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GRANT: May 2nd here at The Proving Grounds and it’s raining again today. I’m sure you’ve seen on the news, just a lot of rain – 10, 12, 15, 17 inches in much of the Southern Midwest. It’s been a wet week. My good friend, Scott Reynolds, come in and joined me this week to go hunting, but the creeks are up so much, we couldn’t get around The Proving Grounds, so we bolted out to Kansas for some Kansas turkey action.
GRANT: You know, it was a great time with Scott, but we rolled back to Missouri hoping the rain had quit, but with no turkey in the back of the truck.
GRANT: But this morning in the rain, Roger and I were out there setting up before daylight.
GRANT: (Whispering) It’s always great to be back on the home turf. Now, it’s really overcast this morning. We haven’t heard a gobble yet. We’re about 30 minutes past twilight. But crows are just starting to sound off, so we’re excited for a good day of hunting at The Proving Grounds.
GRANT: (Whispering) The road between us and that big tree is 42 yards. That’s kind of our, kind of our circumference for shooting. Oh, we got a turkey just flew in. Just flew in.
GRANT: Now, Roger and I were just filming that interview to get started in the morning. As soon as it was, was light enough to film in the blind and the hen pitched into the field.
GRANT: Now late season it’s always a little risky to throw a jake out there for reasons I don’t understand. Seems like adult birds will sometimes flare off jakes in the late season.
GRANT: As this going on and the rain is coming closer and closer – sprinkling and harder rain is predicted – I started going through a series of calls. I’m using my light Derby City slate with smaller holes in the background. Then, I go to the aluminum magnum. Just really trying to get something going before the rain becomes too heavy and sure enough, right over a little roll in Crabapple Field, we see that full fan and that big wide head coming. We know the game is on.
GRANT: Now, on mornings that are total overcast and rainy, oftentimes, gobblers won't do the whole show for you. They're not strutting or gobbling a lot, but we were blessed just to see everything the gobblers had this morning – strutting, turning, a pair of mature toms working back and forth – just setting there.
GRANT: But 110 yards away, hens in the field, jakes in the field – I’m calling a little bit more aggressive ‘cause I need ‘em to close the gap before a hard rain sets in.
GRANT: The hens break off and probably go back to their nest about that right time – 10:00, 10:30 – and some of the jakes start coming our way and I’m laying on the call a little bit more. Finally, two of the mature toms step out and they're focused on that decoy and we know that the game is on.
GRANT: (Whispering) Man. Man. Whew. That was a long hunt. They talk about long path tornadoes; that was a long path gobbler.
GRANT: (Softly) Gobble, strut, gobble, strut, gobble, strut, which is odd on a cloudy, rainy morning like this. Everything going on around that jake decoy and hen decoy out there. When they started drifting off this side, though, one of the mature birds got about a yard from the other birds. ‘Cause all those necks have just been doing this – and that’s a great thing about the Nikon scope is it helped me make sure that there were no turkeys right behind us. It’s not just when their necks are like this.
GRANT: (Softly) Hunters tend to get tunnel vision, or at least I do, on that. Might be another turkey five yards back and when you’ve just got the bead up, you don’t tend to see that. It kind of fuzzes out on you. But I had focused in – had that Nikon right up there – and that one get about a yard away and, “Pow! Winchester down!”
GRANT: Man, yeah. I am liking that. Look at the – whoo! You can tell we’re late in the breeding season because look how many feathers are worn off here. And you kill a turkey first day of turkey season, there won't be as many feathers worn off, but it’s late in the season and he’s done his job. There would be a lot of toms carrying his name next year and you can tell that. So, good, long beard.
GRANT: We had a real cold winter and you’ll find this on cold winters. There’s a lot of hairs – if you can see – a lot of hairs broke off right here. And you’ll find that on real cold, wet winters. Sometimes they’ll actually freeze. This gets br-, brittle and will break off. So, you can see how thick it is down here and the beard is thinner out here. Awesome, awesome hunt.
GRANT: Gosh, what a great day to enjoy Creation. I’m gonna enjoy Creation more when Ms. Tracy does her magic on this thing in the Crock-Pot.
GRANT: But I just can't express how fun it is to not only go through – you know, you see the cornstalks here – the planting, the soil – where you can tell it’s brown, we’ve sprayed and we’re getting ready to plant – the whole cycle. And part of that cycle – this bird has consumed soybeans and corn. Now it’s gonna provide meat for my family. It’s just a whole cycle. And I get to be part of it ‘cause we’re predators. That’s how we were created. And it’s just a great day to be in that cycle.
GRANT: Brad was dead on. He’s a inch and 3/16.
GRANT: That cycle of life and death is a great educational tool for my whole family and for other generations to learn from.
GRANT: I just want to take this moment, if you like GrowingDeer and the information we share, please consider sharing it with your friends. Just send an email, say, “Hey check out these videos.” We enjoy sharing how our family interacts with Creation from food plots to prescribed fire to hunting techniques to the harvest. And if you would share that with your friends and fellow hunters, we would really appreciate it.
GRANT: Thank you so much for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
GRANT: Little bit – little bit over 10 and a half.