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OUTFITTER REVIEW ON:


Wing N Fin Resort
And Turkey Camp


Part 1:THE HUNT

A Spring Turkey Hunting Adventure On The Western Minnesota Prairie
With Wing N Fin Resort And Turkey Camp
by troy maag

It is apparent these days that with the busyness of life, most sportsmen and women can't find enough time to fit in all of the hunting and fishing excursions that they would like over the course of a year, much less in a weekend.  Well, there is such a place on the prairies of western Minnesota that allows you to accomplish more than one outdoor activity in the same trip.  Wing N Fin Resort and Turkey Camp located on beautiful Lake Traverse near Browns Valley, Minnesota is a place you might consider for your next hunting / fishing adventure.

My 9 year old daughter Katelyn and I arrived on a Monday afternoon in early April and launched our boat on Lake Traverse in early April. Having a private launch at the Wing N Fin Resort made things very convenient.

In fact, in the spring and early summer the fishing is great right off of their docks for walleye, bluegill, as well as northern pike.  Another advantage to the location of this resort is that it is on the border waters of Minnesota and South Dakota, so the walleye / northern pike opener is 2 - 3 weeks earlier than the regular Minnesota opener.  We had just enough time to have an early dinner on the boat after catching a couple nice pike, and getting in a quick scouting trip with host Todd Johnson for the next morning’s turkey hunt. Then it was back to the lodge for a Disney movie for Katelyn before bedtime. I think I was more excited for my daughter’s first turkey hunt than she was.

It was very helpful to have Wing N Fin Resort owner Todd Johnson put us on a specific plot of private property that he had been seeing turkeys using over the last few weeks consistently, and we were more than appreciative for his help in getting us set up in the right location. The great thing about this Minnesota spring turkey hunt is that it is a self guided hunt, as guiding turkey hunters in Minnesota is actually illegal for some strange reason, but again Todd was able to pin point the turkey’s habits prior to our arrival, which eliminated a lot of the scouting that I would have had to do myself.  It is standard practice for Todd to have a private turkey hunting spot picked out for his customers before they arrive, in addition to helping them get their proper licenses in the Minnesota turkey lottery that usually takes place in early December each year (there are usually a few left over tags for Todd's zone each spring). Our particular spot consisted of a draw with many trees, nearby cornfield and a strutting area all connected....prime habitat!  Another advantage Todd had was that we were able to scout the land from the road as too not disturb any turkeys.

Tuesday morning, Katelyn and I were up at 4:30 am and dressed and in the turkey field by 5:15 am (which was just another positive being so close to quality hunting opportunities).  We set up near a picked corn field and a strutting area, 40 yards from the roost.  My daughter not only heard her first Tom gobble from the roost, but had a pheasant walk within 3 feet of her before figuring out she was not part of the tree we were leaning against.....and then exploding in the air while cackling at us the whole time causing multiple shock gobbles from the turkeys still in their roost.  Todd also caters to pheasant and duck hunters in the fall and from my observation this year looks to be a good one for pheasants in this area.

Moments later, we could see the turkeys flying down from their roost.  We counted 8 total that came down from the trees in front of us, unfortunately once on the ground they decided to go the other direction.  But seeing the excitement from my little girl’s face was all the reward I needed that day.   We continued to sit it out for a few hours and saw countless numbers of pheasants flying to the cornfield we were near, as well as waterfowl that filled the skies for us all morning long.

We returned back to the resort for some lunch and fishing and more Disney movies...Katelyn was tired in the afternoon and she thought it would be a good idea for her and Maggie (our black lab) to stay put at the resort and watch one more movie, which I was fine with.  After all, even 9 year olds need to have a say in how a vacation trip time is spent.  So I gave her a choice hunt the afternoon with me or get up for the morning multi-species bird show again.  She is a very bright child and learns extremely quickly (she does take after her mother I guess), so she knew the excitement the morning would bring.  So I ventured out for the afternoon alone, I used a decoy this time and it did attract some attention from others pretty quickly.  A doe came by and stuck around what seemed like an eternity, as I heard a gobble in the distance and I wanted to relocate to get a better opportunity at that Tom.

She finally figured out that I was not a part of the tree, but a hunter with a gun and a camera.  I got up and moved about a football field away, when I saw 2 turkeys in the cornfield coming my way.  I quickly set up the decoy and hunkered down against a cedar tree.  I managed to bring in 2 hens within 10-15 yards of me, but no jakes or toms.  So I stayed put as I figured I have 2 hens that are doing a great job of calling for me, which lasted for at least 35-45 minutes as they were purring and soft clucking for me so nicely while picking away at the corn in the field.  But before a Tom came along, darkness came and it was time to go back to some dock fishing and Disney movies with my daughter.

