Bagging turkey tags

March 26, 2009

Faith Outdoors

This week, the state of Wisconsin started selling surplus wild turkey tags that didn’t sell in the regular lottery. After computer crashes the last two years, officials revamped the system this year.

I’m happy to report that it worked just fine. This morning at 10 a.m., surplus tags for my area, Zone 4, went on sale at 10 a.m. I bought one each for my two oldest sons, Joe and Andy, plus an extra one for me. That will allow me to shoot two birds during my season, which takes place May 13-17. Zone 4 sales will continue until midnight, with Zones 5 and 6 going on sale tomorrow (Friday). Then, any remaining tags from all zones go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.

I don’t want to be greedy, but on one farm that we hunt, we have called in multiple gobblers two years in a row. This time, I’ll be able to take a second bird if I want to. Another bonus is that the boys’ grandpa, Bob Guditis, is coming into town in late May and says he’d like to buy a tag and hunt with us. That would be great.

It could be an exciting spring for turkey hunting. I start off hunting with Bishop Joe Charron of Des Moines in Missouri in late April. I met him last spring when I went down to Iowa with one of our reporters, Maria Wiering, to do a story on the Diocese of Des Moines after Bishop Richard Pates was assigned there. I got a chance to talk to Bishop Charron and found out we both like turkey hunting. He said he goes to Missouri every year with a good friend of his, Joe Lane, and would talk to Joe about having me hunt with them this spring.

Well, a few weeks ago, Joe Lane called me to give me the dates of the trip and invite me to come along. He owns 220 acres south of Kansas City and said he’s got a good bird population there. So, I’m excited about the trip.

It’s got to be better than my last trip, which I took two years ago with Father Joe Classen near St. Louis. In three days, we only heard gobbling one morning, and that was just for about 15-20 minutes, then nothing after that. The birds did not respond to our calls at all and we both got skunked. However, I very much enjoyed meeting Father Joe and spending a few days in the woods with him.

After I get back from Missouri, I hunt Minnesota for five days starting May 10. That overlaps with my Wisconsin hunt, which starts May 13. I hope to get a Minnesota bird before then and then try for two in Wisconsin.

In all honesty, I’d be happy if I got one bird from those three hunts. If I take more than that, praise God!

About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek