Why a Good Turkey Hunting Spot Will Always Be There


My buddies and I take an end-of-season turkey road trip to Nebraska every May. There’s a particular sand hill on the farm where we hunt, and that’s where I usually spend my last day of the season. Nate and I found the place on the last morning of the trip a few years ago, when a longbeard that had been roosting alone in a grove of cottonwoods took off, engulfed us in a frenzy, then walked right on. suite in what seemed like a square mile of nothing. We followed him, calling as we went to keep an eye out, with no cover to hide except for breaks in the landscape and scattered yuccas.

The turkey responded to every note, but each time from further away, until we couldn’t hear it at all. But we kept on searching until we came to the hill. It was an unusually tall and narrow peak for the area. Realizing we had lost the turkey, Nate sat down to smoke and I snuck up to the top of the hill to have a look. There was the gobbler, strutting below me, 75 yards away. I screamed and he walked straight towards me, as if he had planned so much all along. I fired a 12 caliber bolt over his head from 30 yards and watched him fly away.

Nate walked over and looked down the hill. “He was standing there?” He asked.

It seemed like a random place for a turkey. But I learned to love the place. On the last day of our 2019 road trip, I walked up the hill alone, passing glass and calling, and spotted a turkey strutting around with five hens. Looking at it, I realized it was a jake, but I didn’t care. I made a wide circle around the hill, moved over him and shot him down from 40 yards. He had a particularly white fan. I drove it back to camp, satisfied with the end of another long turkey season, but wondering what it was about that sand hill that was attracting the turkeys.

Read more: The Turkey Gear Hall of Fame

I thought about this hill a lot in 2020, when I realized how much I missed seeing it. Nebraska suspended sales of non-resident turkey permits at the start of the pandemic, and my home state of Kentucky completely closed its borders to out-of-state travel. My buddies and I all hunted almost alone that year, and for the first time in ages we didn’t load up the truck for Nebraska in May. Turkey’s season has simply ended.

But it’s another year now, and comeback plans are set. And that’s the good thing about a wild place like this sand hill. I haven’t seen it in a few years – and maybe no one else has either. But it’s comforting to know it’s still there, and for some weird reason, there’s probably going to be a turkey strutting around on it, too.


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