A good friend of mine, Brandon got his first Tom Saturday, April 21, 2012. It was a fun filled hunt filled with many twists and turns. We had a “pack” of jakes that kept running our Tom around and almost ruined our hunt, but in the end he was able to get it too close and Brandon put the hammer down! The video pretty much tells the rest of the story.
Had an excellent hunt this morning down in SW Missouri! The birds were making up for the dead Monday in my area by gobbling their heads off! The first bird I went after flew off the roost landing about 150 yards out in the middle of a pasture. He was very content to gobble all morning, but he expected the hen to come to him – he wasn’t moving! I ended up leaving him and went to a neighboring property that I’d heard some gobbling coming from earlier in the morning.
After giving some sharp cutts I got the response I was looking for which was a thundering gobble. I snuck to the edge of a pasture and saw this strutter out at about 200 yards with a group of hens. I was able to craw and stick a couple decoys in the edge of the field and slip back into cover. The bird answered to any and all sounds my call made – he was hot! He began to slowly strut my way but started to hang up at about 100yrds. When this happens the best thing to do is to shut up and play hard to get which is exactly what I did. He began gobbling his head off wanting a response from me which I would not give. It didn’t take long before he gave in and began walking straight for me. He gobbled the whole way and began strutting at about 50yrds when he spotted the decoys. I gave a couple very soft purrs to which he spat and drummed all the harder!
The crazy bird ended up coming up tight to the timber in which I was hiding to go around a curious cow that wandered into the scene. The problem with that was that I was in a mess of brush that was taller than me (I was still standing) and I now wasn’t going to have a shot until he came around the brush which would put the bird at a mere 10 feet! Not a good scenario, but that’s what happens when you’re running a gunning. He did end up staying tight to the brush keeping me from having the 20 yard shot I was expecting. I shot the bird in full strut at 10 feet, the closest shot I’ve taken to date! It was pretty awesome being able to see the bird through the brush for those last 30 seconds just mere feet in front of me in full strut! I tell you what, you just can’t hardly beat spring turkey hunting!!
I’ll be posting a vid here in the next day or two that I shot just after I took the bird. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the shot on tape due to my quick set up on this bird. Good luck to the rest of you turkey hunters out there and feel free to share your stories as well along with pics – I’m always up for a good hunting story!
Over the last few years I have had the priviledge to take part in a local NWTF Chapter youth hunt. The chapter does a great job of working to get youth out into the woods and intense focus is put on selecting great land to up the percentage of success among the hunters. I have to say that I get just as much or more pleasure from watching a 13 year old bag his or her 1st Tom as I do smoking an ol long spur of my own.
While taking any youth is great, little compares to the joy that a hunting dad feels when his son or daughter begins to express interest in getting out into the woods hoping to bag a Tom. My daughter has expressed such interest this year and we are hard at work preparing for the youth hunt which is the last weekend in March for us in MO.
Let me just say to all you hunting dads out there that it’s never too early to engage your kids in the sport of hunting. My son has been going hunting with me since he was two years old and my daughter since she was 5. My son saw his first turkey kill from dad’s gun at age 2 and has seen countless ducks and geese fall from the sky over the past few years. Hunting is not something that is pushed on your kids, rather it is an activity that they do with dad and it MUST be made fun for them! I’ve saw many diehards like myself turn their youngster away from the sport simply because they didn’t have the foresight to let the kid have fun while hunting. Yes, they might spook a few deer/turkeys, but make sure they’re having a good time and pretty soon they figure it out and become amazing little hunting buddies!!
Back to the youth hunt with my daughter. We recently purchased her a Mossberg 510 mini in the 20ga. model. This is a sweet little gun and I’d highly recommend it for youth hunting. I did put some lead shot in the butt stock to help reduce recoil. I’m also only having her shoot reduced recoil 8 1/2 shot as this little gun is a bit light at 5lbs for a 20ga. We went out today as a family: son, daughter and lovely wife, to pattern the gun and well as have some fun shooting my son’s new .22 cal cricket. The pics attached to this post give a glimpse of the capabilities of the little mossberg. Keep in mind that this was 2 3/4″ reduced recoil 8 1/2 shot, but to be honest, this is all the recoil that most youth under 10 years old are going to want. The gun seems to pattern a bit high – on the pics shown I actually was holding closer to the base of the neck than center mass. Long story short on lethality for turkeys – 25yrds is pushing it with this gun/shell combo but very doable. 20yrds and in it is golden keeping in mind that it’s necessary to hold about 3 inches low from where you want the bulk of your shot to hit. FYI – the little cricket is a nail driver – great little starter gun – highly recommend!
