2008 Spring Turkey Hunting Success

After watching a couple of bears lazily feeding hundreds of yards away across the steep, deep canyons of Oregon’s coastal range – and with no easy access to close the distance and seal the deal – Wil Askew and I decided to switch gears and fill our turkey tags on the last day of turkey hunting season.

Bear Hunting - View Across the Canyon

We Couldn't Get Closer to this Bear

After parting ways with our good friend and guide John Dickenson, we grabbed our turkey hunting gear, raced from Elkton, Oregon to Roseburg, Oregon, and were turkey hunting by 12:30 PM. Within ten minutes of setting out we had two hens knocking on our door, coming within ten yards of our setup. Unfortunately there were no toms in sight so we continued moving.

Hen

Hen in the Brush

We quickly worked our way along the ridge, stopping to call every now and then. Once at the top of the knob we finally got a lone tom to respond from the valley below. Due to the thick brush between us and the tom, the bird hung up and wouldn’t move any closer, so we pressed on. After a few minutes we got another tom to respond behind us, so we backtracked a little and located the bird by a tall Douglas Fir tree.

That’s when a hen tried to lure the tom away from us, which had Wil battling it out furiously to maintain the tom’s focus on us. As the tom headed up the mountain to our location, we quickly set up and waited.

Within five minutes not one, but two toms went by just slightly out of range, but the hen headed straight towards us and appeared from under a small tree, cutting excitedly the entire way to within 10 yards of us. All of this happened so quickly that we didn’t have a chance to put on our face masks and gloves, but in this case it didn’t matter, as the hen was obviously pretty excited.

Hen Within 10 Yards

Wait for It

While we were watching the hen in front of us, the two toms had moved to the top of the knob, completely out of sight. As the hen moved away from us we slowly switched positions, as the toms were now directly above us. We still couldn’t see them due to a slight rise, so we sat tight to see if we could call them back within range. After a few minutes Wil was able to call them to within 20 yards, and at this point the toms were making a ton of noise.

After ten more anxious minutes of waiting and calling, the toms refused to come any closer. Sensing that the birds might head uphill again, Wil stood up, located the birds, and took a shot. It was now or never, so I quickly stood to my feet as well, ran up the hill a couple of yards, and was surprised to see not two toms, but eight. No wonder those birds were so loud as they strutted above us. Between Wil and the hen, the two of them had called in every tom within a hundred yards or more.

Wil’s shot took out a few of the tom’s feather as it was in mid-strut, and I hammered a two year old tom with a seven inch beard. Oddly enough, Wil’s tom had a ten and a half inch beard, but no spurs. Neither of us had seen a mature tom with no spurs before, so that was a first.

Wil Askew and Jeremy Henricks 2008 Spring Turkey Hunting

Success - Wil Askew and Jeremy Henricks

Spurless Turkey

Ten Inch Beard With No Spurs

This hunt was a great way to end the season, and has me looking forward to fall turkey season. Look for this hunt and more on our upcoming turkey hunting DVD from Pursue The Outdoors.

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About the Author

Jeremy Henricks

Jeremy Henricks

Jeremy Henricks is a fanatic when it comes to hunting blacktail deer and elk in his home state of Oregon. He is also the editor of Pursue The Outdoors.