Turkey season arrived without any fanfare the other day. If I hadn’t seen some hunters coming out of the woods with a nice tom, I guess I would have missed it. I don’t hunt turkeys anymore.
As I’ve mentioned before, I saw my first wild turkeys back about 1971 on the county road near Arnold Lake. Sometime after that, a season was opened and Bob Palmer and I decided to go hunt them.
This was a new game for us and we knew nothing about it. In fact, we went out on a pine and brushy side hill, spread out and hunted them like we did partridge. Needless to say, we never saw nor heard a bird that morning.
It was a couple of years later that I learned how to call and hunt these wary birds. A friend from Deposit took me out one morning and called in a bird on the first try. But back then, hunting turkeys was relatively easy.
I was driving down a back road near Milford one spring day and saw a large tom and a couple of hens in a meadow. I went back the next morning before dawn and walked to the top of the hill. After hearing a gobble off in the distance, I yelped back.
Within seconds, that old tom came running in with his neck stretched out gobbling. He stopped at 20 yards and my 12-gauge put the 23-pounder down. He had a 10.5-inch double beard. Not bad for my first tom.
A few years later, with several more birds to my credit, I was hunting over toward Otego. I had seen a boss bird cross the road a couple of days before, so I decided to hunt him.
I worked my way down the hill from the road and set up along the edge of the woods. Again, as the sun rose over the hill behind me, I heard a gobble.