The spring turkey hunt is easily my favourite hunt of the year. It's a great time to be outside and turkeys provide a nice balance between challenge and action. For the last 5 years I've hunted with my good buddy Jocko in Southern Ontario. Jocko and I guided together for a few seasons on Lac Seul and besides being a great walleye stick, Jocko is turkey obsessed.
Thanks to Jocko's pre-season scouting, we were set up really close to a roosted Tom on opening morning. The sound of the first pre-dawn gobble is like music to a turkey hunters ears! This gobbler put on a great show, strutting and gobbling as he rounded up his hens. Ultimately, it was his hens that resulted in his demise as they led him into our spread and I pulled the trigger at 18 yards.
It's alway a great feeling to tag a turkey and carry it out of the bush over your shoulder - especially on opening morning!
Tom number two was another fun one. We had watched him strutting in the same field for a couple nights and after some legwork, Jocko secured permission from the land owner. There wasn't a lot of bush so we had a good idea of where he would roost. We were set up at 5am and at 5:35 the first gobble confirmed we were close. This fella gobbled his head off! He came out into the field with 2 Jakes and 4 hens and locked into his strut zone. Jocko worked the slate call and one of the Jakes came over and actually mounted our hen decoy. The boss Tom didn't like this at all and came running over, covering 100 yards in no time. The old 870 roared and my 2nd Tom was down! What a thrill!
This was an old mature Tom - check out these daggers - a real limb hanger! 1 1/4" spurs.
Another great turkey hunt is in the books. I'm already looking forward to next year. A huge thanks to Jocko for his expertise, patience and willingness to share this hunt with me. I had such a great time, thanks buddy!
Here's a shot of the turkey master in action.
Coming up - the real softwater season begins. Pike and lake trout will keep me busy until walleye opener on May 19th so stay tuned!
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.