This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: Tuesday, April 19th and we will release this video Monday after Easter, which is just a great time to reflect about why we, the Woods family, celebrate Easter. It’s when our Savior, Jesus Christ, was crucified, buried, and resurrected – lives today. And I just hope if you need to – man, you’ll chat with someone, or shoot me an email, and talk about faith, if you have any questions, ‘cause it’s really the best part of all of Creation.
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GRANT: Monday, April 18th was the opening day of regular turkey season in Missouri, and Tracy and Brad got to go out. They went to Crabapple Field, before daylight, and hunted all day – Missouri season closes at 1:00 P.M. – and had a really exciting time.
TRACY: (Whispering) It’s my, uh, first time out turkey hunting, so we’re hoping to have a little success later on today. Uh, the morning started out very nice. We had a full moon lighting our way in. Came in, got our gear in the stand, heard some gobblers down the creek, um, just right after daybreak. Brad started calling, I’d hoped they’d move up the creek, come up this way, but instead, what we’ve got to see was a hen for a few minutes out here in the field – watching her move around.
TRACY: It wasn’t too long after that, where a – a nice gobbler came out, and we watched him, tried to get him to come to us with a little calling, but it was to no avail. He just kept ri – on – right on – on that feeding path, and actually, ended up going in about the same direction as that hen.
TRACY: Shortly after that, um, we got the – to see a coyote come into the field. We had a little debate in the, in the blind about whether or not I could shoot him.
TRACY: Um, checked this regulation. Sure enough, there’s no season on coyotes right now so, we watched his reactions, but he got a smell of us and took off back off into the woods.
TRACY: In the late morning, we had two jakes come into the field.
TRACY: Started out on the hill above us and Brad did some calling and got them to move towards us.
TRACY: And while they were coming in, I had to make that decision. Am I gonna take a jake, or am I gonna wait for a – a more mature bird?
TRACY: It was a really tough decision, but I decided to wait for another bird, a more mature tom to come along, and I feel really good about that. We had some nice time watching the birds out there today, watching the hen, and the older gobbler, and then, these two jakes, coyote. It was just a great morning in the stand.
GRANT: Now, Tracy has chickens, so she doesn’t like coyotes too well, but they’re protected in Missouri’s turkey season. I know that’s odd, for a lot of states. But it’s illegal to harvest a coyote, even if you have a valid license and a turkey tag, during turkey season in Missouri. That’s one that I think needs to be changed. And then of course, they saw two jakes come in close. Tracy just opted to not harvest a jake, so we’ve already got some turkey breast in the freezer, thanks to Raleigh and Rae. Let him pass, waiting for a rope and another day.
GRANT: I told my dad to meet me at nine o’clock back at my house. My dad is always early. So, we get there and get everything going, and kind of cleaning our gear up. Sure enough, there’s dad, and we’re off to hunt. Now, I had a blind on top of a ridge, but the wind is literally blowing 30/40 miles an hour, at least according to the weather man today. So I didn’t want to be on top of a ridge in a food plot, ‘cause turkeys probably weren’t coming out there and the blinds probably gonna blow away. So I grabbed a blind, and dad and I go down to Blue Hole.
GRANT: After about 30 minutes, sure enough, I heard two gobbles, just barely. It was really windy out there. Of course, my dad is very hard of hearing – wears magnum hearing aids, so to speak. So, he didn’t hear a thing, and I said, “I don’t want to call. I don’t know if they can even hear me.” I wanted ‘em to work closer and I decided to wait a little bit, and sure enough, I don’t know 10-15 minutes, I heard a gobble that was a little more crisp, but still a ways off.
GRANT: I used my magnum aluminum, the Derby City. These big holes just let a huge amount of volume out and they started doing some cutting right away and heard some good calling coming back.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: A matter of fact, they circled the entire field twice. I could hear them. I’m confident it was the same birds, and they would be 30/40 yards, it seemed, in the timber. They’d be in front of us; they’d be to our right; they’d be silent; they’d be behind us; they’d be across the creek.
GRANT: And season closes at 1:00. It was cutting in on lunch time. I knew I had to do something so, I said, “The next time they swing by, I’m gonna change up on ‘em a little bit.”
GRANT: Sure enough, I see that old red head barely in the bushes on the side of the creek about 80/85 yards away.
GRANT: And I had worked out a system with my dad – that if I give him a thumbs up, he can shoot anytime, until I slap him on the knee.
GRANT: Got him, pops. You nailed him. Nailed him. Good job. Great job. That was about 50 yards, dad. How’d that scope work at 50 yards?
GLEN: It worked perfect. I raised it about two inches above where it was supposed to be, and uh,…
GRANT: Did that scope help you, versus a bead – just having a bead to sight down?
GLEN: Uh, it was wonderful. It just – put it right where you needed it.
GLEN: 47, 48, 49, 50.
GRANT: Man, it was all great. 51 steps, we counted out later. It was a great time. Can you imagine, my 80 year old father – be 81 this October – first morning out turkey hunting this year, harvesting an adult bird?
GLEN: Whew! Man. That’s a big one, son. I tell you.
GRANT: What a great time that is, and once again, I just reflect on what allowed that bird to be here. How did I get to share that great experience with my father? All the stuff we do. You know, we use Antler Dirt for a great fertilizer, and we got soybeans out, and we trap. You know, Missouri’s turkey numbers are really down. It’s a big subject of discussion, all throughout Missouri, and even other states, ‘cause Missouri used to be the number one turkey population – more birds harvested than any other state. That’s not true anymore.
GRANT: Obviously, he’s been doing a lot of strutting.
GLEN: Oh, is that right?
GRANT: He’s been walking and strutting.
GRANT: Raccoon populations have quadrupled, in the last 15 years, or so. I know there’s a pile of coyotes. A matter of fact, Tracy saw one while she’s hunting, and now, there’s black bear in the area. That’s a huge amount of predation pressure on fawns, and poults, and nests, and everything that I like to put in a skillet.
GRANT: Trapping is gonna become more and more of an issue – just for wildlife management, not for sport – in the future. And if you think your game populations are going down – not that predators aren’t game, but there needs to be a balance in there – you may want to start paying attention to how much scat you’re finding on your property, or how many times you’re getting predators on your trail cameras, and think about making sure that predator/prey relationship is in balance at your Proving Grounds. I hope you get to enjoy a great turkey hunt with a family member. I thank you so much for watching GrowingDeer.tv.