Oregon Turkeys: Closing Out A Stellar Spring Season In Style

When a trio of turkey chasers takes on cagey late-season birds, some serious patience wins the day.

by Mike Nelson

Partnership Director MORE FROM Mike

When a trio of turkey chasers takes on cagey late-season birds, some serious patience wins the day.

What a spring it was chasing turkeys in my home state of Oregon. As you might have read here previously, I’m an unabashed turkey hunting fanatic, and make it a point to chase these regal birds with friends and family each and every spring—at least as much as time, work and opportunity allows. Unfortunately, every spring season must come to an end, but this year, I was able to close it out in style, surrounded by friends and some stunning Oregon scenery, during a late-season hunt I won’t soon forget.

OregonTurks1 900One of the highlights for me, was when Skyler Pace from Pure Archery Group (shown above) knocked over a fine Oregon gobbler, after receiving a heart-pounding, two-hour show that began with multiple gobblers sounding off on the roost, and continued right through fly down that occurred virtually in front of us—but just out of range. That was followed by still more tense minutes of out-of-range strutting, and a bit of late-season frustration. But patience, as it usually does in turkey hunting, paid off in the end. After some final coaxing from my Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls slate, Skyler shot his first-ever bird at 52 yards, helped along by the mighty power of a Federal Heavyweight TSS load…in my opinion, the undisputed turkey shotshell of the year. Congrats Skyler on your first gobbler, hopefully the start of many, many more. Skyler had hoped to take his first tom with his Bowtech compound, but this late in the season, the birds become notoriously decoy-shy, which makes it a whole lot tougher to get a good bow shot. Next year Skyler!

As a bonus, I was able to take a nice jake out of the very same blind, some 45 minutes later. The bird had a 5-inch beard and weighed an impressive 17 pounds; some might call a bird like that a “super jake,” and I surely was thrilled, but the photos do not do it justice. Why? My jake ended up falling in a creek and admittedly, looked a bit rough. But you can bet it won’t disappoint once on the table.

It should be noted that the patience of the third hunter of our group, Shawn Skipper of Leupold, was seriously tested on this adventure. However, Skipper’s laser focus was eventually rewarded as well, when he toppled a sure-to-be tasty jake at 52 yards, with help from his Leupold red dot scope. Personally, I’ve become a serious red dot fan this year; while using one my confidence at all ranges has increased dramatically, and the results have been nothing less than impressive.OregonTurks2 900From start to finish, this Oregon hunt was a great way to end the season, and we’re already dreaming of gobbles on the roost for next spring. From all of us here at Team HuntStand, we hope your 2021 spring turkey hunts were memorable and productive. And like many of you, we’re already strategizing for 2022. As you plan, remember to tap into the amazing power of the HuntStand app—be sure to review where you logged the hottest patterns, sign and activity in 2021—and don’t forget to consult the property lines feature found in HuntStand Pro that will point the way to public and private land boundaries, and helpful landowner information, all at a glance.

It should be noted this late-spring hunt unfolded with help from Jody Smith Guide Service out of Elkton, Oregon. Smith has access to some of the best turkey ground this side of the Mississippi, and Smith will also help you catch the state’s impressive sturgeon and smallmouth bass, and come fall, he offers a complete slate of adventurous big game hunting opportunities.




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