The Gray Turkey

April 25, 2014 - Mathews Inc

by Jennifer Nolte, Contributed to Turkey & Turkey Hunting

When I woke up, I didn’t feel too optimistic about the hunt. Boy was I wrong.

The first day of my five-day turkey hunt, my husband, Chad , and I went scouting. We were having a hard time locating birds because of some crazy weather.

We decided to check out some public land where Chad had experienced luck with turkeys previously. As we drove past, we spotted a couple of turkeys. Chad got the Nikon binos out and couldn’t believe what he saw: two normal-colored hens, two normal-colored jakes and two gray toms. I couldn’t believe what he said.

“Gray, are you sure?” I said.

I had to look through the binoculars myself, but he was right. We had never seen a turkey of that color phase in Minnesota.

“This is going to be a miracle if we can call this bird in,” I thought.”We have to go after him,” Chad said, as we walked to where we thought the turkey might come.

Chad started calling, and the turkey was not very responsive. Two hours passed, but we could never call the turkey in. Eventually, we had to pack up and head out because it was getting dark. I was really disappointed, not knowing if I would get back in the woods because of work and our 6-month-old little girl.

Smoke Phase Turkey Female MathewsThe next day, we decided not to hunt because it was raining, cold and windy. I decided I would go the next morning… on my birthday.

When Chad and I woke up, I didn’t feel too optimistic about the hunt, because it was still really cold and windy. I didn’t think we would see or even hear any turkeys. Boy was I wrong.

We loaded up the truck and headed to where we had seen the gray turkey two days earlier. When we got set up, Chad saw the turkeys a long way away. He pulled out all the stops with his calling because he wanted me to get that bird! The turkeys were more than a half-mile away, and I could not believe it when they heard his call, did a 180 and started to head our way. We had sat in the blind for maybe 10 minutes, and sure enough, they came over the hill and headed straight for our decoys.

My heart was racing, hoping I would make a good shot.

As the gray tom came closer, I thought for sure he would stop at the decoys and put on a little show. However, with the high winds, he just kept walking, so I shot an arrow at him at eight yards. After the shot, I thought I’d missed. I couldn’t see my arrow, and the gobbler kept walking away.

I tried to nock another arrow, and Chad told me to aim for 40 yards. I did, and wham! I knew I had smoked the gobbler that time!

I was pretty much speechless. I had just shot a colored-phase turkey with a double beard in Minnesota on public land on my birthday!!

I couldn’t believe that Chad and I had made it happen. We had seen the turkey, Chad had called him in, and I’d made the shot with my Mathews Passion! It will be the most memorable turkey hunt I’ll ever have, and I got to share it with my favorite hunting partner.

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