Friday, April 27, 2012

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.


  1. Handsome Tom. Great tactics and technique.

  2. send me the feathers! and let us know whats on the menu!

  3. Brine your bird before cooking. The thighs take a lot of work to get anything out of them--lots of internal structure. I usually use them to make turkey salad the next day.