Montana Wall Tent Turkey Camp

Sometimes it just takes stepping away from the day-to-day routine to remember the “good stuff” in life.

Two hunters pose with a turkey they shot while hunting in Montana.

After a long Montana winter—February 2019 was one of the coldest in the Big Sky State’s history—the onX tribe was feeling the spring itch. We were ready to get outside, log some miles in a non-snowy environment and just generally enjoy being out without the seemingly-mandatory five layers of winter clothing. Spring had finally dawned, but the season took its time arriving.

And so, when Jason Matzinger’s annual Montana wall tent turkey camp rolled around, we packed the bags and headed east. onX Hunt Product Owner Matt Seidel, Hunt Marketing Manager Zach Sandau and Communications Manager Jess McGlothlin drove to the Montana badlands with their shotguns, fishing rods, and cameras packed for a few days of outdoor recreation and content-generating.

Details of turkey feathers.
Hunters gather around a computer while in a wall tent camp in Montana.
Details of turkey feet, hung against a tree after being shot.

Camp filled up quickly—13 hunters and three dogs made for lively nights around the campfire. Late each night, hunters would pile into wall tents to sleep a few hours before rising early to get into position before dawn broke. Breezy conditions made for tough afternoons and evenings, but Matt managed to bag a bird on day one, and Zach took his personal-best Montana gobbler the morning of day two.

A man smiles at a catfish he caught while fishing on the Musselshell River in Montana.

Time spent out-of-doors in Montana wouldn’t be complete without a little fishing, so the onX crew headed down to the Musselshell River in the hope of bringing back a few catfish for the next day’s lunch. With a little creative navigating of eroded banks, catfish came to hand and lunch was secured—a victory Matt made the most of by cooking up fried fresh catfish for the entire crew.

A hunter uses his phone and the onX Hunt App to navigate while hunting spring turkey.
Man poses with a turkey he shot while hunting in Montana.
Public and Private Land Layers, Hunting Information Layers, Trails & Rec Layers, and more.
Man tagging turkey he shot during spring hunting season in Montana.

Throughout the week, additional turkeys made the ritual visit to be hung up in camp, where they were admired and filmed for several hours before being carefully processed on the tailgate of a nearby truck. Legs and breasts were carefully packed away and placed in coolers, ready to make the trip back to the hunter’s respective home and provide a tasty remembrance of time at turkey camp.

Drop of blood on turkey feathers.

Eventually it was time for the camp to split, for the hunters to return to their homes across Montana and down into Colorado. The breaking-down of camp came just in time, as chilly weather with snow and rain moved across the plains, and backcountry roads promptly became gumbo. With another year of turkey camp in the books, we’re already looking forward to late-night campfire alien stories, the eerie echo of a gobble through badlands drainages, and various dog shenanigans in camp next year.

Watch a video of a previous wall tent turkey camp here.

A man and woman cook food while in a wall tent camp hunting in Montana.
Men and women gathered around a campfire while hunting in Montana.

Jess McGlothlin

Before taking the role of onX Communications Writer, Jess McGlothlin worked as a freelance photographer and writer in the outdoor and fly-fishing industries. While on assignment in the past few years she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, stand-up paddleboard down Peruvian Amazon tributaries and eat all manner of unidentifiable food.