Hunting Turkey Near Owen Sound

It was an odd turkey opener. I awoke to a layer of snow coating the field, leaving me wondering what would happen with my nicely patterned birds.

I hunt a family farm near Owen Sound with a healthy population of turkeys and a mix of fields and woods. On opening morning I hid amongst planted pines on the field edge and shortly before daylight let out a few soft tree calls that were met by a thunderous gobble. As daylight crept in, the tom’s gobbling increased. I made a few subtle calls, reminding him I was here, before quieting down at daybreak.

A Crowd from the Trees

Within minutes of legal shooting time, massive wing beats erupted above my head, as several birds settled within 10 yards of me. I watched birds pile in until more than 20 were on the ground. I sat stock-still, scared to breathe, with 40-plus watchful eyes nearby. A loud gobble helped me pinpoint the big tom, strutting right in front of me.

Turkey tracks show up well on a snow-covered bridge in Grey Bruce County.

It took everything in me to patiently wait to raise my gun. While birds fed away from me, I carefully raised my gun, drawing the attention of nearby jakes and hens. As they nervously looked at me, I settled my bead on the big gobbler’s head, but there were several birds in the way. The tom picked up on the nervousness of the other birds and went from full strut to retreat mode. I kept a bead on him, waiting for him to clear. I let out a few clucks on the diaphragm call. With a textbook response, he paused, stuck his head high, and within a half-hour of legal I had a big tom kicking in the snow.

Turkey Terrain

Together, Grey and Bruce Counties surround Owen Sound, are bordered by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, and stretch up the Bruce Peninsula. Turkey hunters have a choice of securing permission to hunt private land or hunting public land. In addition to hunting the family farm, I regularly hunt a block of Grey County Forest, a public hardwood stand with a healthy turkey population. With a bit of research, hunters can find access to productive public turkey terrain.

Another option is to hunt with an outfitter who will have local knowledge, experience, and access to prime hunting land.

Whether you hunt private land, public land, or through an outfitter, Grey Bruce County is a great place to look for your spring turkey.

(All photo credits: Tom Armstrong)
About Tom Armstrong

Tom Armstrong is an outdoorsman living in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and as an ardent angler, hunter and sportsman, he has turned this passion for the outdoors into a hobby as an Outdoors Writer and Photographer.

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