Quest For A Turkey

Big game hunting season came to an end and over the season we made a lot of new friends traveling with our Public Lands Elk Hunting seminars. One friend I had started spending quality time with asked if I had ever attempted hunting turkey. Knowing we both love to elk hunt and use calls to attract game, Tory felt I would love the challenge of calling a “Tom”. Tory explained he knew a lady on the west side that would let us cross her property to access some public land where lots of turkeys hang out. Hearing this I jumped at the opportunity in hopes of filling my first turkey tag. Tory and his father in-law picked me up and drove us to the spot where I observed Tory and Jack load themselves with what looked like a sporting goods store!

Heading Out

Tory & Jack

Tory & Jack

Observing their preperation, I asked if I could help and they responded “no – just stay out in front till we get up the hill and set up”! Ok…. I figured they knew what they were doing… so up the slope we climbed to find a bird.

Lightweight Troy

Soon we started to feel our heart pound through our chest from the climb. Tory approached and said, “let’s setup here as there are always birds in the brush ahead”. With that, Tory placed me out front behind a blind while he and Jack fell back to work the calls. I had my 12 guage ready to fire if a Tom would appear – sure enough, turkeys responded right after Tory produced some lonely hen calls. Hearing the gobble, I thought the Tom would rush in where we close a “done deal”. About an hour went by and the birds chose not to come in. We could hear them moving in the brush with occasional calls talking to us from time to time. Tory approached again and felt like we should hike up over the top where a meadow broke open. Tory claimed he always got a shot when he walked into the meadow. So…. up the hill we went and I of course didn’t realize how well turkeys can see, so I walk right into the meadow and what do I see????

Turkeys Looking At Me

You guessed it…. the birds took off so fast I could not aim and fire quick enough. Now I realized what Tory was trying to tell me after I had busted them. We decided to move back down the hill as the sun came up with temps. climbing into the mid 80’s. It started to feel like elk hunting with all the elevation change and call setups. We headed to the truck in the afternoon for lunch come to find out kids from the area had been riding dirt bikes all through the area we just hunted the day before. Hearing this we decided to head home and try again another day. A few weeks later Gary Lewis called me and asked if I would go hunt an area east of Roseburg for a turkey. I jumped at the chance! We packed the RV and loaded the blinds for what Gary promised to be a different style of hunting for turkeys.

Loading The RV

Loading The RV

We arrived late at Gary’s friends house near the foothills east of Roseburg. Ended up we had enough time to get out in the blinds for a quick evening hunt. Gary’s friend split us up into different blinds since he did not know where the birds would approach before they would roost in the trees around the meadow. I crawled in the blind and waited when all the sudden I could see birds moving on the hill coming around the fence line headed my way.

Birds On The Hill

Turkeys Getting Closer

As I watched the turkeys mill around, they would not come close enough for a shot. I pulled my shot gun up multiple times to prepare however, the birds chose to take a different path to roost for the night. It turned out the family was having a birthday party that evening so we were just in time for BBQ lamb. We stuffed our faces and snuck off to bed for an early morning. The alarm went off around 5am so we loaded some food and grabbed our packs as the home owner told us where we needed to be before light. I ended up right next to a creek where the turkeys like to feed after they fly down in the morning. I got into the blind and glassed patiently. There wasn’t enough light to see so all I could hear were purrs and increasing chatter as the sun started to rise. All the sudden, huge birds started flying down one after another right into the middle of the field landing fifty yards in front of me. I saw Jakes, Toms and lots of Hens. I couldn’t figure out which one to shoot there were so many. Finally a Tom seperated from the group so I aimed and squeezed the trigger – “BANG”…. Tom hits the deck. At that moment I realized I had just shot my first turkey – “what a great feeling”!

Troy & Turkey

Troy & Turkey

I walked out to look at the bird and began to think of how good a fresh bird will taste deep fried.

Deep Fried Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey

“Yep” – good friends, good food and “WOW” did wild deep fried turkey taste good riding at the dunes!

Seconds Please

Seconds Please!

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About the Author

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann lives in Central Oregon with his wife of 19 years and their three children. You can find Troy with his family, friends and partners out most weekends enjoying the Lord's creation "Pursuing The Outdoors".