Round one of the 2020 spring turkey hunt is in the books. I do have a couple more tags for later seasons, but the first one has come and gone. It’s crazy to think about how long it seemed to take to get here and then how quickly the season goes.
I could give you a day-by-day blow of the action but will nix that idea in favor of just hitting a couple of highlights and maybe a low light as well.
I’m not sure what morning it was because they all seem to run together but I know it was early in the season. I had birds sounding off all around me. Both hens and toms filled the woods with so many of their own calls that it was hard for me to get my own into the conversation. I managed to fill in a couple brief moments of silence with a few calls and was rewarded when a tom popped up from behind a downed log and gobbled at me. In addition to that, I could see two other tail fans from strutting toms behind the first bird.
I couldn’t get a clear look at the other two birds but figured that because it was still early in the season, I could afford to wait. So if I didn’t get a shot, I still had the bigger portion of my season to hunt. Turns out a bird in-hand truly is better than two turkeys in the bush. In an instant the first turkey veered to the right and the two trailing toms went left and just like that, the toms picked up the trail of some hens and that was that.
I thought about it later and decided that even though I didn’t get a shot, it worked out OK for me. I had watched a great show, still had my tag and at least three more days to hunt if the weather held.
On Saturday morning I once again had birds right on top of me. I actually had a hen standing in my decoys and two strutting toms closing the distance fast. Both toms were big mature birds and seemed to brush shoulders with each other in some sort of show of force and dominance to show the other who was boss. At 60 yards, both toms locked up like they were frozen in time and place. I’m not sure what it was that spooked them but in unison the three turkeys tore out of there. I’m not sure if there was a coyote or fox behind me but whatever it was sure made an impression on what was supposed to be my turkey dinner.
The rest of my hunt was filled with sitting in the blind and reading, which is a simple pleasure for me. Sitting in the woods has never really been hard for me to do so I did enjoy my season even though I did not bag a bird. It’s time well spent and I would rather hunt the entire season and not bag a bird as opposed to bagging one on the first day or two of the season.
I look forward to the next couple hunting seasons just as much as I did to the first season. If I don’t bag a bird, I’ll be just as satisfied in terms of the experience but there is one thing that I need to throw out there: when it comes to Thanksgiving, I prefer turkey over ham.