan's first turkey season is also rapidly approaching. April 18th will mark the official first day of the 2016 Michigan season and for some, there is still much to prepare for. Making sure that your shotgun is properly patterned for the game loads you are using. Getting ahead of the game is never a bad thing either.

Some of the things that one might miss are as simple as having all of your calls in order. Box calls chalked and working properly. Slate, glass or aluminum calls with strikers all together in one spot. Making sure your diaphragm calls are not cracked or split from sitting.

Patterning your shotgun is also helpful as well. Sometimes using a new load or switching to a new gun could throw off your pattern. Even a new choke can create an issue that you may not have foreseen, costing you that Tom that you had been calling all morning. No two loads shoot exactly the same and sometimes different lot numbers from the same manufacturer can have even the slightest of differences.

Decoys have also come a long way too! To be honest, I killed my very first turkey over a set of Feather Flex decoys that to me, didn't even remotely resemble anything real. Today Zink Calls produces the most realistic looking decoys on the market. They also happen to be some of the most expensive. Usually what works best is what works best for you!

This year, I will be trying to take my first ever turkey with a bow. My Michigan made Darton Archery bow will be with me and I will hopefully be successful.

All of that said, getting outdoors is the only way to achieve success. And if you want to get out, this week the Field & Stream Deer & Turkey Expo will return to the Lansing Center with lots of vendors, demonstrations and seminars to help you throughout the course of the hunting seasons for 2016. You can even join me as I broadcast live this Friday from 4 - 6 PM to kick of this great family friendly event! We hope to see you there!