I’ve spent the better part of the last five days working my way closer to the turkeys on our public land spot. Things were going really well all the way until Saturday. Saturday morning, we set out and got parked about 20 minutes before sunrise. We got to our spots, and waited. At dawn, 6:09 on the dot, I heard a hen drop from her roost, land, and do a bit of quite clucking. Maybe 15 yards from me considering I could hear her footsteps. Minutes later, a bigger whompf as a tom dropped to the ground. He made the world’s softest single gobble, and I never saw them. We called our hunt around 8:15, and quickly discovered the reason for our difficulties that day: the third pull-in spot had one SUV parked on the gravel near the road, and two pickups that had actually driven down onto the field and parked on the treeline at the bottom of the hill, more or less directly behind where I had been sitting. Small wonder the birds’ schedule was disrupted. As we left, we took a look at the part of this land parcel that covers the marshy headwaters of Black Earth Creek, and spied the turkeys sitting several hundred yards from the road on the edge of a private field/pasture.
Sunday morning I had to work, and Sunday afternoon we had yard and housework to do in the the lovely 75 degree weather. That was a wash. This morning, however, I dragged myself out of bed before daylight again. Luckily it was 59F, even at 5 AM. Downright balmy. However, my Monday morning hunt was spoiled for much the same reason as Saturday morning’s- that SUV was parked and someone was on the back side of my hill again. And once again, the turkeys were over in that private field.
To some positives. Saturday, Matt had a hen milling around in front of him for a solid 15 minutes. Someone was screwing around in the woods, though, and scared her off- she flew right over my head. And Monday morning, I watched a hen from quite a ways off. So the turkeys are still using this area, I’m just betting that all the people running around this weekend have them all out of sorts. I’m ready for it to cool back down and keep some of these people at home. I have two more days on my original permit.