Tuesday, May 22, 2012

4 men, a Lady, and Tickinois

We decided we would take a trip to Illinois to do a little turkey hunting. A friend of ours has some land and it was suppose to be covered up with turkeys. My husband, Shane, is a big turkey hunter, me, not so much. In fact  I have never turkey hunted before. We took all 3 boys with us on this trip. Two of which have been turkey hunting, but Holt and I are  were rookies.
We left on a Thursday night 935 PM to be exact after Gage and Owen's little league game. I managed to drive until about 330 AM and had to pull over somewhere in Missouri. I had had all I could take. I had chewed 2 packs of gum, and had listened to the radio loudly while all of the men folk( ages 30 something, 10, 8, and 5) were snoring away. Every now and then one would wake up to see where we were, and Shane woke up long enough to guide me through the back way of Memphis., TN. When I finally pulled over and switched from driver to passenger, I was able to sleep a few hours before we stopped to fill up and the boys woke up. There was NO going back to sleep after that because they were full of a thousand questions. I mean did they think of all these questions while they slept..GEEEZZ!
Let me just say I have never seen fields for miles and miles like they have in Illinois. Down here we don't see that because we are covered up with forest. It  took a little getting use to.
We went through Mark Twain's home town, and got all kinds of questions like " Who is Mark Twain?"...Really? I thought they would have learned that in school by now?!
We rolled into Carthage, IL about 10 AM.
I was tired and ill and wanted to sleep. BUT NO! We had to go set up the blind for turkey hunting...not a happy camper!
After we got all that done we checked into the Prairie Winds Motel...can you say Anthony Perkins type, you know from, Psycho???  I t was a good little motel though and the people were friendly, even though the thought we had accents. Anyway, I finally got to sleep. I am sure everyone was thankful of that.
The next day, 430 AM came awful early, we made it to our spots. We were suppose to be able to sit in the blind and kill a turkey, but that was not the case. Illinois had had a mild winter and everything was about a month early. The grass was thigh high and extremely thick. Owen, Holt  and I wasted our first morning, but I didn't know what I was doing anyway. Shane, however, managed to kill one quickly.

Over the weekend we met up with some friends of ours that live there. Ryan took Holt and me hunting one morning. We walked and climbed listening and moving. Let's just say this was not flat country we were on here, it was uphill both was... We finally get on a turkey and he is gobbling his head off. We had to move on him several times because he was on another ridge. We sat and waited and he finally made an appearance. Only he was behind some thick trees and undergrowth. He was hung up for about 20 minutes just gobblin' and struttin'. He finally decided to mosey on around into a clearing where I could get a shot. AND BANG!!!! I would love to show you a picture of the turkey I killed, but I MISSED! Yep that's right shot right over him....WTH!! As soon as we realized I had missed, Holt says to me " Momma, were you aiming?" and " Its my turn to shot now because you missed you didn't aim very well?" He continued to give me third degree about missing...really? Your 5 and you are giving me the blues about missing a turkey?
While all this was going on Shane had the older 2 boys, and Gage wouldn't pull the trigger and Owen missed too.
Well Ryan had to go back to work the next day, so I was on my own. Shane gave me a lesson on using a slate call that evening. The next day I tromped through the woods with Gage as a tag along while Owen and Holt went with Shane. Wish I could show you a picture of a turkey here too, but  we had technical difficulties like scaring a turkey off the roost. Then we were able to get on 2 turkeys both gobblin and struttin'. They were coming up the ridge all I could see were the very tops of the tail feathers when the strutted, and the tip of their heads when they gobbled. They were coming, I just knew they were about to top the hill, when, ***POOF**** off they went. I don't know what happened. SO I was one ticked off lady.
The next day we were at it again.Owen and I ventured back into the woods. Once again I scared a turkey off the roost, I am so terrible at this! I finally get on a turkey and I am waiting and waiting, he is gobbling like crazy and all of a sudden he stops and I never here another word. Not sure what happened, but we had seen a coyote upclose and personal the afternoon before. Shane and I were walking towards the creek when we met the coyote literally face to face at the top of a hill. We were both caught so off guard we just stood there and the coyote ran off. I think we scared it as much as it scared us becuase it had a look on its face like WTH???!! wen hears two more turkeys and as we are easing up the road we come up on two gobblers in the road and scare them...yes I suck I know! While Owen and I were hunting Shane, Holt and Gage were hunting and once again Gage would not pull the trigger on his turkey.
This place did have a lot of turkeys, but I couldn't get it done. Let me just say that turkey hunting is a lot of work, and is literally for the birds. Will I doit again? Maybe, but it is the most frustrating thing to be on a turkey and it change its mind about what it wants to do. There were alot of ugly words said these few days.

Let me tell you what we did manage to get though, TICKS, and lots of them. They were everywhere. Everyday we would get about 20 off of us and then when we made it back to the motel we would find more. They were so bad that we find them in the truck and on the outside of the truck. The place that we hunted, use to be a dairy farm, had not been farmed in many years  and they had not done any burning, so it was a tick oasis. The boys aptly named it Tickinois.


  1. Damn Buzzard RoostMay 24, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Love it Erica! Keep em coming.

  2. Oh It reminds me a lot when we hunt in Illinois. We really had a great time even we kinda lost but thanks to the My Hunting Lands maps application, we found a way out and had a great time. oh maybe you should check it out also. Maybe it can help you someday when you find go for a hunting trip or something. =) I'll give you a link to their app. hope it would help you next time.
    Click Here! =)