This past week, I found myself smack dab in the middle of perhaps my finest fall turkey season to date. I say perhaps because I’m not certain I know how to quantify the finest.
There have been seasons when no turkeys were tagged but the weather was so perfect that the week could only be described as one of the finest weather weeks for hunting turkeys. The kind of days that start chilly and then warm up in the low 70s with zero humidity and bluebird-colored skies that make you feel wonderful to be alive. Throw in the maples with their bright red leaves falling slowly like soft rain and you have a day build specifically for being outside all day in its glory. Looking back specifically on weeks of fall turkey hunting throughout my career, there have been some awesome moments in the field dotted with fine dogs, fine birds, fine shots, fine friends, fine shotguns and fine memories. But this past week, was simply different and special. Here’s how. I started my week of fall turkey hunting in West Virginia in my regular hunting grounds. As per my norm each year, turkeys were spotted, and to be frank, I messed the whole deal up. I made simple mistakes of moving when I should have been sitting still or assuming the turkeys were going to zig when in fact, they zagged. It’s all part of hunting – sometimes even seasoned veterans of a sport mess up. But my luck changed when I changed venues, or in this case, states. I was invited for a long weekend to hunt in Ohio at my bud’s farm. The farm is a working soybean and corn farm, so lots of critters and lots of farming activity this time of year. I blind-luck stumbled on a large flock just inside an island of hardwoods right before dark. They scattered upon me entering the woods. In doing so, I had a place to start for the following morning. Daylight brought with it the sounds of the wild turkey calling from every direction. The turkeys were assembling on an oak flat right above me. I joined in by calling loudly back at them with my box call and shortly after doing so, my calls brought the entire flock of turkeys on the bench I was sitting in wait. The sound of an entire flock calling is magical to a fall turkey hunter and I received that morning as a gift. I will cherish that memory for a very long time. [full article]