East Side Turkey Hunt


Active Member
Left Bellingham last Wednesday for the east side, hunted Thursday through Saturday with all three guys in our group getting a bird. I got mine on Friday morning; best day with regards to weather, but birds were quiet.
Got out around 8:30 let out a few calls and got a response that seemed to be well over a 1/2 mile away...started hiking and calling, however got no response. Quickly set up the decoys thinking that 'He' was moving towards us. Hung around for 30-40 minutes and broke for another spot closer to the initial response direction. Set up in this great alpine meadow looking downhill over sparse old growth ponderosa pines. Gave this spot 30 minutes and decided that Bob should hike back and grab the truck since we've not heard or seen anything for an hour and time was a waste'n! I told Sid "this looks to perfect and that I was going to sneak downhill 1/4 mile and give some calls." Made my way down the slope gave a few calls...nothing for 20 minutes. Heard Bob coming up the road so I turned to head up hill...walked within 50 yards of our setup and this little 'voice' inside my head said "look left!"...turned to look left and saw this dark object laying in 'very' sparse brush 8 yards away...thought for a split second funny spot for a chared stump...thats when I noticed the lavender head...then the tan terminal band forming an arc..."SHIT THAAAATS A TURKEY!" Just as this hit my brain I saw his eyes twitch! Dropped my call...clicked the safety off, started to draw my shotgun when he flushes downhill in a loud cackling, wing flapping, leg running burst! I squeeze first round...and winged him...he goes ass over tea kettle, and proceeds to run into the think brush on the side of the meadow...I hit him again just before he made it to the thick crap! A few moments later I was hauling my first Rio/turkey...18 pounds with a 9" beard! So my first Turkey was really like hunting pheasant...he sat there like a pheasant...low to the ground and still as a rock that is until he saw me raise my shotgun! So we concluded that I must have called him in after we decided to pickup since he was no more than 40 yards below where I was sitting prior to, and we would have easily seen him slide into that spot. He probably hunkered down because Sid was above him packing up the decoys, and then I just happened to come in below him (down wind)unexpectedly.

Now I just have to convince my wife that tag number two needs to be filled! I am definitely hooked...I still can't believe 3 days later that I "flushed" my first turkey...hell If I knew that was going to happen I would have had my modified or improved cylender choke in the barrel :thumb:



Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
Nice report Andrew and nice bird!! Guess I'll have to add a turkey hunt on my list, now that I picked up a shotgun. I think I'm more interested in upland bird hunting, but will do some duck and other stuff as well.

Bill :thumb:

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
Nice work, Andrew. Got yourself a bird and learnt a good lesson about turkey hunting:
If you call, and get a response, stay put and wait 'em out. They don't always call as they come, but they know where the call came from and if they're going to come in, they're going to come to that spot. They really have the ability to lock onto a location. Happened to me the 2nd year I hunted for them- I called, he replied. I waited, but ran out of patience and moved 3o yards. And he played me for a fool. coming right to where I HAD been, but not to where I had moved to. Congrats- now go fill that second tag. You have to- since you paid for it. Simple economics that will reduce the cost of your first bird:D
Good on you.
Flushing turkeys sounds like more fun than setting and waiting.
Several years ago my son and I were hunting quail up in the canyon in a big dogwood thicket, the dogs were going crazy and we were expecting birds to be flying at anytime.
When out the other side of the thicket comes a 1/2 dozen turkeys with my male Golden right on their ass.
These birds don't fly they just run up the canyon wall, my dog stops and looks at me, like to say these are the biggest quail we've ever seen and you are not shooting'em.
once you guys experience the thrill of a tom coming into the call and gobbling the entire time, you will see what turkey hunting is all about. It is awesome.
Congrats of the bird. I still havent even made it out :(


Active Member

First day was like that...we had a hen strut around our decoys and two Toms followed her...actually one of the guys in our group had just watched no more than 20 yards in front of him the Tom he dropped mount a hen. I agree the excitement of a bunch of worked up Toms is awesome...especially when you 'talk' to them back and forth. The Tom that was talking we never saw...he must have been the dominant bird and the other Toms were taking full advantage of the prospect of new hens in 'town'.

I'd like to warn those hunters with bad 'tickers' to not turkey hunt...my heart was testing the tensile strength of my rib cage! :clown:
I'm moving to Bellingham at the end of the month. Did not know Washington had Rio Grande's. My wife will not be impressed but I am. Bringing my quail dog with me as well as my fly rods. This move just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for the story Andrew, I just love to hunt those spring toms when they get their brains fried for hens....... thinking with the little head can get you killed:ray1:.... Frank


Active Member

Hey give me a shout when you get to 'town' I was a newby 10 years ago...and I know what it is like trying to figure a new state out with regard to fishing and hunting.

Maybe my knucklehead lab and your quail chasing dog can find us some birds at the local release sites!?

I'm glad to here there are turkey out this way, when I moved from Wisconsin after spring season I was worried I wouldn't be able to get a chance at the other sub species.

Nice job, impressive success rate!