Despite the cold weather and the occasional snow shower, it is spring turkey hunting time. The early season opened up on Monday the 18th of April, and it started the season with snow on the ground.
The Saturday before the season opened, I went out to set up the blind. While I was down there I spotted several birds. While clearing a couple shooting lanes, four big toms came up from behind me and started gobbling. I quickly ran back to my blind and watched them roam the field twenty yards in front of me for about a half hour. If I had any doubt about the spot I had chosen to set up the blind in, it was gone now. The little display these toms put on was quite reassuring.
My first day in the field was Wednesday the 20th of April. It was a windy and cold day with small amounts of frozen rain coming down on and off. Even though the weather was poor, I had high hopes. Dad had called me at work at about 1:00 pm to tell me he seen a bunch of turkeys at the top of the hill where I hunt. This made the last couple of hours at work take forever. I busted out of there at about 2:30pm. The original plan was to wait until Chad got out of work at 5:00pm so we could sit together and get some action on video for our faithful blog followers. Unfortunately, the excitement over took reason, and I couldn’t wait to get out there and bag me a turkey.
I got down in the woods at about 3:30pm and the blind was blown down from the strong winds we had earlier in the week. I set it back up and clipped some more undergrowth that I had missed out of the shooting lanes. Finally!! I got and arrow nocked and I was ready to start calling some birds.
I called for about a half hour with no response. I decided to make one more call; if nothing responded, I was going to pack up and come back later with Chad like we had originally planned. I hit the call and to my surprise, I got a response. My heart started racing. We called back and forth several times, each time I could tell they were getting closer. After about five minutes, they came into view. I counted five toms. Three of them were shooters by my scale.
I quickly grabbed my range finder and ranged a clump of grass at 20 yards, but they passed right by, never giving me a shot. My heart sank. The turkeys were all behind me and on their way out. I had no decoy so they didn’t know what was making all the noise. I called a few more times very quietly hoping they would circle around and do some more investigating. Luckily for me, they did just that. Within a matter of minutes there were turkeys by my 20 yard clump of grass. I passed on the first one because the one behind it had a beard twice as long. As soon as that one stepped into my shooting path, I let the arrow fly. Perfect shot, the bird fell in its tracks.
I’ve lost an arrow before by assuming that a turkey was dead. Well, this one was not going to run off with my arrow. I set my bow down and went to retrieve my harvest before it took off. The problem was the other turkeys didn’t want to leave. They were busy beating up on the turkey I had just shot. It was crazy! I got 5 feet away from them before they took off. I was just hoping they didn’t decide to fight me.
It would have been some good video footage, but because I let my impatience get the best of me, I will have to rely on my memory for this hunt, and it will be a good memory to keep. The turkey ended up having a 9 inch beard and 1 inch spurs. It is about the same size of all the spring turkey I have taken from the bank.
There is still hope of a turkey hunting video to come. Chad and I went back later that night and made a run at calling in another one. This time I was armed with a video camera and Chad had his bow. We got some calling going but had no luck drawing them in. We will keep trying.
Wish us Luck!.