By Morgan & Mason Baseley of 2 Girls Hunting.
We were asked earlier this year to write an article about our spring turkey hunt. We agreed, thinking this was going to be our year to bring home a trophy bird – a huge Tom to make our dad jealous!
We have each taken our limit of turkeys in seasons past, but this year was going to be different. We wanted to be more patient, pass up on younger birds that came within range, learn more about the habits of turkeys and pick the lead Tom out of a group.
This was our year! We were going to hit it hard – and we did. We got a jump start on the season due to having Junior status and had a guide take us into an area where big Toms were known to roost. Unfortunately, there were no sightings of turkeys on the first day. There was sign everywhere, indicating that we were in the right spot. They got us that morning, but we knew we would be back.
That afternoon we did a bit of scouting and found a location to hunt the following morning. Again, all the signs of turkeys but still no visual. We saw pigs in the distance, does with their new fawns and we could hear the pleasant chirp of the blue birds nesting around us. But still no turkeys.
The story didn’t change over the course of the entire season. We experimented with different calls, a variety of camouflage clothing, hunted early in the morning or waited until the last possible minute.
We didn’t sleep past 4:30 a.m. for the entire season because we didn’t want to miss our chance. Each morning was spent watching the sun rise over the hills with rays bouncing off dewy fields, or noticing how the weather and clouds changed the colors of the sky. We observed fawns gaining confidence as they grew stronger and a bit older, while newborn birds took flight for the first time and the colors of the meadows changed from bright green to the flowers of pink, purple and yellow.
We smelled the woods after a spring rain and felt the first morning sun hit our faces, bringing warmth to our bodies. Memories of watching nature awaken from a cold winter and bring a renewed life full of adventure and innocence are what we are taking away from this year. The turkeys outsmarted us, they played the better game and kept us on our toes.
However, they also taught us a great deal. Be patient, be appreciative, and be aware. Maybe the trophy that we are taking home from this past spring turkey hunt won’t be mounted on our wall or enjoyed at a family dinner, but it was time spent together re-connecting with nature.