|My first turkey|
This past turkey season reminded me why I enjoy this sport so much, and also just how trying turkey hunting can be. I spent the majority of the season after one particularly wary gobbler, but at the end of the season both my tags went unused. This gobbler had the frustrating habit of gobbling hard early in the morning, and even answering my calls almost every time. However, the old tom would often sit in the tree until all the hens had flown down and then wait until they came to him to leave his roost. The farm I was hunting on had an abundance of hens, and only two mature toms and a jake. The other tom and the jake must have both been subordinate birds because they rarely gobbled and never answered a call. This left the old boss tom free to woo his hens without any worry of competition. This also made my job as a hunter that much harder, because I had to compete with 13 or 14 real hens who would run to the tom whenever he gobbled. To make matters worse, I had several pictures of him strutting by himself on my trail camera before the season opened. I think this old turkey was taunting me!
On the other farm I hunt there were several toms, but they had the habit of roosting on the farm I hunted one day, and then moving across the road to another property the next. Of course they never seemed to be roosting where I could hunt them on days that I hunted that farm. Occasionally I would be able to get a tom to answer a locator call late in the evening so that I knew he was roosted on the right property, but even then it was a challenge hunting them. This particular farm is mainly open pasture and rolling hills, with scattered blocks of woods. If I didn't get in place very early before sunrise, there was a very good chance I would be spotted walking across the fields. This happened to me one afternoon as I was walking to my hunting spot. I topped a hill and a tom was staring at me from about 80 yards away. He made tracks getting out of there, and that was the end of the action that day.
|Where are the turkeys?|
It was more of the same throughout the turkey season for me this year. I never seemed to be in exactly the right place at the right time, although there were a few times that I thought sure I would get a turkey. I wouldn't trade any of the time I spent in the woods even though I had to eat my turkey tags instead of turkey breast at the end of the season. The ability to be outdoors and see the woods come alive at sunrise and hear a tom turkey sound off from his roost is something that will never get old. If I hunted only to kill a turkey, I would have quit long ago.
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