Making memories on the hunt for turkeys

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April 25 is the turkey season opener in Ontario, and as most of you know, it is my favourite time of the year. I understand some folks do not like hunting, and that’s okay because everyone has their own opinions. It’s the same as my opinion on slaughterhouses.

This year, I took out my girlfriend Victoria, who has been hunting turkeys for five years and has yet to harvest a bird. I made sure to have her come the day before so I could show her something to help her out with next year’s hunting. I took her out to watch the turkeys in the fields so she could see their routine. I then showed her how to roost birds; when they fly up into the trees to sleep for the night. She was amazed as she had never seen turkeys roost before. We headed home to have dinner and get our gear ready for the morning. I then tried to teach her how to use a mouth call to call turkeys. It was funny. However, it happens to everyone who first tries it. The mouth call can initially make you gag until you get used to it, but these are all memories that we were making.

We were up at 4 a.m., made a quick coffee, and got dressed to leave the house at 4:45 a.m. to head to the woods. As we approached my cedar blind, Traviss noticed a tree had fallen on it, which meant we were not sitting there. Plan B: we moved back to the end of the field and set up in the tree line, hoping this would work out for us. We finished setting up and then sat quietly until daylight. It was terrific, and the sound of nature waking up and the sunrise were stunning.

At approximately 5:55 a.m., we watched five Jakes and a Tom fly out of the trees. Traviss made some calls; at first, they looked interested in something other than our decoys. We sat quietly and waited. After about 15 minutes, the Jakes started coming over to our decoys, and Tom followed them. They were about 20 yards from us when I asked Victoria, “are you ready?” She replied, “yes.” I counted three, two, one, and bang. One of the Jakes was down. However, the Tom and the other four Jakes flew. Victoria had missed her bird. We sat quietly as Traviss carefully snuck out to the side of the field to make sure the birds were okay and gone. He reassured her that the bird was fine and that it was a clean miss.

Being this close to turkeys for the first time, she was excited and shaking. These things happen. We packed up, gave thanks for the Jake that I had harvested, and headed home with my Jake in hand.

It was lovely to share my knowledge of turkey hunting with her and give her a memory that will last a lifetime. Of course, I sent home some meat with her.

Now, on to fishing. In Ontario, the fourth Saturday in April marks the trout opener, and I am definitely excited to hit the water for some fresh trout.

Remember, get outdoors and enjoy nature and all it offers. Make memories.