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GRANT: Missouri’s turkey season opened April 20th. I was so excited. But that morning when Adam and I headed out, it was extremely windy, like 20 miles per hour, and stayed that way until season closed at 1:00 PM.
GRANT: We checked a couple of our Reconyx cameras that afternoon and felt we had a better plan for Tuesday morning.
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GRANT: As the sunrise progressed, and it was getting lighter and lighter, no toms were gobbling close, but we could hear some back up near the top of the mountain. That sound was more than enough to lure Adam and I to walk up the steep hill.
GRANT: (Whispering) Second morning of Missouri’s turkey season. Weather’s much better today. Couple gobblers about 300 plus yards up ahead of us. Working the call; bringing ‘em in.
GRANT: As a tom worked closer to our setup, it sounded like it was working towards the side of the hill, into timber, and we feared he wouldn’t give us a good shot.
GRANT: That’s, in fact, what happened, and rather risk a bad shot, or spooking a tom trying to move around, we simply let him pass right by, drift behind us 100 or so yards, and got up and changed positions.
GRANT: When we settled into our second sit about 50 yards further away from the tom – started calling, here he came again.
GRANT: (Whispering) I can take him.
GRANT: Wouldn’t you know it? This old tom gave us the slip, again, by staying in the thick cover. Once again, we let this tom drift out of range, picked up all our gear, and moved about 100 yards further back, and this time, into timber. Once we got setup and Adam hit a call, we had a surprise.
GRANT: A different tom fired up about 100 yards or more behind us. As many turkey hunters have experienced, we’re now in full scramble mode trying to get in a better position for that tom.
GRANT: Facing southwest, we were eagerly watching up the road, waiting for this tom to appear.
GRANT: We weren’t surprised when the first tom fired up behind us and was closing the gap, once again.
GRANT: (Whispering) Do you think we need to turn around?
GRANT: (Whispering) I don’t know. They’re about the same. It’s a bad situation, either way.
GRANT: At the time, Adam and I didn’t think it was very funny, but watching the GoPro footage, it’s pretty hilarious; Adam and I talking and shifting around – trying to decide which side of the tree to get on, based on which tom was going to get there first.
ADAM: (Whispering) Which one’s closer?
GRANT: (Whispering) I can’t tell.
GRANT: Adam and I heard a hen fire up, and we immediately called back, knowing if we could call in the hen, one of the toms would come in tow.
GRANT: (Whispering) Which one was that?
ADAM: (Whispering) The one behind us.
GRANT: Once we figured out the game, we switched around the tree again, started calling very aggressively to the hen – knowing that often you can call the hen in easier than the tom.
GRANT: (Whispering) Which one was that?
ADAM: (Whispering) That was him. I think.
GRANT: (Whispering) I couldn’t tell.
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: (Whispering) I see it.
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. Safety’s off.
GRANT: (Whispering) There. The (inaudible) front, the hen is to the left.
GRANT: (Whispering) Just let him come.
GRANT: (Whispering) Come on, big girl.
GRANT: (Whispering) He’s just to the, just to the right.
GRANT: (Whispering) Can you see the gobbler?
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. (Inaudible)
GRANT: (Whispering) Are you ready?
ADAM: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) Whew.
ADAM: (Whispering) Praise God.
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. Praise God.
GRANT: That was some dancing.
GRANT: Man. When I saw that fan barely over the edge up there, and then, he cut over here in the woods, I was like, “Not again.” But the hen kept coming. I said, “No. He’s gonna follow that hen.”
GRANT: Oh yeah. That’s a good Ozark bird there. Ooo! Look at the hooks on that rascal.
GRANT: This might be another limb hanger.
GRANT: Oh yeah. Look at that. For the Ozarks.
GRANT: This bird come down. See that fan, barely over the hill. Ooo, I love that. That moment of tension, makes you anxious and eager at the same time. That hen committed to coming down the road. You know he’s coming after her. Brought him right in…
GRANT: ..to LongBeard range.
