It's Turkey Time

Spring arrives and everyone is ready to shake off the cabin fever

Winter can be long here in Ontario so when spring arrives everyone is ready to shake off the cabin fever and get outside. Eastern wild turkeys were reintroduced to the province back in the 1980s and the project was a huge success because as the turkey populations have exploded, so have the hunting opportunities.

We are no different than everyone else, so when the late April season opens we are ready and waiting. Last spring we headed to Southwestern Ontario to target some big mature birds. We had seen some great toms on the farms we were hunting and the first morning started off like a dream.

Paul and Keith were in a ground blind on the opposite side of the field from where the birds were roosting. The crack of dawn was ushered in with thunderous gobbles from multiple toms on the roost. It was a thrilling sight as the silhouettes of dozens of turkeys became visible in the treetops. With a decoy set 11 yards in front of the blind, we waited patiently while letting some soft clucks and yelps from our slate call. When the birds pitched down into the field, the toms immediately went into strut, all five of them about 100 yards away. They seemed more concerned with showing off to the hens around them than they were with coming to see the hen decoy that was calling to them.

Turkey Hunting in Ontario, can be done with gun or bow
Turkey hunting in Ontario can be done with a gun or bow. (Photo credit: Canada in the Rough)

With continued calling, we finally lured a hen over to our decoy. One tom out of the group saw his chance and followed her. When he reached the hen decoy, Keith was already at full draw and anchored him on the spot. As his bird crumpled, the other toms ran straight to him and began a frenzied burst of fighting purrs while jumping on him and pecking him. Paul was at full draw for a while as he waited for one bird to break free from the pack to allow him an ethical shot without fear of hitting two birds. When the opportunity presented itself, he seized the moment by anchoring a second one right beside the first.

We were thrilled as we had just taken two huge toms on a doubleheader with the bow. We later found out that Kevin shot a big tom a little earlier in the morning than ours with his shotgun on another farm. It was an eastern wild turkey hunt in Ontario for the ages!

One of the Beasley brothers poses with his Turkey harvested in Ontario
One of the Beasley brothers poses with his Turkey harvested in Ontario. (Photo credit: Canada in the Rough)
About Keith Beasley

Keith Beasley was among the first Canadians to be elected to sit on the prestigious Board of Directors for the U.S.-based Quality Deer Management Association, and in addition to his field experience as a whitetail hunter, the insight and educational exposure he has had to whitetail deer and whitetail deer management through the QDMA is second to none.

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