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The Plot for Spring Turkeys

Hunting turkeys is one of the most challenging of hunts

Gander Mountain

 

Hunting turkeys is one of the most challenging of hunts I've experienced and it is fun.  With a turkey's brain being the size of a quarter, there cannot be a thought pattern there, but they sure act like it.  It is all in their sight and hearing that makes them such a challenge.  They can see at really long distances but when you are up close, they seem to be confused and become really easy targets.  Getting them up close is the first challenge once you have found where they are running.  It is amazing how they will be right along the shoulder of the highways pecking and scratching, totally ignoring the passing traffic.   Being out in the field and seeing them at 100 yards or more changes things entirely.  When they spot you, they will run like the wind. When hunting, the first rule is to be extremely well- concealed with no movement.

 


flextone Si Robertson Tea Party Turkey Call and Locator Combo

 

flextone Si Robertson Tea Party Turkey Call and Locator Combo

Click on the link or the pic to buy from Bass Pro.  New Product

 

This season, another call will be added to the one that is currently used.  Reading all the magazines, the professional turkey hunters have an array of calls at their disposal.  The second item to add is to expand the decoy spread with additional hens.  I currently use the Pretty Boy-Pretty Girl combination and add a couple of hen decoys to the mix along with a jake.  I will definitely add more hens.  My friend John has a decoy with a tom mounting a hen.  He needs to throw that one away.  The attacking toms have beaten and scratched the thing to death.  He claims that when he first put it out, the toms just poured out of the woods and jumped all over the decoy.  It really made them mad and they wanted to fight the decoy.  I have had a tom circle my Pretty Boy decoy.  Trying to get my camera out to take a picture did not work, so he was promptly harvested.  I am in the eating business not the picture business, but it was neat to watch.

 

Carry-Lite Pretty Boy Turkey Decoy Set

This is the set up I use.  Click on the pic or link above to buy from Bass Pro.

 

Turkey season opens the closest Saturday to April 15th through May 31st in Nebraska.  Iowa has several seasons, but I hunt the 4th season that runs April 30th to May 18th.  I like to hunt later in the season because the toms should have all the hens bred out and will be more receptive to decoys and calls. I have access to four farms, but will probably only hunt two of them since these hold the most birds.  Hunting private ground is totally unlike hunting public lands.

 


Primos Double Bull Double Wide Ground Blind

 

Primos Double Bull Double Wide Ground Blind

I own a Double Bull Blind

You have competition in hunting the public lands and it come from other hunters.  First, there is a whole lot of calling going on and it pays not to call too much.  If you have scouted the ground and have determined where the birds are running, on opening day be at that location and harvest a turkey as soon as possible.  It may not be the grand daddy of the flock, but you will have one and can be out of the woods.  Otherwise, I would wait until later after all the hunters have given up and the hens are all bred out.


Winchester Long Beard XR Turkey Shotshells

 

Winchester Long Beard XR Turkey Shotshells

I shoot this shell.  Click on the link above or the pic to buy from Bass Pro.

 

If you are hunting private land and will be only one of a couple of hunters on the ground, you have a distinct advantage over the public lands. There is no pressure and the birds have not heard a lot of calling.  Also there is limited human access in the area. You will need to determine where they are running and position yourself in the general area.

 


RedHead Be The Tree Jacket Pant Suit for Men

 

RedHead Be The Tree Jacket Pant Suit for Men

I wear a similar suit.  Click on the link or the pic to buy from Bass Pro.

 

Before the season, I visit each farm and spend time in the early morning just to watch and listen to see where the birds are hanging out.  It has worked for me in the past and continues to each season.  Next is a visit with the farmer.  They see the birds constantly and can head you in the right direction.   The farmer will know where they are roosting.  Being in the general area where they roost, will provide an excellent opportunity for success.


Hi Mountain Game Bird or Poultry Brine Mix

 

Hi Mountain Game Bird or Poultry Brine Mix

You will need some brine to moisturize the bird before you cook it.  Click on the link above or the pic to buy from Bass Pro.

 

 

 

 

Good Hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

 


 

 

 

More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!