Ontario Wild Turkey season feathers or no feathers



(Jaye’s pal Richard on his first successful turkey hunt)


(Jaye with the two gobblers they took this week)


This week marks the beginning of Ontario’s 2012 Spring wild turkey season – a week that many local hunters have been waiting for with baited breath.

Sure, there might be some turkeys out there without feathers, but do you think they really care what others think of them, or their sport?

How has the gobbler season been treating you since it opened yesterday? I predict better calling weather ahead for the weekend.

Drop me a line!



Thanks to sure-shot dave for sending-in this wild turkey ‘success story’:

Turkey season opened last Wednesday. Ryan, Evan and I went out last Sunday morning to set up a ground blind and get things ready. I headed out for opening morning, it was really windy and tough calling conditions. I saw one big tom across the cornfield, but he didn’t pay any attention to my calling. He either didn’t hear me, or I suck at it in his view.

Got out Friday morning, still really windy and I was telling myself I should have just stayed in bed. Not exactly optimum hunting conditions. On my walk in I convinced myself that you can’t kill a turkey from your bed. Who knows what will happen. Set out the decoys and settled in to wait for legal light. Did some calling and didn’t hear any gobbling going on at first light. About 6, I thought I heard a gobble from the wood lot next to me. I did some excited calling, hoping that he would hear me even though he was upwind. A few minutes later I could see a turkey in the cornfield. He was about 100 yards out but slowly heading my way. I called again and he gobbled right away. For the next five minutes he half strutted his way to me. He never went into full strut, just fanned his tail a little and gobbled. He closed the gap to about 30 yards and finally spotted my decoys on the other side of the fence row. As he was making a beeline towards them I raised my gun and clicked off the safety. When he stepped out of the fence row, 1 ¾ oz of no. 6 shot met him there. He didn’t have a chance. 20lbs, 9.5” beard with 1” spurs. My best bird so far.

Saturday I took Evan and Cameron up to the camp to gather the firewood I cut over the winter. We spent a few hours doing that and watching for deer. Evan is always shooting animals when we are out there. He should fit in to the Sure Shot camp well! The winter was fairly easy for the deer, so there should be good numbers again this fall. I put the trail cameras out so soon enough we’ll know what’s out there. I did see a buck with antlers started already on my way home from work last week so I guess they’ve started growing their racks.

 Sincerely,  sureshot – dave





47 thoughts on “Ontario Wild Turkey season feathers or no feathers”

  1. bagged 1 of 4 toms traveling together yesterday. 9.5″ beard, 3/4 ” spurs. meat is marinading; half will go to bbq and half will be for homeade shake n’ bake (to test out different ways of cooking the dindon 🙂

    1. Hey Keebler, good job…you’re making me hungry with all that bbq, shake and bake, marinading talk!

      If you we could ‘pick and choose’ with wildtail as you have with your Tom gobbler!


  2. Went out for opening morning but no luck. Saw a tom across the corn field but I don’t think he heard my calling as the wind was blowing pretty hard away from him. He just wandered off without showing any interest.

    I hope to give it another go tomorrow or over the weekend.

    1. Earlier Post from Jaye:

      Hi Jeff.

      Well, another good start to this turkey season. went out with a buddy of mine and he got his first bird ever. i think he is still giggling like a school girl. it was a nice jake. about 25 min later, i called in a nice tom. came in just like you see in the t.v. shows. he put on a show and got him at 20 yards. 8 in beard, 1 in spurs and weighed about 22 pds. i will try to send you some pics soon.
      nice article by the way.

      1. Congrats Jaye to you and your buddy, must have been fun to be there when he got his turkey?

        Now you’ll have to borrow some of Keebler’s shake and bake.

        Geez, we’ve got some monster Tom’s around my place..one even has a double beard(one long, one shorter) and long one is way over 10″…but alas,
        they are in the no discharge zone….doooohhh!


    2. sureshot-dave, besides the Tom you saw across the corn field, are you seeing many birds out in your area?


  3. lol Jeff…If we could only choose for sure! I took the one with the biggest beard and largest size overall. The only problem is that I didn’t have a weight scale with me. He wasn’t a monster, but he wasn’t tiny either.

    Fun times!

    Sadly, no video. Didn’t bring the HD camera and they came in too fast (and too quiet) for me to turn the headcam on.

