Turkey hunting is more than just the gun going off, it’s the challenge and the reward


Turkey hunting requires some early mornings and some stealthy movements. Turkeys have a 270-degree eyesight range and have three times better eyes than humans. 

To me, it’s more than killing a bird. A turkey has one of the best eyesights on land, which makes it really hard to shoot one because of how good they can see you,” Nolan Parker said. 

Turkey season in Wisconsin is in the spring, a time when people might not like to go outside due to the weather. Turkeys themselves breed during the spring. Calling can be a challenge if a “Gobbler” already has a hen.

“Calling the bird in is my favorite part because you get to hear a bunch of gobbles, and every time they get closer, it gets even more exciting,” Parker said. 

Teaching the young generations is a large part of keeping the turkey hunting spirit alive. In Wisconsin, youth get an early “youth hunt” which is approximately three days before the regular season. There are six regular seasons, all seven days long. 

“I am not teaching it to non-family members, and only if my kids are interested in it I will teach them,” history teacher Michael Shepard said. 

While turkey hunting, hunters may face many challenges, from calling the bird in, to picking out the biggest and prettiest bird or falling asleep. 

“The first turkey that I shot happened after I took a 30-minute nap, leaning against a tree. I heard a gobble, got a good shot, missed, then I got up quickly, shot another time, and I finally connected with the bird and killed it,” Parker said. 

The kill shot for turkeys with a shotgun is the base of the neck to the head. With a bow, it is the heart and lungs, which are in the middle to the front part of the body. The type of ammunition used to kill a turkey is different than the average game load. A game load being 7 or 8 shot, a turkey shell is anywhere from 4 to 7 shot. The bigger the number, the smaller the BB. 

“A turkey’s head can be about the size of a golf ball, so it can be hard to make a clean shot with a small head. Not being in the right position to make a good shot can make it even harder, too,” Parker said. 

Turkeys are often known as being the main course of a Thanksgiving meal. Wild turkeys are also edible. 

I killed my turkey so we could eat it. I believe most people should think the same way,” Michael Jessie said. 

Turkeys are a wild game. Sometimes it can have a weird taste, but a saltwater bath takes some of that out. It all starts with the adrenaline from the shot. 

 Adrenaline is something that every person gets during their life. Lots of hunters get it when they shoot a big buck or a big turkey. 

Your blood starts pumping, you might shake some, and you probably get jittery. 

“My adrenaline runs when I hear a turkey because you never know what the birds are going to do. There are so many places they could travel to, that would take them away from you. Pulling the trigger becomes an action.  Several minutes afterwards is when it hits.  Lots of shaking,” Shepard said. 

Waking up early, getting into your blind or tree stand or sitting on the ground. Hearing the world wake up is something not a lot of people get to do. The sunrise, the chirping of birds, the crows making noise, then the turkeys coming off the roost and hearing that first morning gobble.

“It’s being up before all of the daytime animals, listening to the world slowly wake up,” Shepard said.