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Never been turkey hunting before?

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Never been turkey hunting before?

A guided turkey hunt in Ontario. • Credit: James Smedley

Learn how to hunt from an expert guide



Less than ten minutes after setting up along the fenceline we hear the gobbling of roosted birds. Our decoy spread consists of one strutting tom and two hen decoys placed twenty yards out from a hedgerow in an open field. As soon as the turkeys are on the ground, our guide, Luke Scherders, makes a series of yelps. The response of gobbles is immediate. Two minutes later another yelp produces gobbles that now sound much closer. A few seconds later, four toms move out from the hardwood bush about 100 yards away. They don’t hesitate in the least, charging towards our decoys.

Setting up a Turkey Decoy Setting up a turkey decoy while hunting wild turkey in Ontario. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

At twenty yards out, Scherders gives out a single hen cluck on his mouth call. The largest tom, in the lead, puts on the brakes and I shoot. Dave Mills, my hunting partner, drops the second bird almost simultaneously. As we walk out to tag our birds I can’t believe what has just taken place for a couple of rookie turkey hunters.

Four years earlier I took my turkey course with high expectations. Little did I realize how challenging turkey hunting can be. After two seasons and not even sighting a turkey I realized that help was needed. It came after a phone call to Grey Bruce Outfitters in Southwestern Ontario. Steve Todtz one of the co-owners told me there were lots of turkeys in his area and the last few years his success rate had been well over 80 per cent on a daily basis. “My guides are always more than willing to show clients scouting techniques, decoy placement and calling,” he added.

The hunt was scheduled for two days during the first week of the season. We drove up Highway 9 toward the Walkerton area, past the gently rolling terrain of prime agricultural land. Dairy, hobby and cash crop farms were intermixed with hardwood bush and cedar swamps. Hedgerows and wooded strips bordered almost all the fields. We knew we were in prime turkey country when we saw scattered groups of hens and toms during our mid-afternoon drive.

Another Successful Turkey Hunt in Ontario Another Successful Turkey Hunt in Ontario. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

Grey Bruce Outfitters has been in operation for ten years and operates within a thirty mile radius of Walkerton. With access to over 10,000 acres of land their guides spend many hours each day scouting for the next day’s location. The hunt usually runs from sunrise to about 10 a.m. and then from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with two hunters per guide. If there is a lack of turkey activity at the initial location the guide will move to other pre-scouted areas over the course of the day.

We only hunted an hour our second day before my partner Dave Mills managed to down a 16-pound jake. Add that to our two toms the previous morning and these two rookie turkey hunters were more than satisfied. There are no guarantees in life but Grey Bruce Outfitters do their best to provide a quality turkey hunt.

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