Neither rain, nor snow, nor wind or any other weather anomaly was going to keep Katelyn and me from turkey hunting this weekend. Postal workers unofficially follow that motto so why not turkey hunters. That was our plan Friday afternoon as we headed to our turkey hunting location after school to set up a ground blind for the next morning. To our surprise the turkeys beat us to the ground blind location. Actually the deep snow was naturally corralling them there so instead of waiting for the turkeys to vacate the premises we went turkey hunting.
That's my tip for the day. Never overlook afternoon hunts where legal. Over the years I've called in dozens of gobblers in the afternoon. Some were on fire while others sauntered over to check out the annoying hen hiding in the bush, but many ended with a BANG.
To get to the turkeys Katelyn and I had to creep along a steep creek bank covered in snow and mud. Raging below was a current fed by melting snow. You guessed it. Katelyn slipped in and nearly lost a boot in the calamity. After dumping the water out of her boots she decided to tough it out. Even though snow blanketed the ground the warm sunshine felt good, plus we were only yards away from our setup site.
The steep bank with no trees meant a prone setup. We crawled up and immediately started calling softly after I staked the mounted hen. For the next 15 minutes the birds looked occasionally, walked in circles and tried their best to ignore the crazy hen on the bank. Several jakes out of the dozen turkeys tried to gather enough courage to trek over, but even they paced back and forth. To liven up the setup I did a few puppet tricks to animate the stuffed decoy and it did perk the attention of the group. (Don't try that stunt in heavily hunted public areas.it could get you shot!)
Finally the flock swung wide and slowly started easing our direction. A hen chattered off and on and eventually walked our way with the entire group in tow. When the jakes started jogging I knew the gobblers couldn't resist and sure enough the two mature toms walked into shotgun range.
Now there was a dilemma. All 12 turkeys were in one gob from 20 to five yards away. Katelyn was patient and in time one half-strut gobbler separated enough for Katelyn to make a clean head shot at 15 yards. I was one proud father and happy for her. I was also glad we got the chore finished. Wind and rain were once again in the forecast.
Are you sure we can tag him with a "spring" turkey tag? It looks like winter.