May 19, 2009
Bourjaily: Turkey Season Recap
By Phil Bourjaily
Since turkey seasons are winding down all over the country, it’s time to post up your season highlights. I’ve already run the picture of me and my one turkey of the spring but I hadn’t told the story of the very brief and satisfying hunt:
As is my routine during turkey season, I dropped my younger son at school and got to the public area I hunt a little after 7:00 a.m. I drove around drinking coffee until I saw a glinting black spot in a freshly burned field. Although the area is billiard table-flat, there were enough willows to use as cover for my approach so I parked the jeep, pulled on my stuff, and snuck to within 125 yards or so of the bird. I saw him look around the first time
I yelped. Second time, he popped in and out of strut, then turned and walked my way. I never made another call after that.
He gobbled once coming in, and when he got to what I thought was 40 yards and change, he veered off course. I could call more to straighten him out and bring him closer or I could shoot. I shot.
From the time I stepped out of the jeep to the minute I pulled the trigger only 25 minutes elapsed, and packed into that short span of time was nearly all my excitement for the season. I worked a total of only four birds this spring: one I shot; one I scared away; one was taken from me by a hen and one gobbled to everything, almost committed, then wandered away, still gobbling to everything.
Besides that, in 14 days of hunting:
I found exactly 11 morel mushrooms.
I saw all kinds of birds, including two sandhill cranes walking around very close.
I got two ticks.
I got no (0) mosquito bites.
I lost a small blind and a decoy, but found the decoy in the woods a week later.
I lost seven mouth calls to Jed, who twice emptied my mouth call wallet and chewed the calls he found after I came in from hunting.
Any season in which I find a turkey and the bugs don’t find me counts as a good year, although frankly, this one was a little light on excitement, but I’m not complaining. How was your spring?