    1. Keebler, I’m verrrrrryy disappointed you didnt get any footage. Perhaps you need to hire an assistant to push yer buttons for you…say, young and blonde..hehe


  4. going out on Sunday to start the season, is the season in Quebec open, seeing all kinds of turkeys near the cottage.
    BTW, the furnature is being moved back into the cottage on Monday and the reconstruction from the fire is all done.

    1. Iggy, you might as well hunt turkey in QC this year, you’re doing the moose hunt there already…soon you’ll be moving over fulltime..hehe

      Glad to hear they got your cottage all fixed up, let’s hope for better luck this summer!


  5. iggy, you should play golf on Sunday. He! He!.

    QC season start on May 4th till May 25. Morning hunts only, till noon.

    1. LeGrand, you dont do the QC turkey hunt, do you? What about the QC bear hunt, that’s coming soon also?


  6. hi jeff took my hunting buddy out in a secret location just minutes from home sat in the am and observed over 50 large turkey’s we managed to watch 5 huge gobblers , we observed where they roost and will be back to pop him over the weekend

  7. [Quote: jeff.morrison says:
    April 27, 2012 at 7:26 am
    LeGrand, you dont do the QC turkey hunt, do you? What about the QC bear hunt, that’s coming soon also?

    Outdoorsguy / Quote]

    Already got my QC permit for Wild Turkey, as my non-resident ON tag.

    No, no bear hunt this year. No time. Already having problems fitting my planned fishing intentions.

    Guess when I retire in 8 years, I’ll have more time on my hands.

  8. How much do the rip you for if your a non resident and you want to hunt turkeys in Quebec
    Great turkey bush, hardwoods galore

  9. I have been watching up to 3 hens at once in my backyard for the last couple of days. Toms aren’t too far away but I haven’t seen them in a week. Not sure if my buddy has got one yet, I expect so.

  10. Jeff,

    Lots of birds where I am set up now. Not so many at the deer camp, but there’s not much in the way of agriculture there. They are coming, just not in the same numbers as my other farm.

    I got out again this morning despite the high winds. Parked my truck and mumbled to myself that I should have just stayed in bed because there’s no way a turkey would hear any calling with the wind whipping like it was. Then I mumbled to myself that I can’t kill a turkey while in my bed. 6 o’clock came and I dropped the hammer on a nice tom. He came across the corn field right to my decoys. I thought I heard a gobble in the woodlot next to the field so I did some calling. 5 minutes later there he was. Poor bugger never knew what hit him… 20lbs, 9.5″ beard and 1″ spurs. I’ll send you some pictures.

    1. sure-shot dave, my Dad and the old boys at moose camp use to tell me that all time!

      “Now Jeffrey, you’ll never call any moose with that rain and wind blowing like it is”..till I went out three years in a row in did just that,
      while they were all still in bed…hehe

      Just goes to show that the best day to hunt is the day you see the animals..and I guess today was one of those days for you!

      Nice job..bet he’ll be a tasty one too!


  11. Hey….Had to look TWICE…saw a WHITE Turkey (hen) being courted by a big normal looking Tom on Thursday in Asdad.
    (yes, thats commonly known as B#MF@%K Ontario)….

    Anyone ever see a white Bird afore??

  12. Hey….Had to look TWICE…saw a WHITE Turkey (hen) being courted by a big normal looking Tom on Thursday in Ashdad. (Renfrew County)

    Anyone ever see a white Bird afore??

    1. BlueGood, what it sounds like to me (if indeed this story is true) is that somehow a domestic hen turkey got loose
      and began fraternizing with the wild lot..although I’ve never heard if it happening, but what could result is a
      domestic-wild gobbler hybrid.

      Pretty neat stuff…man, ya never know what you’ll see up the valley!


  13. Dave you will have to get that turkey scored for the record books. FROW now has a turkey section. You can add your turkey to all your deer entries.

    Anyone else wants their turkey scored or want copies of the lastest edition (6) of the Ontario Big Game Records give me a call at Canada Goose Taxidermy.

    Also if you need a mount done we can do a great job for you.

    Am I allowed to promote myself like this Jeff? LOL

    1. Rick, go crazy…Ive promoted you enough over the years..hehe.

      Glad to hear that FROW has a section for turkey now, thats terrific! So I guess my 10″ plus double-beard would score pretty well, eh?


