Wild turkey hunting is something my hunting buddies and I want to take part in very much. I attended the seminar would be turkey hunters in Ontario are required to complete to get licensed several years ago. With a hunting buddy, I had at the time I travelled extensively in Eastern Ontario, knocking on doors in a futile effort to secure access to a property that held wild turkeys. The most common reasons given when we were refused access were that others already hunted the property or the landowner did not permit hunting. My enthusiasm for wild turkey hunting waned in the intervening years–though my current hunting buddies and I had access to the farmland where we deer hunt to hunt wild turkeys until recently. There are turkeys on the farm; I remember seeing turkeys while seated in my deer stand during deer season. Val, the owner of the farm and our gracious hostess, developed a sentimental attachment to the turkeys as they frequent her bird feeder. She asked that we do not hunt them and we respect her wishes. You could say, regarding turkey hunting, my buddies and I are “all dressed with nowhere to go.” However, fortune turned in our favour this season as one of our number, my buddy Jason, succeeded in bagging his first wild turkey in an exciting hunt
Jason had the twist of fate this season when his friend Nick invited him to take part on a turkey hunt on Friday, April 26th. Jason’s friend spied turkeys on a field on a plot of land he has access to for hunting Thursday afternoon. The area they hunted is in the vicinity of Kemptville–a known turkey hunting hotspot. He called Jason with the news, and the hunt was on. Nick did not know where the turkeys roosted, so it was a gamble. Naturally, nothing is guaranteed in hunting, but as Jason is quick to remark, “you do not get game sitting at home on your couch.” Jason and Nick hunted from a pop-up blind along the edge of the field Nick saw the turkeys the day before. Jason brought his turkey decoys, including a gobbler decoy he fitted with a real turkey tail fan. The rest of the decoy spread consisted of two hens, set in front of the blind, with the gobbler to the left and a jake decoy placed on the right. Jason and Nick arrived in the wee hours of the morning t set up the blind and the decoys and were in position at sunup when the turkeys came down from their night roosts.
The first sighting of turkeys came when birds appeared in front of them about 150 meters away. It was a flock with about ten hens and four gobblers/jakes present. No doubt this was an exciting sight for Jason and Nick. They were quickly distracted when a gobbler approached from across the highway to the left of the blind. The gobbler approached the flock working their way in front of the blind. Two hens split off from the flock and approached the gobbler who crossed the highway. Jason watched with mounting excitement as one of the hens led the gobbler right into the decoy spread. Jason killed the gobbler cleanly with one shot from his non-restricted Derya MK12 shotgun with the full choke inserted, using 1 7/8oz of #6 lead in a 3″ shell. Jason’s shotgun was sighted with a Holosun HS510C with a 2moa dot and–in Jason’s words–a “65moa circle of death.” Jason subsequently went out and purchased a turkey choke and a sterner cartridge (Winchester Long Beard in 3 inches with 1 3/4 oz. of lead shot) for future turkey hunts.
The action continued for Jason and Nick in short order when a second gobbler, a bigger bird than the one Jason shot–driven by his hormones and his instinct to mate–charged in to attack the dying gobbler Jason just downed. Nick fired on the second gobbler, wounding it. The crippled gobbler made a run for it, unable to fly as he suffered a broken wing. The desperate gobbler ran into a fence in his bid to escape. Nick chased down the gobbler and finished him with a headshot as the gobbler turned and charged. Wild turkeys are big, tough birds and hard to kill. Thankfully, in this instance, Nick succeeded in harvesting the wounded bird.
I was not with Jason and Nick on their successful turkey hunt, but am pleased that Jason finally got the opportunity to bag his first turkey. From the account of the hunt he related to me I am sure the adrenalin was riding high in both Jason and Nick. For Jason, myself and the others in our group of friends and hunting buddies who yearn to bag a wild turkey, serendipity saw that Jason was “all dressed up with somewhere to go” and I am very happy for him. I am confident that one day I will get the chance to bag a wild turkey myself and Jason’s recent harvest of his first wild turkey succeeded in rekindling my interest in turkey hunting. I will renew my effort to find a place to hunt wild turkeys and see what fortune brings.
Posted by Geoffrey