My First Wild Turkey

I have been hunting my entire life.  I grew up with a father that enjoyed hunting but was never really that into it.  My grandfathers and a few of my uncles were a lot more into it and really helped me learn the ropes and get comfortable with the outdoors.  I was once asked what I wanted to accomplish with my life and I answered, I want to be a good husband, father and outdoorsman in the order.  Today I took another step towards being a good outdoorsman.  

In Minnesota they break up the turkey season into 7 seasons and tags are given out by lottery.  This year I was fortunate enough to be drawn for the second season in a zone not far from where I live.  The second season runs from the 23rd of April to the 27th of April.  This is also the week that I installed a paver stone patio in my back yard.  Turkey hunting was going to have to wait until I finished that project.  Lucky for me I got some help from a few of my friends, Ben, Rick, Jeremy, Matt and Kev and was able to get the patio done yesterday which left me one day to go out and possibly get a bird.

Last night I was convinced that going out was going to be pointless and I should just sleep in this morning and get some more clean up done on my backyard project.  I hadn't been out scouting and I wasn't even sure I had turkey loads to hunt with.  So at 9:30 last night I remembered something Jeremy had said to me.  After all that hard work on the patio won't it be nice to just sit in the woods for a few hours.  It would be nice and even if I didn't get a turkey it would be nice to just go sit in the woods and relax.  

Well I never got to sit in the woods, I woke up late this morning and didn't get out to my spot until 0600 at which time I saw that they had burn the entire field that leads up to the woods I was going to be hunting.  From the parking area there is about a 1/4 mile walk across a field over a hill and then down into the woods.  As I got to the top of the hill I saw 3 Tom turkeys in full strut down by the edge of the woods.  I immediately hit the ground and tried to figure out a way to get down there to get a shot without being seen.  There was nothing to hind behind and nothing to cover my approach.  

As I low crawled over the top of the hill and started to make my way down the hill something off to the side caught my eye.  It was 2 more turkeys about 30 yards away and coming in my direction.  As the birds came closer one of them went into full strut and turned my way.  The whole time I was thinking, can it really be this easy, am I really going to be one of those guys that gets to tell a story about showing up and getting a turkey in the first ten minutes.  The answer is yes, this turkey came to about 20 yards and I let him have it.  The other birds took flight and disappeared into the woods but this guy was coming home with me. 

I have never killed a turkey before and have spent a lot of time practicing and learning how to use a mouth call and when and how to call.  As it turns out I never even took my calls out of my pocket.  Now I have a 23 and half pound bird to play around with, I am sure it will be delicious, If I cook It right.