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April/May 2015 - Chasing Spring Turkeys

by Boomer Stelmach

Signs of Spring are showing in the Midwest, the snow is melting & the days are getting longer.  This morning’s coffee tastes extra awesome, cause it includes me dreaming about chasing Gobblers in South Dakota, Wisconsin & Minnesota.  This love affair started 15yrs ago in Missouri and continues to consume me every Spring!

Scouting – Turkeys are creatures of habit, they typically retire at sundown (roost) to the same tree bunch & follow the same trails in the woods/hills/fields.   Grab yourself a pair of binoculars & start patterning the birds on your land.  Scouting can vary from driving your favorite pick-up truck down a country road or camo up with a spot/stalk adventure.   Don’t get closer than 200 yards while Scouting, you want to keep everything as “normal” as possible – leading up to your hunt!  Scouting the evening before becomes a ritual for my hunting crew/I; the same country songs, 30lb+ Turkey stories and an old Thermos with decaf coffee.   Have fun with it, but take it serious – plan on minimum an hour for a good quality Scouting Mission.

Blending in the Woods – Turkeys have amazing eyesight and are very observant creatures, hence they are hunted by predators every day.  Leverage “MotherNature”,  the best camo is natural SHADE.    When I’m spot/stalking or taking a more permanent position; I always try to stay in the shade.   You movement is more concealed and less opportunity for the sun to shine/reflect off your gear & gun.    I also tend to favor darker camo patterns for increased flexibility in the woods/field.

One last item, I still worry about scent control and will wear my ScentBlocker RECON gear when chasing Gobblers.  Yep,  I understand Turkey’s don’t focus on scent but other pesky critters in the woods do;   I’ve spent so much time prepping to hunt this beautiful Merriam - why chance a WhiteTail winding me that alerts the entire woods.  

Mobility – There’s been some awesome Technology & Innovation over the last few years in Turkey Hunting – especially in Ground Blinds & Turkey Vests.     This year I’ll bring a couple of my Clam Elite Hunter blinds ( on the my Turkey adventures,  cause they conceal movement well when hunting with a buddy.   The key to Ground Blinds Shade placemnt (sound familiar) and keep the back windows covered (sunshine doesn’t come thru).  

When I’m hunting alone or on a spot/stalk mission, the Turkey Vest is nice piece of gear to have – plenty of pockets,  seat for your rear end and a game vest.    I like the Bone Collector Thunder Chicken Turkey Vest (, as its light and I don’t feel bulked down when crawling thru the woods.

Get your Gun Ready!!! – Shotgun Fitting can increase your odds by 30%+, a Professional Gunsmith can fix you up for typically less than $100.  My buddy at Keeler’s Gunsmith ( taught me a couple things and dialed my gun into fitting my buddy better.    He focused on 3 Items:  Your Shoulder Sweet Spot, Cheek Placement & Level Eyes.   When these 3 Items come together,  you flinch less when shooting and hit more bird – a definite must.

My coffee is done and it’s time to get the rods/tackle ready for inside the Alumacraft; thinking about doubling down with some Walleye fishing in the Dakotas! 

Good Luck and Be Safe!!!




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