On April 30, 2009, my friend and I went out on a spring turkey hunt in St. Croix County, WI. The season actually started on April 29, but I didn’t go out due to school. We took the 30th off of school and went to the woods. I called a tom in, which my friend ended up bagging (Before School Bird Article). The next day, Friday, I took off school all day and went out by myself to see if I could get a tom in range with my bow and videotape too. I had a bunch of hens roosted in the woods 50-70 yards away from the blind, but the toms I heard were a ways off.
I got a calling battle going with the hens and they ended up flying down and going out into the corn field in front of me. There were about thirty hens and at the end of the flock was a big old tom. That tom had so many hens with him he didn’t need my “hen”; I knew how he was thinking. He showed some interest in my calling and he saw my tom decoy set up in the woods, but he had things to do. He stayed at 70 yards and didn’t feel the need to come any closer and then finally left. I went home at 10 am and fell asleep. I woke up and met up with my brother to go back out to the woods.
Josh and I got out to the blind at 5 pm, after setting up a blind on a different property, and got ready for some turkey action. We sat…and sat there…and sat there. “Justin! There is a jake right there.” Josh whispered. He didn’t see the beard when it was behind some brush and standing still, so he thought it was a jake at first glimpse. It came ten yards away, but we weren’t set up and I had my bow, so I couldn’t whip around and take it. It walked right next to the blind and went back into the woods. We decided to leave early, while nothing was out in the field.
Saturday, we went out to the blind that we set up the day before and were excited to see what was out there. We were planning on staying out there the full day, but after hearing nothing within a half mile, we decided it probably wouldn’t happen. We didn’t get anything to respond the whole time we were out there, so we left at 11 am. We came home after and took some naps. Josh woke me up at 3:15 pm and said we should get out to the woods. I got right up and we took off.
We got out to the woods and this time, I had fire power on my side. I spotted some turkeys on our way out to the blind and they held us up a little. Once they left, we walked to the big open corn field that we had the blind set up by. We set up on a fence line that split the field in half. I called for about 20 minutes when all of a sudden we spotted a hen on the far side of the corn field. It left at 5:30 pm so we decided to move and go to a “better spot” on the field.
We found our spot on the fence line we had the blind on (we don’t like gun hunting out of blinds), and started calling again. Ten minutes after we moved, I looked back to our last set up. There was a tom standing there. I was really upset. It didn’t come to us for some reason at this “better spot”. We kept our chins up though and kept still. We sited two toms and a couple hens on the other side of the field at 7 pm. They angled towards us all of the way across the field, but didn’t want to close the deal for us. We left before it got dark. Things were looking worse for me now; I had one more day to bag my turkey.
The next morning we went out to the same corn field we were at the previous day, but actually went into the woods. We found a tom roosted and tried to set up on it. It flew down away from us and didn’t make a sound. We moved back to the big corn field at 6 am again and set up on the high point in the corner of the field. We saw a hen on the other side of the field again and a hen walked out in front of us by itself. Finally, we saw a studly tom with some hens on the far side of the field. We were getting tired of sitting so we got up a decided to stalk the old boy. We walked half a mile and finally got ahead of them. When we set up and I called, it gobbled and showed some interest. We got excited until it didn’t come in. I got up and checked on its location. I saw it and decided to get closer. I crawled under the small pines and got to the opening. I told Josh to stay back and wait for me to give him the signal to come up by me. I didn’t see the tom, so I told Josh to come to me. When he got to me I looked up and saw the tom! It saw us too though!
It stood there and kept its eye on us. It finally started walking away. We got down when it was behind a tree and I crawled behind brush until I got a set up ahead of it. Josh was back where we were standing when it saw us, and then he decided to move in for a better camera shot. It ended up the tom wasn’t that smart and walked towards us. At 25 yards I shot it through brush and thought Josh didn’t get it on camera. Well, he left the tripod back so he could sneak better, so he didn’t get a steady shot, he captured the moment though. The tom collapsed and we were happy to be done for the week. It had a 10 inch beard, ¾ inch spurs, and weighed about 21 lbs. I am proud of that turkey due to all the work I put in for it. I am also very glad that I got to hunt with my brother and share the priceless moment.