Hope this info was helpful and do all us hunters a favor and find a youth to take hunting with you this youth season and keep our sport alive, but most importantly make some youngster’s dream come true!
I have footage of this hunt that I’ll be putting together before too long, I haven’t had time to this point. Stay tuned and I’ll try and get this put together.
Any successful hunt is great, but when the hunt involves getting someone their first bird it is all the more sweet. Brad and I teamed up again guiding our pastor. Pastor Brandin did a great job and the hunt came together great. This bird came in across a field following several hens and ended up right in our decoys. He gave us a great show strutting in and Brandin did a great job being patient and putting the shot right where he needed to.
Great hunt guys, thanks for a great hunt and memory!
What an awesome hunt! This footage pretty well says it all. Brad had an unusual amount of patience, I thought I was going to have to throw my camera at it!! Believe it or not, I have well over 10minutes of footage of this bird right there at 15 yrds!
Nice shot Brad – very fun hunt!
This video pretty much speaks for itself. Bryan, Ryan, and Tim did a great job in getting this hunt to come together. It’s never an easy task to get good footage while turkey hunting and I think they did a great job. Congrats guys!
April 18th marked the opening day of spring turkey season here in Missouri. For me this is long anticipated so I was a bit perturbed when I woke up at 6am and realized that although I had set my alarm for 5am, I had failed to turn it on!! So now the rush is on. I threw on my clothes, grabbed all my gear and was pulling out of the drive at 6:07 (not bad huh;-). I live just a few minutes from my hunting ground so it was about 6:13 when I rolled by my first choice only to see two other trucks parked on the land. Not a great sign, but as I was driving past a mature Tom ran across the road not 15yrds in front of my jeep. I took that as a sign and quickly parked in the farmers driveway and set up opposite of the other hunters.
It wasn’t long before there were 3 gobbling answering my calling, but that only lasted for about 5min before one of the other hunters cut him off and shot him about 150 yrds from my position. Two gobbles was the only response from the shot, so I stayed put. It wasn’t long before they were closing in their heads bright red in the early morning light. It wasn’t until they reached about 30 yrds that I realized that their beards were a mere 5 inches long. They could gobble and strut just like the big boys, but these were definitely jakes. That’s when I caught movement to my right and there ended up being 10 more jakes come in to about 25 yrds to my right – they had me surrounded! After seeing them gobble I realized that these were the ones that had been talking so I waited til they moved on and I got back to the jeep and headed to another property.
I had just driven through a gate and had crested a hill going to park when I saw this bird in full strut about 300 yrds away across a brushy ditch with a hen. I slammed on the brakes, backed up, and the hunt was on! I just knew I’d have to sneak my way down to that ditch as I didn’t think he’d cross it with that hen over there with him. I got in the brush and quickly closed in the distance to 150 yrds and that’s when I decided to give a few yelps to locate him. His response about blew my socks off! He was across the ditch and it sounded as if he wasn’t more that 70 yrds away! I quickly scrambled through the brush up to the barbed wire fence that separated the brush from the pasture. I gave a few clucks with my mouth call to let him know that all that crashing really was a hen and not a desperate hunter trying to get into position! He gobbled and that’s when I saw him running towards me. The only problem was that my gun was still in my right hand butt to the ground and my camera tripod was still in my left. He blew up into a strut not 15 yrds away from me and began spitting and drumming – beautiful!! I very slowly released my tripod but my gun was still sticking straight up. He closed in to 10 yrds and I decided that I was going to have to resort to the fast draw and that’s what I did.
The gun leapt to my shoulder as twigs snapped from my commotion, he was in full strut so the commotion did startle him but only enough to bring him to half strut and take a few steps. My finger touched the trigger and it was over, there he lay, 12yrds in front of me! What a hunt! To be honest, it happened so fast that there was a touch of disappointment in my heart as I realized that it my month long anticipation had ended in a mere 10 minute hunt! That was soon dissipated as I put my hands on the bird and realized that I’d have friends to tag along with and there was always the next week when we could do this all over again.
