Mirriam’s Turkey Tom, a common species in Idaho’s SE regions, Photo taken by Karon Melilo DeVega

When I married Tj it didn’t take a very keen eye to notice how much of complete opposites we were in the world. He was a hunter, a baseball fan, and the perfect definition of an extrovert. Me; on the other hand- was the opposite; a hunting virgin in a sense. I wasn’t sure what hunting would entail but boy did I get I learn quickly.

Since our recent relocation took us to the valleys of South East Idaho, Tj found that he could go turkey hunting for a fairly cheap price; and since Coronavirus made all our normal dating activities void we decided to give hunting a chance.

My previous experience of watching a turkey drown itself in rain gave me the illusion that turkey hunting would be easy, the birds were practically begging for death already, so I figured one or two hunting trips and we could pin a nice fan to the wall. Already had contacted a custom woodworking shop to make the plaque for me. However- Turkeys in captivity are not a fair comparison to turkey found in the wild.

My morning began at 3 o’clock when my son woke up for a feeding. Figuring the time for him to eat, change his diaper, and everything else involved with a tiny child it was pointless to end up going back to sleep. At four is when I would wake up to and get him ready to go, and we would try to be out by 4:30 am in order to get to the Pocatello area by 5:45ish. By 6 we had our blind set up, the gun loaded, and would start our morning with turkey calls.

I’d settle down and read a book, looking up every once in a while to see if there were any turkey’s present. Every once in a while we would get excited to hear something with wings flutter, and we would always assume that it was a turkey. Tj was excited to hear gobbling, but it seemed that the turkeys would get farther and farther away.

By ten in the morning, my stomach would protest in hunger and though I had a plethora f snacks, those would be gone by eight. With no turkeys in sight and very little hope left of getting one, we left most of our hunting trips.

One day on a swath of private land I went up ahead and scouted where this elusive turkey might have gone. Were they going down farther into the valley where some cows were? was there a pond or a random grouping of trees they were nesting in? Where could those elusive birds have gone?

With a friend, Tj got fairly close to shooting one before a deer made them all runoff. Disappointed, this spring we got no turkey. Turkey’s are a lot smarter than you think.

However, I am looking forward to the fall hunt. With my research, I have found out that turkeys in the fall are less interested in getting with the hens, and are thinking with their stomachs. Which would put us on the same thought process. They are thinking about their territory and little seeds, and I am thinking about putting one of them on my table for thanksgiving.

In short, if you are brand new to turkey hunting like I am, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that they would be easy to hunt. I have learned a lot since the spring and with a good amount of luck, hopefully, Tj will get us a good turkey this year.