First day of turkey hunting

by May 13, 2013Uncategorized

First day of turkey hunting

is hard to hunt anything when there are rain drops falling off the
trees.  It is probably the worst during deer season when everything
sounds like the snapping of a branch.  But, this was my first day of
turkey hunting and having never been before, I had no idea what I should
be listening for besides a gobble.

Our turkey decoys

and I had two decoys set up about 15 yards away from us.  I had a slate
call, a box call and my camo on.  It was starting to get light out when
we reached the blind; that time of morning when you can not tell if you
really are seeing something move or if it is just your eyes.  It was
probably a little later than we should have been in the woods, but we
are new and learning.

a half hour after we sat down, I saw a bird fly down.  There was still
some ground fog so I could not tell if it was a jake or hen (or tom, but
it seemed kinda small).  Dad couldn’t tell either.  I continued to
call, but a little quieter than I had before.   The bird took its time
and meandered through the grass, eventually coming right up to the
decoys.  It was a hen.  We watched her walk around, unsure if I should
keep calling or stop so I didnt spook her.  At this point, we had been
turkey hunters for all of 1 hour. 

she left, we called some more but decided to check out some other
areas.  We headed to some fields near the house.  There was a slight
breeze and the sun was out now (does wind direction come into play with turkey hunting the way it does with deer hunting??). 
I tried my box call and on the second attempt, I had a response!  I
kept calling and Dad headed off in the direction of the gobbles.  Not
knowing if I should follow him or try to get the turkey to come to me, I
slowly walked towards where Dad had headed and kept calling.  

was pushed up against the side of an embankment peering into the
fields. He held up 3 fingers.  I kept calling but started walking away
from Dad, not wanting to draw the bird’s attention to where he was. 
There was a shot and I stopped calling and headed back.  I joined him on
the side of the bank and looked out into the field.  I saw all three
heads looking around.  Then, they started to run into the woods.

missed ‘em” Dad said and started pacing off where he had shot to where
the birds were.  About 60 yards.  Now, if this was a deer, it would have
been dead with one shot, no problem!  But, this is a whole new animal
with a shot gun and not a rifle. 

we got home, Dad paced off the distance again and shot twice into a
target.  The spread was about 5.5 feet and that was with the choke
almost all the way on.  We went out again for another hour or so but we
didn’t see any more birds that day but it was a fun experience to have
on our very first day of turkey hunting.  We will get out a few more days this season, but we are already plotting how we will go after the turkeys next spring.


  1. Even without getting one, turkeys are by far one of the most fun animals to hunt!!!

    • I am still loving the deer hunting… maybe after we actually get one I will be more interested (or when I am less pregnant and can get around more – ha!)

  2. No need to worry about scent with turkeys. Their sense of smell is poor at best. They make up for it with their excellent vision and hearing.

  3. Great story. Any given day can change how you should call cadence, volume, and pitch are decided daily by the birds we hunt. We should talk, at some point, I am not a pro, but I have about 20 years experience chasing turkey in field and about ten more years chasing them in the work place:)

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Meet The Author

Erin Merrill, author of And a Strong Cup of Coffee, is president of Women of the Maine Outdoors, a senior writer for Drury Outdoors, a contributor to the Northwoods Sporting Journal and passionate all things Maine, Hunting, and the Outdoors.