A spring hunt before departure.

6 years ago I drew a DNR guided youth hunt for spring turkey hunting. My father and I talked with our guide and met him near Lakeville, MN at 4:00 am. That day at 10:30 a.m. began the addiction I now have for turkey hunting as I bagged a monster 25 pound tom with a 12 inch beard and 2 inch spurs. Ever since then I have gone out every spring. Last year my buddy and I were lucky enough to double up on two nice toms at the same time. A few days after that I took my father out and called in a beautiful 24 pound Tom with a 12 inch beard for him. This year my father and I have decided to go traditional and use only bow and arrow. This takes an already challenging hunt to the extreme. Today we saw 9 birds total. Lots of action but because of the weather they were very quiet. I called out a couple jakes within shooting range with bows but there are enough big boys in the neighborhood that makes it worth passing up a young guy. Tomorrow’s weather is looking up to be in our favor and excitement is rising. Hearing a big Tom scream a gobble in response to your call is one of the most exciting things hunting has to offer. Turkey calling is much different than other game calls in the fact that you are having a “conversation” with a mating tom acting as a lonely hen looking for a little lovin’. Unlike waterfowl calling, it is a back and forth interaction and you have to “feel” the bird and act accordingly. You have to know when to be soft with calls, when to hammer on it, and above all when to shut up. I practiced for hours on hours in my room with all sorts of calls but replicating sound recordings from your computer does not make you a great caller. Experience interacting with the animals is, in my opinion, the only thing that will make you good at it. Although they seem to be unintelligent birds their survival skills make them a very tough hunt. They have phenomenal hearing and vision. They are able to pinpoint noises from over a mile away and they have a 270 degree point of view with vision which is 3 times better than the humans. Once those senses catch onto the slightest peep or movement you make, they run up to 25 mph and fly up to 55 mph. One wrong squeak from your calls and you can bet that it raises enough curiosity in a wild turkey to make him stay where he is at. Between their keen senses, the time and effort required in the hunt, and the excitement that these goofy birds provide makes spring turkey one of my favorite types of hunt. Whether you even see one or not, its tough to complain about being in the great outdoors on a nice spring day. I can’t think of a better way to send me off to Alaska than some father-son time in a turkey blind.ImageImageImageImage

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