An Outdoorsman’s Journal
By: Mark Walters
Good Times on the Turkey Hunt
Hello friends: The best times that I have had while turkey hunting were while helping someone else get a turkey. This past week I hunted with my 19-year-old daughter Selina Walters on a food plot near our Necedah home.
Nine years ago Selina and I created this food plot in an opening in an oak and pine forest. Three years ago this piece of paradise where Selina has harvested six of her eight toms was sold and we really lucked out when we recently were given permission to hunt it for what would be Wisconsin’s second week of turkey season
Wednesday, April 22 High 51, low 28
Two days ago we put out our blind and set it up with chairs, a heater, and good food. When it came time to put some serious hours into it, Selina had her computer along. Due to COVID-19, Selina is doing online schooling through UW-SP in fisheries and aquatic sciences and, let me tell you, as I am learning with many kids, it is not easy learning online, especially in some of the difficult subjects.
So here is our general agenda in a turkey blind. We are in it before it gets light out, I make a couple of calls at first light with what used to be my dad’s Quaker Boy “Little One Sider,” and today on the first try a tom gave us a gobble back.
My dad passed away back in April of 1994 and the weekend before he died we camped together, hunted turkey, and he used the One Sider. I was writing back then just like I am now and when he passed away I lost my best friend.
In the morning all we saw was one hen and in the afternoon we saw the same hen. I can sit in our blind on this food plot and all I have is memories. I hunted what was just an opening in the forest for the first time with my stepson Travis Dushek when he was 13. I was using a bow and Trav was using a 12-gauge. Two toms came in and Travis sent one to heaven and the other started kicking its dead comrade’s butt. I could not get a good bow shot so I made an executive decision and whacked it with the shotgun. Travis is 28 now and we still laugh about the suicide turkey. Another time Selina and I were hunting here and three toms came in and actually started making love to our jake decoy. Selina and I sent two of the lovers to the oven and that was another memory that causes a lot of laughs. I have always made Selina work around our place and when we were given permission to put in a food plot we cut some firewood for the landowner each year as well as gave him fish and eggs. Carving out a food plot with a rototiller, chainsaw, and 5-gallon buckets for watering was work but we had the best turkey hunting spot that I knew of and Selina bow hunted it as well.
We always kept trail cameras on it and after about six months it was a hub of activity for deer and turkey.
The new landowners are great people and love to hunt and have done an excellent job keeping the plot with veggies for the deer and turkey.
Thursday, April 23 High 53, low 26
We put 10 hours in the blind yesterday and were only in it two hours today when out of the blue we heard a gobble about 300 yards away and a minute later our new friend gobbled even closer. I call about once every 10 minutes just to let any unseen passers-by know a lovesick hen is in the area.
The thrill of hearing a tom approach that you cannot see but is obviously talking to you is incredible. When I first saw him, he was partially blocked by some corn stalks and I could see that he was what we call a “Super Tom.” By Super Tom I mean very large; this guy looked like a black bear with a red head and he was looking for love in all the wrong places. It took 10 minutes to coax him into range and Selina was smiling the entire experience. When the time was right she put a 2-ounce load of 4-shot into what I think is the biggest wild turkey that I have ever lifted in my life and everything was perfect in our world.
As I have always said, hunt or fish with your kids and you have friends for life. Sunset
Selina Walters, Mark, Travis Dushek after the first hunt on what became their food plot 15 years ago.
The skin from Selina’s tom made an excellent decoy!
Turkey hunting is one of Selina’s favoite sports!