Turkey hunting

Turkey season has been interesting this year.

Big Brother got a big gobbler during the youth hunt (his last youth hunt!).

The Hunter and I went out opening morning, however, I had to take the kids to school so didn’t get there until about 9:00. Before I got there, the Hunter took this wonderful gobbler.

Once I got there, we saw quite a few turkeys. Several hens came strolling by and also six young jakes. The Hunter took pictures of them out by our decoy with my camera, but we didn’t shoot them with anything else. He said there would be plenty of other opportunities…

These jakes must be brothers and are hanging out together. None of them were mature enough to even think about strutting so we passed on them. They hung around for about an hour. We didn’t see anything else that morning, and then the Hunter left town for work for 8 days.

Once he got back, we went out two more days after taking the kids to school and didn’t see much of anything. Thursday morning we saw four birds, probably the young jakes, all the way across two pastures, but they weren’t coming our way. At that point, if they had, I would have taken one of them because I was thinking I would never see another!

Friday morning The Hunter had an early teleconference so he couldn’t go hunting and he volunteered to take the kids to school so I could get up early and hunt. He and Big Brother gave me a crash course in turkey calling Thursday evening, we got my gear together, and I was ready to go.

The alarm went off at 5:00 Friday morning and I told the Hunter I didn’t really need to get up until 5:10 so I tried to go back to sleep. Have I ever mentioned I am not a morning person?! Finally got up at 5:10, geared up, jumped in the truck and drove over to the in-laws’ place. I was settled in under the cedar tree by 5:45 with the hen decoy barely visible over the grass.

Do you have any idea how noisy it is at that time of morning? The birds were all chirping, dogs were barking, and the wind was absolutely howling. I thought I heard a turkey sound once, but it could have been a dog. I also heard what sounded like a turkey flying down from the roost but it was behind me and didn’t sound very close. I was eating a bit of crackers for breakfast and watching my clock because the Hunter had said at 6:15 I was supposed to use a turkey wing we have to mimic that same sound of a turkey coming down from the roost, then shortly after that to call once.

I got distracted by my crackers, so I didn’t get my wing out to make the flying sound until 6:17. Next up was the little box call that I had places to my right to be ready to use. I made my little screeching sound (doesn’t really sound like a turkey when I do it) and as I was getting ready to set the call back down I looked to my left and saw a gobbler in full strut in the field out there. He was barely visible between the overhanging cedar and the tall grass, but there he was!

He took his own sweet time and finally decided he would come down and visit She-Mobile, the hen decoy. Turkeys are incredibly beautiful birds – their feathers range from bronze to brown to green and just gleam in the sunlight. I had fun watching him, and waited until just the right time.

At 6:30 I texted the Hunter to let him know I had taken a turkey. I was home in time to still take the kids to school!

He was a two-year old bird and weighed 21.6 pounds, had a 10 1/2 inch beard, and his spurs were 1 1/8 inches long and sharp. Can’t beat that for bagging my first turkey!

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3 thoughts on “Turkey hunting

  1. Congratulations Bari. What a beautiful bird. I have gone hunting a few times before, but never shot one. It is fun just to be out there with nature and watch them strut their stuff. Do you dress all the turkeys you bag? If so, you will have a freezer full of good turkey meat for the year. Nice pictures.

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