We went to northern Missouri to hunt Eastern Turkeys last weekend. The weather was near perfect but the turkeys were not as plentiful as in years past and those that we did find were not very cooperative. Though not as successful as we would have liked, it was a very good time. The folks in Missouri are about as nice as you will find.
Rio Grande tom taken with a .223 sporting rifle.
Since turkeys are birds, hunting them must qualify as “bird hunting” but if you ask me its much more like hunting big game. Head-to-toe in camo you sneak into the woods, sit perfectly still and then when you get a tom in range you shoot him in the face with a shotgun. No flushing coveys, no dogs, no talking. Just like deer hunting except the spring weather is beautiful and later you get to de-tick your balls.
Joking aside, hunting turkeys is a blast. Being in the woods at day break holds its own magic – song birds erupt, a distant maniacal yelping of a coyote pack, the ungraceful crashing of a turkey flock coming off the roost and then the stirring, booming gobble of a courting tom. Exciting stuff.
Here is a Texas Rio Grande Tom, bizarre but beautifully iridescent. Talk to Mike Wyatt at First Shot Outfitters for a terrific Texas turkey hunt.