By Andrea Haas
While out turkey hunting this past weekend I called in 2 very nice toms and came SO close to harvesting one of them. I couldn't help but think of how successful that hunt was, despite of the fact that I didn't give one a ride home in the back of my truck. It's so easy to get down and kick yourself when a hunt doesn't go as planned. When this happens (which is quite often), I think it's best to just learn from it and apply what you've learned to your next hunt.
Saturday morning I got to my hunting property well before sunrise and setup in the woods within 100 yards of where I knew the turkeys were roosted. I called a couple times as the sun was coming up and the sky started to turn pink. They answered me, so I shut up for a while until I knew they flew down.
Once they flew down they followed a hen, which I definitely couldn't compete with, and went into our field planted in Boneyard Seed clover and chicory. I snuck down to the edge of the woods and watched them strut around for well over an hour and waited, hoping once the hen left that I'd be able to call them in.
The hen finally left so I started calling again. Both of the Toms answered and started looking around for a hen. I tried getting my hen decoy setup earlier, but the ground was so rocky that I wasn't able to get the stake far enough in the ground to keep the decoy from falling over. Unfortunately that hen decoy being set up would probably have sealed the deal on this hunt.
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Both of the Toms made their way to the opening in the woods leading them right where I needed them to be, but they got spooky without seeing a hen and turned around, just a few steps shy of where I would have had a clear shot.
As luck would have it, I wasn't able to harvest a turkey that morning, but I was just as excited as I would've been if I had gotten a shot at one. I did bring home some pretty great memories from my solo hunt, learned a few lessons, and went home feeling like a million bucks, ready to try again.That, in my book, was a successful hunt!