Saturday, April 30, 2011

No birds but a happy child

Opening morning of turkey season came early. I trundled down the hall to get my 10 year old side kick out of bed. Usually this is an easy task but I knew we were going to have a slow start when she mumbled about having slept through two alarms already. We hustled around getting ready and soon it was departure time. This was Ainsley's first trip out for anything other than our rabbit trip. She didn't have any camouflage of her own so we had to make do with some of mine.


I think the whole baggy look could qualify this as hip hop huntware.

    I had decided to hunt the best spot I had last year. I hadn't actually scouted it yet but figured we stood a good chance as well as we had a good place to set up a ground blind. As we walked in I heard a tom gobble in the dark. It was far to the east from where we were but sounded like the same piece of bush. Last year they were roosting daily right behind where I was setting my ground blind up.

    We settled in and placed the decoys out in front of the blind about 20 yards. Ainsley was excited but before long the early start caught up with her. It wasn't long before her little head was resting on my knee and she was asleep again.

Sadly the distant gobble we heard on the way into the field was the only bird we heard or saw. We lingered until about 11 am and then I took her home fed her lunch and started to hatch an afternoon plan. We had until 7 pm which is the end of hunting time in Ontario

    I have a few pieces of crown land in my area that I considered. Some of the bigger pieces I knew would be full of people today but there was one small piece called the Kirkwall Tract that might just do the trick. Back into the truck we climbed and we headed off to plan B.

Plan B didn't happen.

As we were passing another, much larger piece of crown land, a turkey flew across the road in front of us. It was in the south end of a 350 acre piece. About a mile to a mile and a half away from the parking lot.

    Not to be deterred by the distance or the rain Ainsley and I headed back into the bush. It was going to be lighter hunt this time with no ground blind to hide in. We rolled up Ainsley's pant legs as best we could and started.


It was a long an soggy walk. I have to give her credit she was quite the trooper. Some of the water we had to skirt was a little deep and pretty tangled. All the while it rained.


    We made our way to the back corner opposite of where we saw the bird. It was a challenging trp. Between swampy bits and lots of hawthorn bushes and tangle it was a slow and prickly trip. We finally found a good tree on the edge of a promising field where we set up and waited. It wasn't long before we heard the gobbler arrive a little north of us in the bush. I teased and cajoled him . He got closer and closer until it sounded like he was on top of us. We couldn't see him but Ainsley was thrilled. Sadly he eventually wandered back to the north leaving us behind. With three hunting hours left we decided we were too wet and too cold to linger any longer. A long trudge out left me with a happy little girl keen to go again…in her own camo.