In between getting the boat ready, and tying flies I was able to sneak away last Saturday for a spring wild turkey hunt. There is something about turkey hunting in the spring that makes it so enjoyable. I love watching the plants green up, and the nice weather (maybe not this year.) Besides the ambiance of Spring, turkey hunting is a blast! There is less pressure with Turkey hunting compared to deer hunting since you are generally afforded more opportunities.
In addition, Wisconsin turkey hunting is as good as it gets! The last few years Wisconsin has led the nation in the amount of turkey's harvested. Hard to believe 30 scant years ago there was nary a turkey in Wisconsin! That said by no means is turkey hunting easy. What turkey's lack in smarts they make up for in senses, none being better then their vision. To combat a turkey's incredible vision I like to hunt out of a popup blind whenever possible. Blinds hide movement and Turkey's are oblivious to them.
Last Saturday my brother and I started the hunt moving and calling looking for active birds. An hour into the hunt we had yet to hear a gobble. A couple hours in we were very frustrated by the lack of gobbling, little did we know our luck was about to change. Around 8AM as we slowly stalked our way through the woods we noticed two flocks of turkeys strutting in a field. There were over 15 birds out in that field, and no less then 6 toms. Not a single one had gobbled all morning, very strange for this time of year. We called to the turkeys, but they showed absolutely no interest. A little while later the turkey's meandered out through one of the field corners. About then, we decided it was a good time to break for lunch.
After getting a quick bite, my brother left me to chase the turkeys by myself. I hurried on back, this time with my ground blind. I was fairly confident that if I was going to get a shot it was going to be in the field corner that I had watched the two flocks of turkeys filter through earlier. Turkey's are very patternable, more so then deer in my opinion. While moving around calling and getting a gobbler to come charging in shaking the woods with thunderous gobbles is about as exciting as it get's, I rarely see it that way. Watching turkey hunting on TV you'd swear that's the only way to kill a bird. Personally, I've killed far more silent toms then gobbling toms.
I think the best way to consistently kill turkeys is to figure out where the turkey's want to be. Figure that out, and you have a recipe for success. Once you are in the right location set up a few decoys and call softly. Have patience this can often be an all day affair.
Luckily this past Saturday I didn't have to wait long. After setting my ground blind in the field corner, it was less then an hour before I saw my first turkey. Unfortunately, the longbeard totally ignored my calling as he busily ate bugs and seeds. Strange I thought. About a half our later a young gobbler stepped out and showed a little interest in my calling.
After 10 minutes or so he also crept off. Though I was frustrated with the lack of enthusiasm by the turkeys I felt good about the action. Well it turns out that young gobbler was more interested then he let on. About 10 minutes after I last saw the bird to my surprise there there he was 5 feet from my hen decoy! The bird was smart for his age and had done a wide loop around me before quietly sneaking in behind me. Before he knew what hit him it was lights out and I was happily carrying my Easter bird back home!
Would you like a great reciepe to cook that delicious bird? Look no further.