Snow not a problem for northern Wisconsin first period turkey hunters

This Oneida County gobbler made the mistake of roosting in the same tree on consecutive days during the first season in Zone 7. photo by Dean BortzGranted, northern Wisconsin didn’t have as much snow on the ground during the first turkey season as we’ve seen up here in previous years, but there was 3 to 6 inches on the ground opening day, depending on where you were at. I happened to be in Oneida and then Vilas counties.

So, yes, it was colder than a person might prefer, but the snow helped me locate a roost tree and then learn a particular gobbler’s habits by following his tracks in the snow. Once I saw wing marks cut into the soft snow by a strutting gobbler 45 yards from the roost tree, I knew where I wanted to be on opening morning.

The only thing is, I didn’t shoot that bird the first morning.

I shot a turkey Thursday morning at 6:18 a.m. I messed up on the same bird Wednesday morning. It’s not often that birds roost in the same place on consecutive nights up here, but this one did. Heard him at daylight on Tuesday. I went back at 8 a.m. and found the tree and a strut zone, thanks to the tracks in the snow. I prepared a spot just uphill slightly from the strut zone. Based on tracks in the snow, I expected the bird to drop out of the tree into a little open spot below said tree, then walk 40 to 45 yards to the strut zone.

Because of hearing loss in my left ear I always wear an ear plug when I have to shoot. On Wednesday morning I left the ear plug out, thinking I’d have time to place the ear plug and turn on the red dot once I heard the bird jump out of the roost. Except he flew from the roost right to my feet – just about. Only to the right. When I saw him banking in the air and turning to come straight at me I tried to get my ear plug in and turn on the sight. I didn’t get a shot off.

I left him alone the rest of the day and messed with birds in two other spots, but didn’t get anything to happen.

Thursday morning I was back in the spot and, luckily for me, so was the bird. I shifted my spot by 90 degrees on the same tree so I wouldn’t have to swing to the right if the bird landed in the same place as the previous morning. This time he landed close, but not on my feet, and to the left. Ear plugs in, red dot on. All I had to do was squeeze the trigger.



Categories: Import

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