Wedding Bells...But First...

It doesn’t get much better than having a hunt that goes off without a hitch. And our last turkey hunt of the spring season was a classic example of where everything worked out perfectly. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t moments where we weren’t at least moderately concerned, it just means that we executed our plan and the results ended up as we had hoped.

My oldest son was getting married in less than 2 days and his todo list was full (at least if you were to ask his fiancé) and then he’d be leaving on his honeymoon. With time running out, we had the hair brained idea to try and slip in a quick turkey hunt before the big day. No problem, right? And now that it was May the longer days would give us just enough time for one setup after work before darkness fell. So Dallas went and bought a tag and Monday after work we made a mad dash to the foothills above home.

turkey hunting glassing for turkeys
                        Setup 10 yards back and to the side of Dallas, Carson glassing a tom


After a small hike from the road, we came upon an open meadow and much to our delight we saw a turkey 300 yards off in the distance þ. We quickly took up a position in the scrub oak and set out two hen decoys and began calling. Our calls were immediately answered with a distant gobble þ. After several minutes of silence, I called again and again was answered by a gobble…but the gobble sounded just as far off as the first gobble (concerned). I spent the next 20 minutes changing up the calling sequence to include soft purrs, clucks and yelps, with one or two cuts and excited yelps thrown in. Finally, a gobble that was audibly closer þ. Patiently we let the turkey’s sense of curiosity go to work, while throwing in a purr here and there, along with a few soft soft clucks. About 10 minutes later (this gobbler was in no hurry to get to us) the tom let out another gobble. He had to be within 100 yards down through the thick brush, game on þ!

turkey hunting calling in a turkey
           First glimpse was tough to see


Moments later I got my first glimpse of him strutting about 80 yards away through a small opening and then he quickly disappeared þ. A couple more minutes passed; no sign or sound from the tom. I made a few soft calls when quite a ways to our right the tom let out a gobble, it seemed that he was skirting us (quite concerned). That’s when I got very aggressive with my calling. I executed at least three calling sequences consisting of cuts and excited yelps, interspersed with random clucks and yelps. Between each sequence the tom responded with a lusty gobble, but I kept hammering away. Wide eyed and focused on our surroundings we waited…the aggression apparently did the trick þ.

turkey hunting red, white and blue head
                      Whew...aggressive calling worked


At 30 yards, the bright white and blue head of the amorous tom, along with the tips of his outstretched tail feathers, popped into view. He was in full strut! It took another solid minute of strutting and maneuvering around the sagebrush before he parked himself next to our hen decoy. And that’s when he finally presented the perfect wide open shot for Dallas þ!

turkey hunting tom next to our decoys turkey hunting calling turkeys

                  Finally clear of the brush                                   Got his bird, 21 yards 8 ½ inch beard, 1 ¼ inch spurs


utah spring turkey hunt packing out turkey
                            Packing up and heading out


In the end we got Dallas back down to town with plenty of time to finish his todo list. And yes, just like his turkey hunt, his wedding went off without a hitch too þ.

Turkey hunting before the big wedding day
                          Todo list, what todo list???


And last but not least, I got a gobbler to boot. While my hunt during the previous week was quite difficult and frustrating (surprise snow storm, broken 4 wheeler, etc.), I persevered and managed to shoot a big mature turkey in the low country!

turkey hunting unexpected snow storm spring turkey hunt with big gobbler

 Surprisingly the snow did't help, never heard a bird or cut a track     30 yds 8 in. beard, 1 ¼ in. spur and a 1  3/16 in. spur