It was an awesome morning and once again I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to interact with the amazing animals He created. Great times!
Hello fellow outdoorsmen! I hate that I haven’t been able to get you more content lately, as for me that means that I’m not spending enough time out in the great outdoors! I thought I’d go ahead and show you my antler plaque I made for this last fall’s bowkill buck. This might interest a few of you anyway.
The wood plaque part was a cinch with my pattern and my router, but the skull covering was a different story! I tell you, the year before last it was really easy cutting the leather to cover the skull and it really turned out great. Evidently I was lucky, because this year it wasn’t so easy. For the life of me I couldn’t get the leather skull cover cut right to fit so I finally surrendered and tried something a bit creative. I used crayola air dry clay from hobby lobby and filled out the skull. I let that dry and then I hot glued rustic twine in a sort of wrap around the skull area. This went much easier and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the results!
Hopefully I’ll have some hunting/fishing stories and/or vid for you here real soon. If not before, you’ll definitely be seeing some footage from this spring as I’m going to try and ramp this site up a bit with the turkey season here in Missouri.
I’ll keep you posted.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had as much fun as I did a couple of days ago. Most of you know me as an addicted bow hunter and I am, but I made a little time a couple of days ago for some fall turkey hunting. My 3 yr old son is constantly asking to go hunting with me and I’ve taken him several times, but it’s hard to make bowhunting fun for a 3yr old! So I decided to take a break and take the little hunter with me and put it on one!
There are a group of turkeys where I bowhunt here in southwest MO that are as predictable to roost in the same area as Nancy Pelosi is to vote for a tax hike! We were able to slip in and set up behind a big brushpile. We weren’t there 15min when they began answering me with some soft yelps and clucks.
Long story short I ended up shooting a little hen not 10yrds away. We hadn’t hunted for more than 30 min! Talk about perfect hunt for a 3yr old! He did great and I couldn’t have been more proud – we were both super pumped! His big sister was awful proud of us too when we showed off our trophy back home!
Experiencing a successful hunt with your kids is a feeling second to none. Seeing their eyes light up with excitement, knowing that you are making a memory and instilling a love that will last a lifetime, well, it just doesn’t get much better!
My advice - take a day off your chase of Mr. Big and get out there with that little guy or gal and really do something worth while! Besides, you can get Mr. Big tomorrow!
Ok, let me explain before I have the local conservation agent knocking on my door! I just connected with my second turkey this past Saturday, which makes the fifth turkey I’ve been a part of harvesting this spring – the other three I was calling and/or videoing. I know for many, this has been a frustrating year in the turkey woods, but I have been fortunate to have a great season this year.
This second turkey worked like a charm. He was roosted in some oaks that are surrounded by a grove of evergreen trees so I was able to get in real close. It helped that he gobbled super early giving me the cover of very low light to make my advance. My only problem was that I had a bunch of calves in the woods with me that decided I was very interesting. They ended up surrounding me, even nuzzling my boot as they checked me out. I thought for sure they were going to ruin the hunt as for 15 min I couldn’t have shot in any direction. I finally decided that my only hope was crawl on past them and get under a big evergreen that they couldn’t get under with me. Thankfully it worked and they wandered off in the other direction.
This bird gobbled his head off and finally pitched out of the tree and landed about 100yrds away out in the pasture. After some soft yelps and purring he came up to the edge of the woods to check me out at about 50 yrds. I decided I didn’t want to make another 50yrd shot this year so after a few more minutes of coaxing, he finally gave up and came on in, offering me a shot at 15yrds! He gobbled all the way in, and you fellow hunters know how awesome it is to have a bird gobbling in your face at 15-20 yrds! I was done and it was barely 6:30am. He was a beautiful bird – he weighed 22.5 lbs, had a very very thick 10inch beard, and sharp spurs that were a bit over 1 1/4 inches long.
Below I’m attaching pics of this bird along with my first bird of this spring. I’ll say it again, you just can’t hardly beat spring turkey hunting!