By Brandon Wikman
Hunting turkey can be a pursuit of unpredictable obstacles that weave themselves into a basket full of disappointment. Big birds are notorious for pecking your intelligence into the ground. However, this week, I strutted out of the woods with a fond memory of success.
My objective was to take my friend turkey hunting and provide her an outdoor experience that she’d not soon forget. I only had one weekend to do my best diligence to scout and zero-in my hometown flock before she arrived.
I began my woodland excursion in the morning while trekking farm fields for any visual evidence of footprints, scat, or feathers. During my big search I happened to stumble across an alfalfa field that graciously held a handful of feathers. As I collected field feathers and began to part the lush greens in search for prints, I was convinced that this was a gobbling good spot.
I decided to erect my ground blind along a finger of woods that juts into the alfalfa. Turkey aren’t as tent-blind savvy as whitetail, but I still brushed-up the blind to ease any doubts. My handsaw was put to action. Wood chips flew like sparks as the saw’s teeth bit into the lumber. Pine boughs were thrown into a heaping pile that would soon be decorating my blind. Pine trees are incredible for throwing down some extra cover that will make you blend into the scenery. The limbs are dressed with so many finger-like needles, they vanish your outline in a matter of seconds. My blind would soon be put to the ultimate turkey test once the hunt began.
The next morning was show time. All I had to do was hope that the flock of birds wouldn’t forget their travel route, which bypassed the blind at a mere 10-yards. My friend and I shuffled to the blind at first-light. As she jacked ammo into the shotgun, I crossed my fingers and wished for her to blast her very first bird.
The sun cast a balance of warmth on the blossoming spring forage while the fog faded and our birds began to chatter. It was nature at its very best. We sat, watched and waited.
Suddenly my eyes grabbed a flashy bolt of black. I winced out of the window and spotted the flock of 3 hens and 1 longbeard scratching their way from the woods into the field. Beams of sun accented the feathers as I surveyed my plan working to perfection. My friend snuggled the gun into her shoulder. One-by-one the birds entered the field. I quietly whispered commentary to her as she zoned-in on the big bird. The faint click of the shotgun’s safety was followed by a booming blast from her barrel.
As the commotion of wing beats and puttering bird noises ceased, I turned my attention to a beautiful bird lying on the ground. The elation of joy was hard to beat, and the experience of a surefire plan working to fruition is difficult to come by.
I counted my blessings that morning that I was able to share my love and passion with someone new.