Stories

Ashley's Turkey Hunt Spring 2020

This year was my third year of turkey hunting, but my first harvest and it happened a lot different than I thought it would. I am more of an archer, and prefer turkey hunting with a bow. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, my go to archery shop was closed so I couldn’t find a shop to go in and get new arrows. Yes, I could order online, but I just can’t buy arrows without having them in my hand and I needed arrows after I lost some in the woods last year missing a shot on a Tom. So, good ol’ Winchester SX4 to the rescue and ended up setting on some Kent rounds that patterned best for me.

Our trail cams showed this year the birds weren’t really going into a soy fiend that I normally hunted in, so my husband and I came to the decision we would hunt together in the same blind in the woods, a bit down from one of their roosts. We found a couple that they rotate through consistently the last three years.

Well, we go out opening day and sure enough a whole flock of these guys (I’m not kidding you like 5 bearded birds) had their path bring them like 10 yards from us. This is the closest I have had. My bow shots last year were at about 15-20 yards. I panic. I’m not sure which one to take. Is that one to close to the other so I might hit two? My husband is waiting for me to take the first shot. I just shoulder and fire and miss. I re-aim and try a second shot but miss again and he runs off to the right about 40 yards out and just stares me down. I’m so mad at myself.

The next couple days we come up broke. The weather sucks and we find the birds where we hunt, when it rains, they completely change location so this is no surprise.

Finally the following weekend we are out and I start out feeling disappointed because we can’t see ANY birds in the tress down from us like normal and aren’t hearing much. We keep sitting for a couple hours. My husband is using his box call for me so I can focus on keeping an eye out. Then he stops calling and looks over his shoulder. “I think I just heard something…” He calls again and sure enough there is a gobble directly behind us. My husband closed up the windows we were using and opened up the ones on the back side and sure enough….group of turkeys. The blind is situated in a flat raised area that has two small streams on either side and the turkeys were down by the stream. One of the young ones got curious about my husband’s calls and started up the hill towards us. I couldn’t see him for a bit but then suddenly the head popped up…and then the next…and then the beard. Legal bird!

This time around I took my time and aimed a couple times before I was sure of myself and took the shot. BOOM. Poof of feathers. Floppy bird. Harvested bird. He then went home, got split up in the freezer and his Butt Fan Mounted. His skull is being sent off to be processed by some folks in London, Ontario and it will be added to my mount.

I have to say the relief of finally having a successful turkey hunt is amazing. Finally not being outsmarted by them. I think that is what I love most about turkey hunting. Learning the bird, learning their habits and then creating a plan and having it finally succeed.

Next year, back to the bow!

 
 
 

Amy's First Ever Turkey Hunt - Spring 2020

Well this was my first year and to say it was a perfect year is far from the truth. With Covid-19 being in
the forefront of everyday life, it made doing a lot of things I had planned, undoeable. I had planned on
using my compound bow for my first turkey hunt as this is what I had been practising with. Unfortunately
I wasn’t able to get in to the archery shop to pick up all of my supplies and get a little bow tune up with
stores being closed.
I did get to socially distance hunt with my brother for my very first time out. It was great. His enthusiasm
and passion made me excited to sit and wait for birds…. that didn’t end up coming. He brought out his
Mossburg 500 pump action 3 inch 12 gauge. It was a very informative and wonderful experience. I am
very grateful I got to go out with him and even though we came up empty handed, the experience itself
was worth more to me than anything.
I got my hunting licence in November of 2019. My boyfriend and I went and got them together. We also
got to go out this year together. We took out the PSE Coalition crossbow. We were very grateful to our
friends that allowed us to hunt their property. Some days, we heard nothing. One day we heard some
promising calls. They were calling back but didn’t seem to want to come see us. We used a few different
calls each time we were out. We are still learning, but it was still fun. I know hunting is something you
continue to learn from every single time you are out. Although we didn’t get any birds this year, I was
able to forage and get some ramps and make some Ramp butter. That was a first time experience for me
and it turned out amazing. So all in all, even though I didn’t harvest a turkey I did get to harvest some
amazing memories and experiences.