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Illinois hunting and fishing

Tales from the Timber: Nikki’s bird

April 28, 2009 at 09:11 AM

Win CamoFlex

Prairie State Outdoors readers can win one of five CamoFlex systems we will be giving away in the next two months. To enter the drawing, submit a turkey hunting story and picture via e-mail to: Turkey Tales Stories can be about this season's hunt or any previous season. Our first two winners are Chad Mayfield of Brownstown and Brad Crisco of Elmwood.

I’ve been hunting for many years now and consider myself not your typical girl. I live in Island Lake and love the outdoors. So far I have been successful hunting deer, pheasant and coyote. I just started turkey hunting three years ago with my dad, Jim Hall, who has been doing it a lot longer.

I shot a jake my first year but was unsuccessful last year. This year was one for the record books.

I hunted the second season in JoDaviess County where my dad lives. We got permission from a landowner and set up a blind in the woods where we thought would be a great spot. The first morning we only saw one bird.

The second morning I decided that the blind really wasn’t for me and so I moved down the hill on the edge of the woods that opened up to a huge grassy area. I hid behind a clump of brush (not comfortable) and when the turkeys came out of their roosts they flew within 25 yards in front of me right next to my decoys. But the bad part was they were mostly hens with two gobblers in the back corner.

They eventually all departed without any luck. The third morning I went back to the same spot. My dad said to try a different spot, but there was something about that spot I just liked. So he went off into the woods leaving me with the two decoys (hen/jake) but no calls.

The morning was nothing like the one before. I saw one bird way up on the ridge and listeneded to them get farther away. I thought maybe I did make a bad choice by choosing the same spot. As the day passed I saw two birds cross the field at around 9:15 and then a hen about 11:38. It was better than not seeing anything but still it wasn’t what I had thought the day was going to bring.

But I do realize that hunting is that way and that stuff happens all the time, I know that. So as the time ticked by and it was getting close to 1 p.m., I looked across the field and out from the woods came a tom that was displaying for a hen that came out right in front of him.

Now they were at least 250 yards away but I was thrilled by the show! They were headed towards me but they were on the edge of the woods. The hen eventually went into the woods and the tom just stopped and looked around. He somehow must of saw my decoys down from the top of the hill and started making his way in my direction.

Suddenly my heart started to pound and I thought, “Could this actually work out after all?” I got myself all postioned and got my gun all ready. He kept coming and coming and soon he headed right for the jake decoy. All fanned up he rubbed against the jake and circled him. I thought “Take him now” which I did! I shot and he went down.

My Dad came a few minutes later and was so happy for me. Not only did I do it without calling but he couldn’t believe I sat in the same muddy wet spot for seven hours. I shot my bird at 12:33 p.m. How’s that for pushing it to the time limit!

My bird weighed 25 lbs with an 11 3/8-inch beard and his spurs were 1 1/8 inches long. My dad says it’s probably a 3-year-old bird. I was never so excited in my life and was happy I never gave up. As my dad always says, “You never no when or where it will happen, but it will happen.”

I will always cherish this hunt and the great memories with my Dad.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Look for Tales from the Timber every Tuesday at Prairie State Outdoors.com.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

7 hours in one spot! You’re one tough turkey hunter Nikki! Congrats! You deserve that Gobbler!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/28 at 04:38 PM

Great story Nikki, congrads….  Thats what I love to see is more women in the outdoors.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/28 at 05:33 PM

Congratulations Nikki!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/28 at 10:14 PM

Nikki - stories like yours keep me motivated to stick out the hunt.  Congratulations!  It also goes to show (what Marc Anthony mentioned) that you minimal calling - or even no calling! - can increase your success.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/29 at 10:52 AM

hey not bad for a girl!! did ur dad have any luck? maybe u can guide him next time! tell ur dad good things come to those who wait and he just may get that big one!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/30 at 05:47 PM

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