Fall Gobblers. Right Place. Right Time

This is a great hunt by one of our regular contributors here at the hunt blog. Chelsea is relatively new to hunting but in a very short period of time has become quite proficient. Especially when it comes to knocking down big Ontario long beards! Enjoy and we hope your fall hunting season is going well! – James

This year of hunting has been really good to me so far. I have filled every tag I have purchased and hope my good fortune continues throughout deer season.

Fall turkey hunting is much different than Spring. Some hunters cut it out all together due to bowhunting season being open for deer. However, since I have started hunting I have always enjoyed going after turkeys.

Some preseason scouting told me that the same place where I tagged my first Tom in the Spring had 4 males coming regularly. There were also a lot of hens in the area, but I really had my hopes of hunting another Tom.

There’s a turnip food plot planted for the deer between the woods where the turkeys spend most of their time and a field where they come and feed. Luckily for me, the blind was already set up on the turnips and as long as I could catch the turkeys crossing the woods to the field I knew I had a good chance of tagging another wild turkey.

I went out on this hunt by myself because Matt (my boyfriend) wanted to go hunting for deer. With the turnips planted I had high hopes that if a turkey didn’t show maybe a deer would before dark. The first half hour of my hunt was pretty uneventful. Turkeys don’t make a lot of noise in the Fall and the Toms are no longer chasing the hens around, so it can be pretty quiet. By figuring out the traveling paths of the birds you really increase your chances for success. I was hunting a small area versus a large field which made things a lot easier for me.

After the first 30 minutes had passed I noticed a turkey in the woods. I put my binoculars on the turkey to see if it was a hen and it looked like it had a beard, but it was very hard to tell. The turkey was cleaning it’s feathers. I had a hen decoy set out about 15 yards from my blind and began to do some soft calling to see if it would peek the birds attention. It looked up and noticed my calls, but immediately went back to cleaning it’s feathers.

I probably sat there staring at that bird for another 15 minutes when I heard noise in front of the blind. A hen came running across the turnips from the field and went in the woods. Suddenly, I noticed the male get up from cleaning it’s feathers and start walking through the woods. I lost sight of him but noticed another bird or two followed behind him which I could not see earlier.

I waited and began giving soft calls hoping they would soon cross to the field to feed. I waited probably another 20 minutes when finally 4 beautiful red headed turkeys came out of the woods. 2 Toms and 2 Jakes with silky dark feathers and shining red heads. My heart had started pounding faster and faster and I remembered why Fall turkey hunting can be so exciting. The two Toms stared into the blind at me and dropped their heads again walking towards my hen decoy.

I chose the Tom I wanted to take and shot. He flew up in the air so I shot again. He dropped and the other birds took off flying. I later realized I forgot to adjust the choke on my gun after goose hunting in the morning. My first shot hit high, but not as good as I would have liked. Thankfully, I hit him dead on with the second shot.

Chelsea with her trophy
Chelsea with her trophy

I called Matt and was very excited. I got very nervous during the shot of this hunt, which I never had previously. I think it is because this was my first harvest on my own.

My second Tom of 2014 weighed 20.5 lbs with a 9 1/4 inch beard and 1 inch spurs. The cool thing about this turkey is it has 4 shorter feathers in the middle of it’s tail. I later read if a turkey is attacked by a predator the feathers may not grow back fully or at least they hadn’t before I hunted him.

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It was an exciting hunt and I am very grateful to Wing-ding for letting me harvest 2 amazing trophies in his fields this year.

I now hope deer hunting will be good to me and will soon tag my first buck with my bow. I drew a doe tag this year, so by late season I hope to earn my first deer.

Good luck to everyone hunting this season and thanks for reading my story.

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