Due to all those unexpected things that come up in life Wisconsin’s 3rd spring turkey season did not start off as planned. I could not get out hunting during the morning, you all know how that feels when you have active tags in your pocket and the morning dawns with beautiful hunting weather.
Come noontime the distracting tasks were completed and I was finally free so I decided to head over to unit 3 to a place I had never before hunted. I like to hunt a new area every year without any extensive map studies or scouting. The area was picked by hanging a county forest map on a dart board and where the dart hit I headed to.
Hunting a different area completely cold is something I do at least once each spring and several times every fall. To me it is one of the ultimate challenges of turkey hunting and an excellent way to hunt without any preconceived notions about the lay of the land or the turkeys inhabiting said land. I find this concept keeps my skillset sharp and opens up more “known” hunting acres for me to consider each season. Without pre-scouting you must quickly get attuned to the new area by paying close attention to all the small details of sound and sign. So it was I found myself standing at the end of a county forest spur at 2:00 pm.
After enduring the horrible weather of season 1 this gorgeous day lent itself well to a beautiful walk in woods. Other than the sounds of the usual cardinals, orioles, Canadian sparrows and other assorted song birds punctuated by the occasional goose honk; it was a relaxing walk in the woods. That is, until 6p when the tell tale single yap of a gobbler pierced through my revelry to swiftly draw my attention to task at hand.
The woods was full 50 year old straight manicured oaks dotted with red pines making the selection of a doable setup quick and easy. I’d love to report a long battle of heavy back and forth calling and maneuvering but that would be an exaggeration. From my selected tree I made 2 yelps on a slate pot, heard a half gobble much like a jake and son of gun there he was standing at 20 yards.
But it was quite clear he was no jake perhaps just an experienced gobbler who knew he should not sound off too loudly but ended up vulnerable to a dart board.