  14. Northerner can tell you all about a grey one he saw and took pictures of, I’ll see if I can roust him
    He’s a Quaker Boy Pro Staffer and shot a record bird last year but I’ll let him tell you about it.

    1. Iggy, I know Northerner..thats Gobbler Guru, right? Are you hunting with him this spring? I know you have you in the past.

      Love to see pics of his grey one!


    1. bob m, there might be lots of white gobblers and white deer online, but I’ve never seen one in the wild and I do get around, so they must still be quite rare.


  15. there he goes bragging about “getting around” again LOL

    Northerner, isn’t the Turkey Whisperer, but he was working with him at the Carp show

    1. Hey Iggs, sorry I was getting them mixed-up..so Northerner is the one you went bear hunting with??


  16. Hi Jeff,

    I haven’t done any trout fishing yet, but will be going soon.

    Leucistic birds and animals can be differentiated from albinos because their eyes are normally coloured rather than red.

    1. Tks fishr, we’re anxiously awaiting our trout trip to Temiscaminge area, we leave two fridays from now..and Im not expecting surface
      temps to be in high 50’s this year..oh well!


  17. Rick, can you provide some basic field instructions if we come across a bird we want mounted?

    I got a real nice tom a few years ago of which I would have liked to get a nice mount done, but didn’t know what to do and ended up thinking of it way too late into the process. 🙁

    1. keebler, that is an excellent question! Most hunters doknow a little about the care of a whitetail they plan to mount..i.e, caping-out a head for mounting.

      But yes, how does that work for turkeys? I know Rick will probably say , when in doubt, freeze the bird whole until more precise instructions are found.

      Rick, its all yours……


  18. Outdoors guy

    We saw a white turkey last year near our cottage (also in Renfrew county). It was quite a strange sight to see.

    1. Hunting mom, you were very fortunate to see such a rare sight.did you have a camera with you?

      Anyone ever heard of a domestic turkey mating with a wild turkey? It is something that would certainly effect the colour of the offspring.


    2. Well, I actually did some on my own research(for a change) into Domestic-Wild Turkey Hybrids…here’s what Perdue University had to say about it:

      Hybridization between free-ranging wild turkeys
      and domestic or “pen-raised” turkeys is a concern in
      many areas and survival of escaped, pen-raised or
      hybrid turkeys often is enhanced by supplemental care
      (e.g., feeding) from the public. Many human-turkey
      interactions in which turkeys were confirmed to be a
      nuisance have involved pen-raised or hybrid birds –
      not wild turkeys. Hybrid turkeys generally
      retain some of the physical (e.g., large body size) and
      behavioral (e.g., aggressiveness) traits of domestic
      turkeys and generally have minimal fear of people
      (i.e., they are approachable). True wild
      turkeys are very wary of people and will flee when
      approached. Even those flocks of wild turkeys that
      utilize habitats on the outskirts of town and are used
      to seeing people will generally flee from people who
      approach them. Turkey biologists throughout the
      country are concerned with the presence of escaped
      pen-raised turkeys and their hybrids due to issues such
      as increasing numbers of nuisance birds, the spread of
      disease from domestic flocks to wild turkey populations
      and the loss of genetic integrity of wild turkey stocks
      through hybridization.

  19. Keebler field instructions a very simple – do nothing! Bring the whole bird to me as soon as convenient. Freeze it if you can not get it to me within a day. I will process the bird as required and return the meat ready for the pot.

      1. BTW, I just added a ‘turkey success story’ to the bottom of the above post..go check it out!

        Tks to sureshot-dave for sending it in and congrats on the great hunt. Anyone else can submit their gobbler tale(& pics) if they wish.


    1. Howdy Folks:

      OK, I need someone to accompany a writer from Montreal who’s filming a TV pilot and needs some turkey hunting footage?

      Anyone still have a turkey tag…and might be interested? I think there’s some sort of youth slant to it.

      If you are, indeed, interested please send me a pm!



  20. get a hold of Northerner, he’s a turkey wisperer part II
    e-mail me and I’ll give you his e-mail address
    and yes he still has a license and lots of property to hunt

  21. hi, I’m interested in finding out what you guys do with the feathers? are they used for anything in particular? do you sell them or give them away to people who would use them?
    we would like to get a hold of a few birds worth of feathers for the kids in our pow wow dance troop. we live in Sturgeon Lake, AB.
    if you can help out that would be great! please email me.

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