Turkey Hunting – Morning Fun

We got up this morning bright and early like usual.  I had a rough time getting the Little Gal going and had to keep on her to get ready until we were out the door.  We headed out in the dark to the property to hunt, and when we got close, we saw a van parked in the driveway.  I thought “don’t tell me some poacher is in our spot!”.  As we got closer, I saw that it was a white van, and it was stuck.  I put the flat-bed in 4-low and pulled up the road around it and parked. 

We jumped out and proceeded to grab our gear.  We were already about 15 minutes behind schedule in order to be in position before sunrise.  I put on my hunting vest and grabbed our guns.  The Little Gal put hers over her shoulder, and as I was putting a shell in mine, I heard a little old lady say “I’m stuck down here, do you think you could help me?  Now I tell you, I am a very kind-hearted person, but after the bird chase yesterday, and us being late with it being just before sunrise now, I really didn’t want to ruin our hunt.  I explained to the lady that we were heading in to hunt and if she was there when we returned, I would gladly get her un-stuck.  We locked the pick-up and headed through the gate.

It was already getting light out.  We should have already been in position and set up.  We hurried down the road as quiet as can be.  The sun would soon be in our eyes.  We suddenly heard a gobble!  YES!  Well, partly yes, and partly not.  We were not in position, and the bird was exactly where I knew we needed to be.  We eased down the road sticking close to the willows and brush so we wouldn’t be seen in the light.  Then we heard some hens clucking.  We came around a small bend and I peered out of the trees to see if I could see them in the tree I thought they should be.  Sure enough!  I counted about 7 hens, and could visibly see a tom strutting on his branch.  We also heard two other gobblers, but couldn’t make out where they were.We eased forward ever so slowly, staying concealed as much as possible.  The sneaking was somewhat easy because the ground was still saturated from a hail storm the night before.  We finally came to the first gate.  The old rickety thing would make too much noise if we tried to open it, so we made our way down into the ditch beside it and crawled under the fence and then back up to the road.  All this while the gobblers were dancing and singing and the hens clucking.  
Once we got back up the muddy slope to the road, we peered out of the willows and saw they were all still up in the tree.  We snuck up further.  We were with in 40 yards of the tree, but could not get any closer because there was no more cover.  We stopped there to wait for them to make their descent.  We hoped they would fly down to the flat road ahead of us because we knew they would eventually head up to the top of the mesa. 


Sure enough, all of a sudden, a tom flapped his wings and flew.  The problem was he flew down to the meadow on the other side of the trees, away from us.  We waited and watched as one by one all the turkeys took their leap and went down to the big meadow.  We could hear the gobbling and clucking down there.  

Once it was safe, we made our descent down the hill.  We snuck through the trees stopping occasionally to see the turkeys through the openings between the trees.  The toms strutted, and hens pecked at the ground.  We snuck just to the edge of the trees, some 30 yards from the birds.  I could see the toms cutting off to our left and heading back up the hill toward where we had just come from.

As we were easing forward to get a better view of the toms the hens turned.  They were looking straight at us!  The Little Gal and I stood there frozen in stride not making a move.  We just couldn’t let them bust us now!  We stood and waited motionless, and then the hens came to us.  There were seven of them, and three of them were with in 25 feet of us!!!  The looked a pecked.  All the while, I could hear the lead hen calling as she headed up the hill in the same direction as the toms.

We just stood there, frozen.  I had a cramp in my foot from the position I was locked in, and I know that the Little Gal had to be uncomfortable and cramping as well because the way she had stopped, her hip was in an awkward position.  We remained petrified.  Finally the last of the hens left in tow behind the rest of them.  Up the hill they went, past the road, past the ditch and up onto the mesa.

We moved after we knew it was safe.   Finally!  Whew!  We waited a while until we were positive they were gone and then headed up to see exactly where they went.  We saw tracks headed up to the mesa.  I counted 18 bird tracks~  4 sets which appeared to be toms!

That was the end of our morning hunt for us today.  We left and went and tried to help a sweet lady get unstuck.  She was too deep, and we ended up lending her the phone to call a tow truck.  I pulled out the coffee thermos and shared it with her while we waited for the tow truck to come.  We chatted and shared stories for over an hour.  It was a fun morning with a sweet adventure with up close & personal turkeys, and a new friend to top it off!

The turkeys are safe again!!!

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Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.

Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.

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Mia Anstine
MAC Outdoors LLC
PO Box 31
Ignacio, CO 81137-0031

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