Ground Blind Tactics | Success During Spring Turkey Hunting

JEREMY FLINN

05/03/2016

Turkey season has finally arrived in the Midwest! Join The Buck Advisors’ Weston Schrank and his dad for a successful spring turkey hunt on a small 40 acre property in Indiana!

With what feels like an early and warm spring starting to feel more like summer, the long anticipated spring turkey season has finally arrived in Indiana! This anticipation was only being satisfied with weeks of scouting turkeys and practicing for the day turkey season finally arrived. When it comes to turkey season picking out a spot for the first morning you go out can be stressful. Picking out the perfect decoy spot, perfect ground blind location, and best place to set up can eat at you the night before. When it comes to turkey hunting on small properties, there are not a whole lot of choices on where to set up. Luckily we picked the right spot that lead to a perfect hunt!

We have about 40 acres in southern Indiana that is mainly composed of mature hardwoods and one northeast facing ridge with a 50 ft. drop and only one logging road to the bottom ag fields beneath. If anyone has ever hunted timber toms, and more specifically in topography like rolling hills and cliffs knows how difficult hunting birds can be. The birds roost on the edge of the cliffs and hills, flying horizontally to their roost, giving them a 50% chance of either flying down to the Ag fields or on the ridge. It’s all about persuasion….

We set up the Muddy Ground Blind and the decoys halfway up the ridge about 60 yards uphill from the roosted birds. We knew it would be tough to get the birds to fly onto the ridge, last year our efforts turned fruitless as the turkeys flew to the Ag fields every morning. Recalling the terrible view in my mind, every morning we would be in the blind or leaning against an oak, we would see what appeared to be harrier jets flying level to the ridge from their roosts and landing about 400 yards off the property boundary in the Ag fields below. It was cool thing to see a turkey glide that far from the heights of our ridge but as you can imagine extremely frustrating. This year we knew we had to change our approach. Roosting the birds the night before, we set up the blind and decoys out about 60 yards from the birds. I started calling with some soft yelps and as the morning grew lighter my call grew louder. We didn’t hear a gobbler until well after they flew down, and after a couple hits, sounded like they were working away. Our excitement again turned to frustration, as they were most likely already off the property. When dealing with turkey hunting on small properties you cannot let your frustrations get the best of you. As you can see from the video, things turned around fast. Some cuts and excited yelps got us back in the game as what sounded like 3 birds got closer. It wasn’t long until we heard spit, drum and a gobble about 10 yards from the blind. Two birds worked their way into the set, one committed and one suspicious. Luckily we were in a very dark ground blind, with black clothes on and darkened faces thanks to Carbomask hunting face paint. As the birds went behind a mature sugar maple, the shotgun went up and one successful shot later the more suspicious bird of the two was flopping!
Yes, we could have doubled easily but one bird was enough especially since we still were filming for the Her Quest Series with Jessica, hopefully getting her a bird the next day.

This hunt was unforgettable, as are all hunts, but more so since it was another hunt with my father in the books. It was connecting with my father with my career, my passion, and our love of the outdoors. The successful turkey hunt on the small property was just another indication we did things right and just some icing on the cake.

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