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Sherie, Minnesota

Sherie gets her first Turkey

New to hunting, but dating an avid hunter, I was bound and determined I’d get my first turkey this season. My wonderful guide and boyfriend spent the better part of the prior two weeks waking up early and listening for which ridges the gobblers were roosting in. He secured permission to hunt from several of his neighbors where he heard and saw birds the prior week.

Our first day of hunting was uneventful. Hours of sitting in a blind only produced one hen. But towards the end of the day we saw a group of birds in another farmer’s field that we had permission to hunt on. So, despite the rain and cold, we circled around the backside of the field through state land to hunt those birds; unfortunately they beat us back to the woods by a matter of seconds and our attempts to call them over to us in the woods failed. My ever optimistic guide and boyfriend decided we would move our blind to the edge of the woods and corn field and hunt from there the next morning.

What a morning it was! It was Sunday, May 1, 2016. We heard several gobbles off in the distance that morning and hoped they would be making their way to our field. Around 7:00 a.m., after having closed my eyes for a few minutes, I made a comment that the stump about 65 yards away was mocking me…“It looks like a turkey” I said. Unfortunately, the electronic shooting ear muffs I had on were running low on batteries and beeping in my ears so I turned them off and I didn’t realize how loudly I was whispering…nor could I hear my honey whispering to me to be quiet. I continued on, “Is that a bird or a stump?” “Do you see what I’m seeing?” “Oh, it just moved, it IS a turkey!” A big tom at that! After the “Are you kidding me stare” from my partner I realized I better be quiet. Fortunately my chatter didn’t scare the bird off, and he came out of the woods with another big tom and a few hens, but they continued on in the opposite direction from our blind. A few minutes later a couple jakes came out of the woods and headed in the same direction as the toms and hens, but they were spooked back towards us by a vehicle on the road.

Despite my not so quiet whispers a few moments before, the two jakes came to our call and looked as if they were ready to pummel the jake decoy set out with our hen decoys. My heart thumping I ran through all the instructions I was given – aim for the bare spot on the bird's neck just above the feathers, safety off, be sure of your shot and what’s beyond…I was going to get my shot at a bird after all. A few seconds later I had my bird! Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend’s scouting, preparation and coaching, I bagged my first turkey with a 20-gauge shotgun and a red dot scope. A 17lb Jake.

I can’t wait for fall!

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