It’s that time of the year! Temperatures are dropping and animals and water fowl are getting active!
I’ve got a couple of good hunting stories to share with this blog.
Scott Hootman – my fishing and hunting partner – and I headed up to his lake house – it’s located right on Sturgeon Bay. It’s a waterfowl mecca. We planned on hunting goose and ducks with an added bonus of the trip being able to hunt fall turkey on a friend’s farm in the area.
My cousins, Bruce and Bill Bennett were also hunting deer down on the family farms. More about their hunting later….
Scott and I arrived at his place on Thursday. We relaxed for the evening and prepared for goose hunting the next morning.
As is typically the case, morning always comes early – but by 6:30 am we were seated out by his boat house calling in geese. We saw lots of geese and got a couple of good shots. Hooter downed two birds – he’s a great shot. Here’s a picture of one of them:
And of course we had to eat our harvest that evening. Scott does a great job of cooking wild game and his goose dish was no exception. He cooked this goose with garlic, green onion, orange and orange juice, and other ingredients – and it was nothing short of spectacular. He paired the goose with roasted vegetables, baked sweet potatoes and a great red wine. What an awesome meal!
After hunting Friday morning and a quick breakfast, we headed out to our friend’s farm to scout for turkey. He lives up in the northern part of Door County so getting there took almost an hour. As we pulled into his driveway he came out of one of his out buildings and greeted us. After chatting for a little bit, we headed out to walk his farm. He has 80 acres and sees turkeys regularly. We walked the boundary of all 80 acres – even kicked up a turkey. Yep, this was going to be good! We build a blind where we could both sit – we felt like it was a premium spot that would funnel turkeys from a roosting woods to an open field. We were optimistic that tomorrow would be a productive outing! We said our goodbyes and headed back to southern Door County to Sturgeon Bay.
Saturday morning we were up by 4:30 am and headed to our friend’s farm. We arrived there shortly before 6:00 am, walked through the farm until we were at our blind. We sat up three decoys and settled in.
It wasn’t long until we started seeing light in the east. We waited for the turkeys to arrive in droves! Well, unfortunately we weren’t having turkeys coming in to my kee-kee runs or common yelps. And then finally, shortly before 8:00 am I spotted a hen and some juvenile turkeys moving through the “funnel” to the open field. But these turkeys headed north (not east) and I was afraid we’d seen the last of them. I kept calling. In a few minutes, the hen and juveniles popped their heads up along the north side of the stone fence we were sitting against, and they were heading our way. Finally, the turkeys were within about 20 feet from us, but were behind us. Both Scott and I could see their reaction to my calls. As they would lose interest in our decoys, they’d start to move north away from us. I’d purr and cluck and she’d come back to the stone fence. Finally, the purring got to her and she committed to moving across the stone fence and in to the open field to join our decoys.
Given the proximity of the turkeys – maybe 15 feet, Scott couldn’t move to get his gun up – we’d be busted for sure – and mine was on my knee so as the turkey moved across us to the open field I was able to slowly raise my gun. I pulled the trigger and the turkey dropped at 15 yards. As the other turkeys took to the air, Hooter was able to drop one in flight! It was a great shot. So in a matter of minutes we had limited out – what fun! We were grateful for the opportunity to hunt on our friend’s farm and also grateful to score two turkeys.
Here’s a picture of my bird:
That evening, we had a great dinner of fried turkey breast, grilled New York strips, roasted vegetables, and a hearty red wine.
Sunday morning we hunted waterfowl and Scott brought down a beautiful teal.
Later that morning we both headed home – what a great trip!
Now, back to my cousins Bill and Bruce – both of them were deer hunting in southern Illinois. And they both scored! Here’s a picture of Bruce’s deer. It was a big doe, 140 pounds on the hoof, field dressed at 100 pounds. Congratulations to both Bruce and Bill for their deer!