Today was the last day I had permission on the piece of private land I hunt turkeys on. It’s been a great month of chasing toms. After the coldest and slowest start to spring turkey I can remember, the birds got real talkative about two weeks ago and have been gobbling since. I saw dozens of hens who walked right up to my blind and several who crossed the field when I was walking in.
This morning on my way out to my blind I unknowingly had my best chance to actually close the deal. I got a late start and was walking out around 8am. On my approach, I heard several gobbles which is pretty typical for this property. Even though I approach quietly, the birds always seem to hear my footsteps at a certain point in the walk and let out a few shock gobbles. I looked to the left in the direction of the gobbles and saw the red of a wattle. About 30yds off in the trees was a good-sized tom. My shotgun was loaded so I slowly raised it, but before I could shoulder the gun the turkey was gone. I watched the direction he ran and later moved my blind into position near him.
About an hour later I got him gobbling back and forth for 30 minutes, while several hens came and went from the field. I think the hens were jealous of my yelping because they soon joined in clucking and yelping too. The tom must have gotten henned up with one of them because repeated attempts to entice him to gobble again failed. Eventually I left my blind and tried to ambush him in the trees, but I didn’t hear another gobble for the rest of the morning.
Eventually, I packed up my blind, chair, and filming tripod. Walking back to my truck I reflected on the season as a whole. While it is always disappointing to eat tag soup, this was not a boring season. I spent the past several weeks out amongst the toms, just waiting to get the right shot. I have listened to flocks of geese and sandhill cranes fill the woods with their loud calls. The sounds of more birds than I could ever name have filled the air. Spring turkey season is about being in the woods at the crack of dawn every morning for weeks and watching the seasons change. The dark quiet mornings of winter transition to early sunrises filled with noise.
It has been a great season, and I am now eager to dedicate the rest of my summer to chasing trout, bass, pike, walleye, and maybe some salmon. I also know that revenge—like turkey—is a dish best served cold, and I will get redemption when fall turkey season comes around. But until then, see you all out on the water!