My plans this week went all pear shaped. I wanted to spend a good chunk of it with my bow stalking ol’ Tom in Minnesota. Turned out I spent most of it stalking white lines on the interstate. I burned 3 tanks of gas in my truck, at 12 miles to the gallon. At least gas prices are reasonable, right? Oh wait.
I had just a couple of days left to fill my North Dakota tag, so I headed west. I had land a couple hours from Fargo-Moorhead that I love to hunt. It’s a beautiful piece with rolling hills that climb high out of the horizon, then fall back down into a deep ravine with a slow moving creek carving the middle. A deer metropolis with well worn paths that crisscross their way through the bottom. A few of the deer were starting to sport antlers covered in velvet. Pairs of mallards and wood ducks navigate through the trees to find pools in the creek to rest while nesting nearby.
And everywhere you look-turkey feathers.
I shot my first turkey there last year so the area will always hold a special place in my hunting memory bank. And it will probably keep me coming back anytime I have a turkey tag.
Excitedly I pulled up to the property. I just purchased a new slate call, so I pulled it out to sand it up and give it a couple scratches. I was a good half mile from where I planned to hunt, besides being on the other side of those rolling hills. Apparently the wind was right because after I practiced calling in the truck for 30 seconds, a tom came barreling over the top straight towards me.
Great. Now what? There’s no way he’s going to come all the way to a vehicle, so as soon as he dropped into a low spot, I jumped out, grabbed my gun and a camo jacket and headed towards him-while still in shorts and sandals.
I crawled up through the pasture hoping to cut him off, but he never reappeared. I hunted up and down that ravine for the next few hours but it would reveal no more birds. I never even heard a cluck, yelp or gobble. I had hoped to at least find where they’d be roosting and come back in the morning, but the turkeys had vanished. The woodticks however, did not. I must have pulled over 100 off of myself and my dog yesterday. In fact, I’m still finding them.
So I went fishing. I managed to catch 7 or 8 northern pike, but none of the prized walleye that I was after. It was also while I was fishing, that I finally saw another turkey. Funny how things happen like that. Next week I “plan” to be back with my Minnesota archery tag searching for Tom.
Maybe I’ll start at the lake.
Here are a few more pictures from my trip: