Nine Seasons of Turkey Hunting
Last week was my 18-year-old daughter Selina Walters turkey season. We hunted three times and this weeks column is more of a story on her past hunts and how “time challenged” we are.
Thursday, May 2nd
High 53, low 21
Yesterday was the first day of Selina’s turkey season but she was on the tail end of six day trip to Orlando, Florida for DECA. DECA is a business, competition club that Selina has been very active in and like last year she made it to international competition.
We are hunting where she has harvested four of her seven toms and is really happy to be here as the property sold and the new landowners gave me permission to take Selina here.
Three years ago we were hunting here and it was the day before prom. Selina was a freshmen and really into the prom week activities. I was letting her miss school for the morning and we were sitting in the blind having a good time when a friend of mine from the school gave us a call and told me that if I did not have Selina in school by noon she could not attend prom. It was 11:30 and we started packing up asap. I just happened to look out the window of our blind and a really huge tom was walking by.
Without hesitation Selina aimed our trusty Remigton 1187 at the big gobbler and smoked it.
The following year it was the Sunday after prom and Selina had been up all night at the post prom party. We were hunting close to our house in an oak forest and about 2:00 in the afternoon three gobblers came into our decoys she whacked one and an hour later was home in bed.
When Selina was ten it was the first year the 10-year-olds could hunt. We were hunting in a field and it was close to a gravel road. Selina’s one chance that year to harvest a turkey was perfect. A tom was coming right into our decoy. Unfortunately a person driving down the road that gets very little traffic saw the turkey, honked his horn, and the turkey ran away.
The very next year when she was eleven, we were in that same field on a Friday after school and a really big tom came in and Selina dusted it. That was her first turkey and it had an 11 inch-beard and an extra beard that was 5-inches. A funny side story on that is that when we got home with her trophy we went in the house for minute and left the tom on the end gate of my truck. Fire was just a pup and she pulled the beard off the turkey and walked away with it. I came outside to a beardless tom and was majorly bummed. Thankfully she had dropped it in the yard and all was well
Selina and I have always been extremely into turkey hunting as a team, and no matter what Selina was always receptive having her face painted either with camo paint, mud, or ash. She learned that from bear hunting as well as deer, the face of a human really sticks out.
As I was saying Selina is extremely scheduled, she works at Kwik Trip and in the last month has also spent time in Nashville and her class trip to Chicago.
When she was 14 we hunted at my friend Rod Bensley’s property near Fox Lake. On the last day of her hunt we were literally down to two minutes and a tom came out of the woods and once again Selina and the 1187 took care of business.
On another hunt we both had tags as well as two guns. Selina was sleeping in the blind on the forest floor when three toms came out of the woods, approached our jake/hen decoy setup and literally took turns attempting to breed the jake decoy.
We both fired at the same time and got a double.
I honestly feel that turkey hunting from a blind is a very cool way to help create a hunter; bring snacks, teach the kids patience, and let them know that if they do not harvest a bird the sun will still come up in the morning.
Selina’s turkey season was pretty quiet this year and there was not a thing we could do about that but the memories that we have created chasing turkey, deer, bear and ducks have helped inspire her to to become a wildlife biologist and though the story will change, it really never ends.
Thanks for reading! Sunset