Morning came early the second morning for a 9 year old little girl, as well as myself.  After we parked the truck and walked in the dark to our spot, 2 minutes into our walk a deer busted out of the woods right next to us and startled us, Katelyn decided to walk a little closer to me and hold my hand the rest of the way (which I loved and will remember forever).  We dressed warm as it was a very cool morning, as this spring continues to be a cold one.  We managed to shock gobble a Tom that was not too far away from us already. So we set up near where we were the first morning.  Again, I saw the turkeys fly down from their roost and again they went quiet while on the ground and not responding to my call or even a live hen that was 10 yards away from me!   As I tried waking up my daughter to see the turkey that was putting, purring, soft clucking so kindly to entice a Tom for us....I was unsuccessful in waking up the little girl that was dreaming of turkeys and walleyes.

Although we did not harvest a turkey on this trip, we did have the time of our lives and I know I will be back to Wing N Fin for another combo trip.  To say a combo trip is an understatement, after turkey hunting we had plenty of time to fish for the species of your liking Walleye, Northern Pike, Bluegill.  Todd also has dock space for your boats and the shore or dock fishing is very good in the spring and all summer long.  If the weather is not cooperating, you can enjoy some downtime in his lodge shooting pool, playing cards or watching his big screen tv.  Last but not least, a big thank you to Todd Johnson.  He not only caters to fisherman and hunters, but he also caters to families with children.  His hospitality is one of a kind, and he does make you feel like family.   If you are looking for a family vacation, a hunting trip or a corporate meeting get-together, Wing N Fin has it all. 

NOTE: 2012 MINNESOTA SPRING TURKEY LOTTERY APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FRIDAY JANUARY 6, 2012. PLEASE CONTACT TODD JOHNSON FOR ZONES AND SEASONS.

   Happy Turkey Hunters From Last Spring...

Part 2: THE REVIEW

OUTFITTER KNOWLEDGE / PERSONALITY:                    Score5 / 5
Host and owner Todd Johnson has a ton of knowledge of the area and has a passion for hunting and fishing. Todd knows every nook and cranny for 50 miles and is able to put his guests on the best areas to hunt and fish for not only spring turkeys but also local fishing hot spots but waterfowl / upland hunting in the fall. Todd definitely gets a top ranking for his knowledge and personality.
QUALITY OF
EQUIPMENT USED:
Score4 / 5

Although there is not a lot of equipment to use on a self-guided turkey hunt, some of the amenities that were valued are the lodge, the private boat launch for the fisherman and the high quality private hunting grounds that Todd has exclusive access to for his hunters.

OPPORTUNITY TO
TAKE GAME:

Score
4 / 5

Todd put us on a pre-scouted, private plot that had birds roosting on it on both day’s hunts. In fact, we had gobblers roosting within 100 yards, but turkey hunting is turkey hunting and even though the hunt was not successful, there were birds on site both days, they were just not cooperating as we would have liked.

QUALITY OF MEALS
AND LODGING:
Score4 / 5

On our hunt we stayed at the main lodge which has 6 rooms inside along with a main great room with a pool table, direct tv and many more amenities. Todd also has 3 cabins for rent that are double occupancy that have kitchen facilities.  The lodge was very clean and nice for our stay. Although Todd does not offer meals at the lodge, everyone has kitchen facilities and a grill available to cook in addition to several local restaurants with in a 5 mile drive.

HUNT PACKAGES AND
ADDITONAL FEES:

Score5 / 5

Being that this is a Do-It-Yourself turkey hunt, Todd offers a double occupancy cabin rental for $129.00 per night. This does not include a guide fee or any hunting equipment or meals but Todd is able to line up pre-scouted, private turkey hunting property for his hunters. Please contact Todd regarding the private hunting property options. Also all kitchen facilities are available for your meals as stated before as well as access to the private boat harbor and launch. Todd can even line up a hair cut for you after the hunt at Connie’s Cut and Curl on the lake!!! For a competent turkey hunter looking for a private place to hunt and stay, we feel this package is a steal.

OVERALL QUALITY
OF THE TRIP:
Score5 / 5

Overall we had an incredible experience. Even though I was unable to bag a tom, everything else, from Todd’s hospitality and the lodging, to the caliber of the hunting area that we were put on and the incredible spring fishing to go along with the turkey hunt, as well the ability to accommodate my 9 year old’s needs. This was a very successful hunt in more ways than one. I know I will be back and I would pass this along as a well kept secret "hot spot" to other hunters.

Overall Wing N Fin Resort And Turkey Camp Scored 27 Out Of 30 Giving Them An "A" Rating. We Would Not Hesitate To Refer Them For Their Excellent Minnesota Spring Turkey Hunts!

Final
Score

27 / 30

Part 3: Booking Information


Contact Information For Wing N Fin Resort & Turkey Camp

Host
: Todd Johnson
Phone: 320.695.2450
Address: 5473 Wing and Fin Drive Browns Valley, MN 56219
Email: wingnfin@prtel.com
Website: wingnfintraverse.com

Additional Services Offered:


In addition to the spring fishing and turkey hunting that Wing N Fin has to offer, there is also phenomenal summer fishing and fall waterfowl / upland bird hunting opportunities in the area. Todd Johnson offers not only excellent lodging opportunities for sportsman in the area but also a more personable hunting experience with his vast knowledge of the public hunting areas and access to many private hunting properties. Todd can line up just about any type of hunting or fishing excursion that western Minnesota has to offer.



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