Monday, May 16, 2016

Slaying Mr. Jellyhead

Though I've had tags in the past, I had never killed a spring turkey. My first, and only, turkeys were harvested in the fall of 2014. Spring turkey hunting comes at a very busy time for me.

This year, I drew a prairie turkey tag for Brule County and an archery turkey tag. The plan was to kill a turkey with the shotgun with the first opportunity and bust out the bow if another opportunity presented itself.

Again, this spring was extremely busy. My opportunity to shoot a turkey was dwindling rather quickly. I had seen a few hens and a few jakes in the yard but other than one tom a week before the season opened - nothing.

On this morning, I came charging out the back door of the house to check on the mower before heading off to the store. It was about 8:45. I got two steps out the door and saw a jake and a tom close to the path on the ridge behind the house. They were just on the edge of the yard.

They heard me but didn't see me and I was able to get back before the door slammed. I went to the garage to get my gun and call. I worked the box call a couple times inside the house and the tom immediately swelled up like a balloon being inflated. He began strutting around and looking for that elusive hen he had heard. Little did he know that "she" was in the screen porch!

I went back through the house, out the garage door in the front of the house and around the north side of the house. I peeked around the back of the pizza oven in the back yard to see Mr. Tom still in strut mode, his his wattle was radiating Husker red and snood dangling from his light blue head, wiggling as if full of red Jello. I poked my gun around the corner of the fence and took aim.

Scene of the slaughter is edge of lawn directly behind 
The blast of my 10 gauge shotgun released a turkey load at about 35-40 yards. He jumped up and turned toward the draw following his companion, the jake. Did I get him?

As I walked toward where he went, I saw that I had drawn feathers from him. I walked about 20 yards past where I shot him to find a heap of turkey laying in the grass. He was 15-16 pounds. He had nice long spurs and a 8-9 inch beard. My first spring turkey!

I lugged him back to the house before fetching a camo vest to wear over my work clothes for a photo! I had him cleaned, in the fridge and was to the store by 9:30! Not s bad start to a beautiful spring morning!