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GRANT: A great week of reaping the benefits of good habitat management as four long beards hit the ground at the Kentucky Proving Grounds.
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GRANT: We’ve shared several shows with you in the past on hunting and management techniques filmed at the Kentucky Proving Grounds which is near Cadiz, Kentucky and owned by my good friend, Mr. Terry Hamby.
TERRY: Build it and they’ll come. (Laughter)
GRANT: Terry had invited Josh Dahlke with North American Hunting Club, Michael Turbyfill with Winchester Ammo and the GrowingDeer Team to join him on a very special turkey hunt.
GRANT: The first order of business was to make sure our shotguns were sighted in. The first morning Mr. Hamby, Michael and Brian went to a part of the property we call West Road.
GRANT: I set out a little decoy that folds up real easy and then expands. Great to carry around. A strutter model. Put it out, just hoping to get a jealous tom in the area. Shortly after that, a tom appeared at the curve of the road.
TERRY: (Whispering) He’s got him a double date.
GRANT: Michael made the wise choice to attempt to call that hen in and bring the gobbler in tow.
BRIAN: (Whispering) They're coming.
TERRY: Come on, big boy. He’s got a nice beard..
TERRY: (Whispering) Ready? Ready?
BRIAN: Kill him.
TERRY: Kill him?
TERRY: (Shot) Like that?
MICHAEL: My man..
TERRY: And we got a turkey down.
MICHAEL: Mr. Hamby. Yes, sir.
TERRY: A Winchester did it again.
MICHAEL: There you go, man. Nice shooting. I thought you was never gonna pull the trigger on that turkey.
BRIAN: Kill ‘em. Kill ‘em.
TERRY: Well, you know. We kind of like; he, he wasn’t, he wasn’t going anywhere.
MICHAEL: You guys know how it is.
TERRY: He wasn’t going anywhere.
MICHAEL: They're, they're not going anywhere unless you see that head turn that dull red. As long as he’s…
TERRY: Man, he had a beard.
MICHAEL: Whoo. Paint brush.
TERRY: Man. Look at that beard.
MICHAEL: Yeah, that is, that’s as fine of a beard as I’ve ever seen on a turkey.
MICHAEL: What’s both the spurs look like?
TERRY: Spurs probably what?
MICHAEL: They're hooked.
TERRY: They're hooks.
MICHAEL: Boy, they curve.
TERRY: Yeah. Look at them.
MICHAEL: He’s probably a…
GRANT: It was obvious this was a very mature tom. Weighed 22.5 pounds. A 12 inch rope for a beard; and 1 3/8″ spurs.
MICHAEL: That brings back memories from a childhood of carrying three gallons, huh?
TERRY: You told me you weren’t very good in science…
GRANT: That was a great turkey hunt for the conditions. Calling the hen in, knowing that most adult gobblers are with hens under that current period of the breeding cycle.
GRANT: Meanwhile, a close friend of Mr. Hamby’s, Don, was on the other side of the property working three toms.
GRANT: Listening to two old experienced turkey hunters after that hunt share their stories of camaraderie was a great experience for all the rest of us in camp. (Laughter)
GRANT: 3/8. 3/8….there’s the half right there. 1 3/8”. 1 1/4” and 1 3/8”.
JOSH: (Whispering) Hey.
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
JOSH: (Whispering) There’s something moving around to the right. For real.
ADAM: (Whispering) It’s a turkey.
JOSH: (Whispering) Is it?
ADAM: (Whispering) I swear. There’s two of ‘em. I swear I see a beard, too.
JOSH: (Whispering) Can I move my head back?
ADAM: (Whispering) I kid you not. No, they're coming out.
ADAM: (Whispering) I’m ready when you are.
JOSH: (Whispering) The one on the right.
JOSH: (Whispering) The one that just…
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah. Yeah. Kill ‘em.
JOSH: (Whispering) The front one?
ADAM: (Whispering) Okay.
JOSH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) One.
ADAM: (Whispering) I don’t care. Just shoot one of them.
JOSH: (Whispering) I have never killed a turkey that stone dead before. Those Winchesters crushed him. Crushed him.
ADAM: (Whispering) I don't think his, his wings quivered a little bit. Dude, how long have we been here? Three minutes, maybe?
JOSH: (Whispering) That was exactly it. Wanted to happen. That’s exactly what I wanted to happen.
JOSH: (Whispering) A bunch of just angry long beards coming in to just whoop on that jake decoy with that breeder hen.
JOSH: That’s him. I got a spur necklace at home and these are going to be the longest ones on it. You hear ‘em talking because I don’t even need to speak for these. This is a boss and I’m so thankful to be able to take this bird down here at the Kentucky Proving Grounds, it’s unbelievable. (Inaudible) Jake’s off. I’m saying he’s 21?
ADAM: Yeah. I’d say you're probably right. 20.5.
JOSH: Get up there.
GRANT: As we finished taking pictures and celebrating that hunt, we were all ready for the next day.
GRANT: Andrew had placed some Reconyx cameras on various food plots throughout the Kentucky Proving Grounds. We reviewed the pictures from those Reconyx cameras and found a great pattern of a mature tom coming into a plot we now call Long Spurs at the Kentucky Proving Grounds. Terry and I moved a Redneck blind the day before to that food plot.
TERRY: I’d say they're 1 1/4″ to an 1 3/8.” Really old bird. 23 pounds, I’d say. And, uh, 1 1/2″ spurs and about a 10” beard. What a great day.
GRANT: The beard size and spur length on the turkeys at the Kentucky Proving Grounds are ample evidence of the quality habitat simply based on taking an old time plantation, adding a lot of Antler Dirt and planting the right forage, resulting in very healthy wildlife.
GRANT: At the end of a very successful hunt, it’s time to relax with friends. We all pitch in and prepare supper, including a fish fry, hush puppies, mushrooms. It’s a great time to share some stories and just fellowship with one another until we meet again.
GRANT: I hope you have time this week to get with some friends and do a habitat management activity or share a great hunt. But more importantly, take time to spend with the Creator. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: I just heard a turkey gobbler. Certain, I mean I clearly heard it.
GRANT: If you want to check out Josh and the other editors’ work at North American Hunter, simply go to Huntingclub.com/join. You can get a free digital copy.