Sunday, May 8, 2011

Turkey solo hunt...

May is a month to celebrate. But with all mayhem including birthday parties, three separate mother's day celebrations, finishing out one job, beginning to finish out the other, and enough pollen to mess me up; I must concede and realize that May is not the month of outdoor opportunity.  Actually, I wish they (higher powers) would move the April school vacation to May simply because April vacation stinks with the cold, rain, and outdoor nothingness.  May offers trout, bass, turkey, and pollen, actually I wouldn't complain about the pollen if I could have a week to crank on fish and gobblers.  Anyways, this post is about maybe the only day I can get out for a tom...

Matt Diesel and I decided since that Wildlife Management District (WMD) 28 had been opened for turkey this year, we could try our hands and potentially pile drive Mr. Tom Turkey in a more localized effort.  The plan was for him to scout out some potential spots and then we'd see how things played out.  We stood a decent chance, if the birds were to be found.

The sign for my spot seemed decent.  Matt had seen two hens and evidence of movement around the field.  This spot blocked off from traffic provided an access road and the remnants of an older cut with some small trees, much grass, and good visibility.  The eve before the hunt, I built up a spot to make a nice blind that offered an expansive opportunity.  We quickly exited the spot and returned back to Diesel's where his wife had prepared a special meal in celebration of my visit.

The morning came early at 3 a.m. and by 3:30, I was sitting in my blind slightly chilled wondering why it was necessary to be there two hours before legal shooting time.  This would be my first solo turkey hunt and third one ever in my lifetime.  I hoped that my calling would be average at best and that I'd receive a little luck in my relative inexperience.

As the world began to wake up, song birds began their chatter as I decided to employ the box call.  After several clucks, a gobble returned but having been very close the previous two hunts I could attest that this bird was further away than closer.  I continued with the clucks as the gobbles made no change in volume and then nothing.  I will be honest and say I'd be lying if I wasn't a little excited during this exchange.  But the bird zigged instead of zagged, and I'd continue trying in hopes that he'd come back later after tending his hens.  I learned that my calling needs to improve, and if that tom holds true to that roost that an old logging road shooting off my access road will be my next set up.

Set up at first...
Set up as the wind picked up...
It eventually warmed up, but I learned my next lesson in turkey hunting.  I had read before in an outdoors magazine about putting a stick in the ground by the decoy's tail so that the set up wouldn't be affected by the wind.  Since there was no wind in the morning, I had neglected this simple move only to realize that the jake who had been previous set up chasing the hen became the one chased.  And then, the decoys began this most excellent presentation in unison as they'd turn 40 degrees in one direction to then a complete 180 degree turn the next.  I laughed and contemplated about running out for a second to correct the problem, but my decision was to stay in the blind.  At some points, the decoy actually looked realistic in the wind but overall the wind hindered the motion more than it helped.

I was not disappointed with the final text from Diesel who had seen or heard nothing, it was mother's day weekend and we both had places we needed to be before the sun set.  We both quit just before ten and discussed our morning, even in failure it seemed that I already had become more proficient at turkey hunting.  The problem now becomes when will I get that next chance, turkey hunting takes time, location, and preparation, and I foresee much difficulty in finding an available day where I can make it happen.  I'm hoping for either next Saturday in hopes of tracking that gobbler, or central Maine on the 21st...


  1. Location and set up looked nice. Sometimes they just not do what you want them to!

  2. Great post and looks like a good setup. Sometimes the old toms just get stubborn and don't cooperate.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. You should have set the Tom 3.5 inches more to the left.

  4. The Tom decoy needs to be set-up 3.5 inches more to the left of the hen.


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