Wilderness turkey hunt

For a few years my main goal when it comes to turkey hunting each spring is to see that my daughter, Selina, gets her tom and hopefully at least one other kid does that I take hunting.

I love to hunt wild turkey and this year I decided to skip the food plots and field. So, for my hunt I would camp in a deep wilderness area that is loaded with wolves and bears, and watch the last of Wisconsin’s winter melt away.

Sunday, April 22

High 54, Low 23

Here is my plan. I was going to camp in Wisconsin’s Central Forest Region which is massive. I picked the Juneau/Jackson/ Wood counties-line area. My plan was to drive deep into the forest, build a camp, not see another person and hunt from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday night which is when my season would end.

That plan hit a rut when after two miles of breaking trail in 8 inches of snow the only tracks that I saw were those made by wolves. I checked out another area with the same results and then headed to the Juneau/ Monroe counties- line area and immersed myself and my pups Ruby and Fire into an area that has few roads and only one house in about 10 square miles.

I only had three hours of daylight left after building camp and got kind of lucky when a guy came by my camp on a dirt bike and told me about an area where he had been seeing lots of turkeys about two miles away.

In my scouting and hunt, there was about 3 inches of snow and plenty of deer and turkey sign, and folks I have to tell you that is why I chose to hunt turkey this way. I wanted to sleep and wake up in a tent, I wanted to hear the wolves at night and I did not want to see many, if any people.

I saw one tom on my hike in and was pretty excited for my morning hunt.

Monday, April 23

High 68, Low 23

It was very cold the first hour of daylight today. I had one tom gobbling a couple hundred yards away and could not pull him to my hen/jake decoy setup. Later in the morning I moved to about a one-acre clearing and had turkeys coming in as soon as I started calling.

Two jakes and a hen entertained me for a half hour and I passed on the jakes. After a while a beautiful tom offered me a 25-yard chip shot but there was too much brush and I did not want to take the chance of hitting and not recovering him.

An hour later an even larger tom gave me an even easier shot but again I had issues with brush and passed on the shot.

I put in about 10 hours hunting today and also went exploring. Whenever I had experiences with turkey I could not get the toms to pull away from their hens and in reality I really did not care.

Something else that I found to be very interesting and I am sure many people have seen is that our deer are so close to starving to death from this brutal winter that they are moving all day long and have next to zero fear of humans. I saw plenty and did not see a one that looked like it had a fawn that it would be dropping in a couple of weeks.

On Tuesday I put in another 10 hours hunting and was out there until the last minute of my season.

This area is remote like I said earlier but I was only hunting about 100 yards from a quiet road that I could not see but occasionally would hear a vehicle.

About an hour before dark I heard a vehicle approaching. It stopped, there was a shot, no door opening and then it idle away.

I honestly believe a road hunter shot and did not even take a look to see if he or she had hit the target.

I have immense disrespect for people that do this and if I had the chance this person would have had a problem.

For six months of winter our turkeys do their best to literally scratch out a living and then spend every night in a tree. I often think what it must be like on windy nights for a tom that has no feathers on its head to sleep like that, and then someone kills or tries to kill it from inside of a truck as they drive down a road.

I did not pull the trigger and I could have but my hunt was a memorable one in a satisfying way and I shall return!

Sunset


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