Great Introductions

I came to turkey hunting relatively late in my life.  When I was a kid in Nebraska there weren’t many turkeys around.  In fact I can remember hunting pheasants in south eastern Nebraska one morning with a flush of a huge hen “pheasant”.  While standing a little shocked my partner and I determined it was in fact a wild turkey that we had “hear” were around.

They were so rare that hunting them never seemed an option.  Twenty years later I was single and living in Montana, a big game hunter who also hunted ducks.  I read about the turkeys of eastern Montana.  Licenses were over the counter and I had a friend whose family owned a cattle and grain operation on the Milk River. 

To become a Turkey Hunting Expert, I bought a turkey hunting video and a slate call.  I was set!

I hunted turkeys like I deer hunted in Montana. Primarily with binoculars.  I still do.  I shot my bird that year. 

Never underestimate the effect of luck. 

Opening morning I drove a road along the Milk, spotted a dozen and a half turkeys on the edge of a grain field figured out (guessed right) the direction they were headed.  Snuck down along the river as close as I could without spooking them and then did three clucks on the slate. 

The group was not scared off by the call and continued down a cow path.  Several passed me until the tom was within 25 yards in front of me.  I shot it. 

I was pretty sure I was now an expert.


Now, I am only a slightly better turkey hunter, but much more aware of the challenges and thrills of the turkey hunt.

I am a big believer that one of the best introductions to hunting any novice hunter can have is turkey hunting.  I am an avid, die hard, Waterfowler.  But I love to turkey hunt and I love to take others turkey hunting with me. 

Why are turkeys the perfect introduction bird?

Because now a days where they are they are plentiful and they are everywhere. 

Frequent sightings create a near constant optimism in the field. Hearing a gobble is exciting.  And in the spring season you hear gobbling.  Even if they shut down during the day light, in the early predawn morning a gobble is easy to draw using a locator call such as a coyote howler as I do.  Pulling the trigger on a strutting tom is an awesome and almost intimidating experience.

Here are some of the rewards of the turkey chase;

 Inexpensive to hunt.

 Usually good weather.

 Easy to locate.

 Easy to interact with (get a response to a call).

 Frequent sighting of your quarry.

 Numerous stalks full of optimism.

My advice to new turkey hunters is to develop a “run and gun” strategy.  Learn a slate call (not difficult). Get a decoy.  Scout for turkeys in the AM.  Set up where you have seen birds in the mornings and spend a half hour on a set up. If you do not hear or see turkeys in the half hour head to a new location.  Use your binoculars. Keep moving and keep the excitement.

Some make turkeys out to be some higher intellect with keen senses that make them nearly impossible to hunt.  I don’t know anything about anything, but I have harvested a couple dozen Tom Turkeys. I have had a lot of fun.  I encourage you to take a few weeks next spring and chase these birds.

You might grow to love it too.          

Until I see you in the field, Be Safe, Be Good, and BE LUCKY!!

Great Intoductions~!