GRANT: Hang on one of ‘em.
GRANT: Limb hanger. 45.3 yards to the tree. We’re right here at the feather pile.
GRANT: Well, this is downhill versus uphill.
ADAM: And a pretty short walk.
GRANT: And a pretty short walk.
GRANT: Turkey hunting’s always exciting, and we can’t wait to get back out there another day.
GRANT: Whether deer hunting, or turkey hunting, I talk a lot about scouting from the skinning shed, or looking at a crop of a turkey, or the stomach of a deer, and see what they’ve been eating. But when you look in the crop of a gobbler you killed right of the roost, you’re not likely to find much and that was the case with this big tom.
GRANT: Turkey season is also one of Heath and Lindsey Martin’s favorite time of year. Turkey season is open in Kansas, and Heath and Lindsey have their Prime bows tuned up.
GRANT: So Heath and Lindsey pack up and road trip to Kansas.
GRANT: On this trip, they’re headed to southeast Kansas, an area known for beautiful Eastern-Rio hybrids.
GRANT: Later that afternoon, they were finally in the birds.
HEATH: He’s right there.
GRANT: Heath was finally getting some good responses. But it was obvious, something else had their attention.
HEATH: So, the jakes and the hens have went east, and I don’t know where they’re roosting in. But they’re going east to roost, so we’re gonna listen. But just a few minutes ago, the long beard that we didn’t kill came back out of the pipeline, strutted a minute, and then, he walked down this way. So he’s gonna be roosted right here in this bottom, I hope.
GRANT: The next morning, Heath and Lindsey are within 100 yards of where they were the previous afternoon.
GRANT: It’s not long and Heath calls in a big tom.
GRANT: Something has this long beard on edge and he slips back into the woods.
HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) right there. He just (inaudible).
GRANT: As Heath expects, this long beard’s probably being harassed by this bunch of jakes.
GRANT: It’s odd, but it seems these jakes have all the hens to theirself, not a long beard in sight.
GRANT: Notice this procession come to a halt, as these hens inspect the Miss Purr-Fect decoy.
GRANT: These are some big jakes, sometimes called super jakes. They’re likely the earliest born poults last year and simply had more time to grow.
GRANT: Check out the hen interacting with the Miss Purr-Fect decoy.
GRANT: The final morning proves slow.
GRANT: With dark clouds approaching, Heath and Lindsey decide they might as well head for the truck before the storm arrived. Remember, this is Kansas, tornado country, and you need to think twice about approaching storms.
GRANT: But then, Heath hears a distant gobble.
GRANT: Heath and Lindsey are torn between hustling for the truck or the gobbler.
HEATH: (Whispering) There he is, right there.
HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
HEATH: Holy cow. Whew! We were, basically, packed up and walking back to the truck to go home; getting ready to go home.
HEATH: We kept hearing this bird gobble in the distance. Kept getting closer and closer, and I thought he was coming this way. So long story short, we just snuck in the woods here, crow called. He’s gobbling, gobbling. We just barely got the wind (inaudible) turned around and sit down in the blind. I hen yelped, and I could see his head coming through the woods. Holy cow.
HEATH: There he is, right there. Yes!
HEATH: Changed our game plan a little bit, and I think being just in the woods might have helped that out, instead of being up there in that open pipeline right up there. So hey. We were – he was coming this way. We were where he wanted to be, so I just had to strike on that Hook’s slate call two or three times and I could see his head coming, so we just barely got setup in time. We’ve had several go wrong and didn’t work out. We got this one to work out. What a great end to a, a nice weekend.
GRANT: Wow. That was a last chance bird. Congratulations, Heath and Lindsey. They hung in there, braved the storm, and got the job done. Lindsey’s up to bat next, and rumor has it, she had a great hunt.
GRANT: I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy Creation with someone you care about this week, but most importantly, take time, be quiet, and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.