By Lauren Stamm
I spent three days chasing turkeys for the first time in Utah by myself, while my husband watched my wild toddler and also wild young bird dog. The afternoon of the second day after hearing no turkeys whatsoever I was walking through the forest and bumped a huge tom coming around the corner. He took up off what I now call death hill. It went straight up so I tried to get closer to hopefully get a shot without meaning to climb the whole thing. He disappeared behind some brush so I kept pushing but it was so steep I was huffing and puffing. I look over to my right and see an old carcass of what looked like a mountain lion and couldn’t help but chuckle that he might have died on this hill chasing a turkey, because at that moment I surely felt like dying. Ol Tom made it to the top well before I did without giving me an ethical shot, and I never caught up to him. I had to go back down this 500 ft of elevation gain in 150 yds or so, so I just put my toes up and slid back down. I still think that turkey had a little bit of chukar blood in him.
The next day I showed up before dawn and finally heard gobbles going off. I was actually able to call him in. He was so close and my heart was pounding and he never poked his head around the small bushes in front of me.
I went home with no turkey but I will definitely be back next year.