- Keywords -
- Category Turkey Hunting
- Region -
- Prostaff Member Dan Braman
For years my wife, Stephanie has made fun of me. I can't imagine the number of times I have heard, why do you hunt turkeys?
She wasn't referring to me guiding turkey hunters, as she knows that is what I do. She was making fun of me because I hunt turkeys when I am not guiding anyone at all. She would say," Deer, bobcats, ducks, bear, or mountain lion I could understand, but, turkeys. There's no skill to it, there's no glory in it, and there is no risk of anything whatsoever.
Each and every time I would all but beg her to come with me and she would refuse. Finally this season, she agreed to go. As luck would have it the wind and rain set in; but I was determined to make this happen. The first evening the wind was blowing out of the southeast at about 35 mph with a heavy overcast. I knew where a gobbler was roosting and thought I knew exactly how he would approach his roost.
Twice I had watched this bird leave his roost and walk due west down a fence. My plan was to set up on the fence and call sparingly. This was going to be easy, I thought, and my wife would see how much fin this really was. I made some calls on my box call then switched to my pot every 20 minutes. We were about 90 yards from the roost tree in a small opening along the fence. I had my DSD decoy set out in front of us at twenty yards. At around seven that evening nothing had been seen or heard. My confidence was fading fast but would never let her know that.
At 7:20 Stephanie said," What kind of bird is that in that tree"? I turned to see my gobbler roosting in his tree; he had come in from exactly the opposite direction. I just looked at the ground and waited for the harassing to start. She never said a word until we got in the truck; and then, she just asked what happened. I said that I had been outsmarted and that we would try again in the morning.
4am the alarm clock goes off and we are up and eating breakfast. The property we hunted on has some oil and gas production on it and some birds roost very near a compressor station. It is next to impossible to hear a gobble down wind of those turbine engines but, usually the birds travel south and away from the noise. I had two clients in there at the season's beginning and killed two birds in two days. We walked in to where we hunt and listened............NOTHING........blew the owl call and nothing. Blew the coyote howler and heard a good gobble right where I thought they would be.
We took off in his direction as I knew exactly where he was. At about 100 yards away we set up. I made some very soft tree yelps which he hammered the leaves off of the tree to. I had her ready, she was shaking with nerves and so was I. It seems no matter how many years I do it, a close gobbler always gets me rattled. Finally after what seemed to be a long while he flew down.
You guessed it; he couldn't have flown any more straight away with a map. Slowly he walked out of hearing and we never heard from him again. We got up and circled trying to get ahead of him. Maybe we did or maybe we didn't but I never heard from him again. By the time I gave up on this bird it was 10:00AM. I told my less then excited, sweaty wife that we would try again this evening. She said that she would try one more time and she also added that my turkey guiding skills were less then stellar.
I was both mad and upset that I couldn't seal the deal for her but I knew that was turkey hunting. I just really hoped she understood but I feared that she really thought I was horrible at my job. While driving home, we crossed a pipeline that was about 150 yards wide. I didn't even look down it due to my feeling sorry for myself when Stephanie said there were some turkeys down there. I slammed on the breaks like I was about to wreck my truck. Once the dust cleared and I got past my scolding for filling the truck with dust we got out. I crawled the last fifty yards and set us up in some brush at the intersection of the pipeline and road. I figured they were all hens with my luck; but I would give it a try. I made the softest cluck you can make and I heard a gobble immediately.
Bird sounded like he was maybe 150 yards away at the farthest. I was reaching in my shirt pocket for my mouth call when I heard BOOM. I jumped at least a foot. I couldn't think or talk it shocked me so much. I just looked at her and she said," DID I GET IT"? "Did you get what?" The turkey she said. What turkey. Then as my senses started to come to I heard flopping wings in the pipeline. Evidently the bird had run in while I was looking down. I said," Honey you got him." That's when she told me these words that I will never forget. "Honey why do you get up so early and make me be quiet? We just slammed on the breaks, crawled over here and you made one noise and the bird ran in."
Turkey hunting is easy we should just ride around and when we find them just call them in. All I could say was it's not always like this.
We took some pictures and I drove home. Now all of her friends want to go turkey hunting because you can get up at 9 in the morning and you don't have to walk anywhere. Hopefully the next hunt will be more like normal. Either way she loved it and a new turkey huntress is here. She has ordered her own vest and is about to drive me insane practicing with her calls.