Turkey Hunting: Changing Strategies Pays Off (Episode 285 Transcript)
This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
GRANT: We had another exciting week turkey hunting, as both Raleigh and Adam headed out with their shotguns and Adam and I headed over to Lamar, Missouri to hunt with Pete. You might recall, Pete won the Redneck Blinds sweepstakes turkey hunt.
ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer.tv is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Eagle Seed, Nikon, Winchester, ScentMaster, Dead Down Wind, Antler Dirt, LaCrosse Footwear, Whitetail Properties, BloodSport Arrows, Outdoor Edge Knives, Flatwood Natives, Morrell Targets, Caldwell, Hook’s Custom Calls, Montana Decoys, Prime Bows, G5 Broadheads and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
GRANT: The first morning, we setup in a hay bale blind that had been tucked in the corner of a large ag field.
GRANT: (Whispering) Oh, here goes a whole bunch more. Oh my gosh. There’s a whole bunch more going right in front. Four more. Five. Five, six. Six more right in front. There’s a gobbler in the back.
GRANT: We could see some toms strutting a couple hundred yards away, but it didn’t seem like they were paying any attention to our calls.
GRANT: About the time those toms started working away, we noticed some jakes working toward our setup.
GRANT: When several jakes get together in a flock, they tend to act like bullies and constantly harass the toms in the area.
GRANT: (Whispering) They’re coming right (Inaudible).
GRANT: For the next hour, we could constantly see turkeys somewhere in the field. There’d be jakes here; maybe a couple gobblers over there. But none of ‘em seemed to be paying much attention to our setup.
GRANT: As these turkeys drifted off, we knew we had to change something. And after hours of studying the behavior of these particular turkeys, we decided we needed Papa Strut to draw ‘em in.
GRANT: Papa Strut’s Montana strutter decoy because it’s so foldable and collapsible, Adam was able to slide it under the blind and pop it up, even with turkeys in view of our set up.
GRANT: Once the Papa Strut was up, we could tell the turkeys were paying attention to our blind, like they hadn’t before, and they were headed our way.
GRANT: We’ve now been in the blind five hours watching turkeys most of the time and Pete is yet to get a shot. This time, both the toms and jakes were working their way toward our blind, and I could tell Pete was getting excited.
GRANT: After five hours in the blind, I didn’t want to let these toms get away, so I opened up the side window, repositioned Pete, and was ready for the shot.
ADAM: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
PETE: (Whispering) Ready?
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah. Go ahead.
PETE: (Whispering) Ready? Ready?
GRANT: Shoot again. Shoot again. With your one shot. Shoot that one running away.
GRANT: You got him. You nailed him.
GRANT: Pete made a great shot, and after hours in the blind, we were on the board.
GRANT: That’s a good beard.
PETE: (Inaudible) Turkeys.
UNKNOWN: That would not stop (inaudible).
PETE: Well, I’m telling you. It was the most challenging turkey hunt I’ve ever been on.
GRANT: Pete went from the chair on this side, to the middle chair, to Adam’s chair.
PETE: Adam’s chair.
GRANT: And Adam was standing up. We, we did a lot of moving, to make this happen.
GRANT: There was so many jakes. The gobblers are scared.
PETE: I had never…
GRANT: I mean, literally.
PETE: …seen so many jakes in my life.
GRANT: We seen 18 different jakes. We have four hours of memory in the camera and we were down to three minutes.
GRANT: It was a long and very enjoyable hunt. We were seeing turkeys almost the entire time and having a great visit with Pete. Have you ever noticed you can take hunters from different states, or even different cultures, and they instantly bond and have a lot to talk about? This trip got even better, as the guys from Redneck Blinds fried up Pete’s turkey that night. We had a great feast and an enjoyable visit.
GRANT: Congratulations, Pete, on winning the sweepstakes and having a great hunt at the Redneck Farms.
GRANT: Each year, some of my favorite hunts are those I share with family, so I was really excited to take my 16 year old daughter, Raleigh, hunting.
GRANT: I knew the toms at our farm hadn’t been gobbling much and had been spending a lot of time with hens.
GRANT: I didn’t believe a cut and run hunt would be the most productive, given those conditions, so Raleigh and I returned to a hay bale blind where both Rae and my father had already tagged a tom this year.
GRANT: The magic to this spot is the location of this hidey hole food plot. Hidey hole food plots are generally an attraction, but put a hidey hole food plot where critters want to travel anyway, and it’s almost always a recipe for success.
GRANT: A couple of hours later, we heard a gobble not more than 100 yards, or so, behind the blind. It was one of those gobbles that’s loud and crisp and you know you’re in the game.
GRANT: I was still shifting the camera and focusing on that area, when Raleigh whispered she saw a tom.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) There.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) There’s a turkey out there.
GRANT: (Whispering) Does it have a white head?
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Don’t shoot (inaudible).
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I know. I can’t get a shot.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) He’s gonna come around here fairly fast.
GRANT: (Whispering) Yeah.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Do you see him?
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) See him.
GRANT: (Whispering) Can you shoot?
RALEIGH: (Whispering) No.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I can’t even see him.
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Don’t move. Don’t move.
GRANT: (Whispering) Can you see him?
RALEIGH: (Whispering) No.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) There. Okay. Yeah. Now I can.
GRANT: (Whispering) Don’t shoot it. Don’t shoot it. (Inaudible)
RALEIGH: (Whispering) I can’t.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) He’s still out there. I know that.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Okay. Now I have something.
GRANT: (Whispering) Wait.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) He’s moving.
GRANT: (Whispering) Shoot him, if you can – if you’re right on him.
GRANT: (Whispering) Right in the head honey. Right in the head.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) He’s moving.
GRANT: (Whispering) Right now, honey. Shoot him.
GRANT: (Whispering) Don’t shoot, unless you’re ready.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) (Inaudible).
GRANT: (Whispering) Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot, I can’t see.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) There’s another one.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Right there.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Is the safety off?
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Is the safety off on here?
RALEIGH: (Whispering) That one’s bigger.
GRANT: (Whispering) I can't find him. I can't find him.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) He’s going down the…
GRANT: (Whispering) (Inaudible) Shoot. If you're ready.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Is the safety off?
GRANT: (Whispering) Huh? Yeah. The safety’s off.
RALEIGH: (Whispering) Come on turkey, stop.
GRANT: You nailed him. You nailed him. You nailed him. You okay?
RALEIGH: Yeah. It jumped a lot more than I thought. That’ll wake you up.
GRANT: That was poopy footage, but it was a great hunt.
GRANT: Raleigh’s shot was true and perfect timing. That tom was within about one yard of getting to the woods on the other side and I suspect that hunt would’ve been over, if that tom had reached the woods.
RALEIGH: Probably fell asleep for about an hour, or so, and dad like just gently wakes me up and he says, “There’s some turkeys nearby.” So we hear them gobbling a little bit. We’re probably sitting here for like 20 minutes, and then, all of a sudden, they start blasting, probably no less than 20 yards away from us. I see just a head bob, and then, we start following it, and then, I can’t keep up with it, cause it’s moving really fast. And then, I saw the other one behind it, and it was a little bigger and going a little slower, so I decided to turn my sights on that one.
GRANT: When I had a chance to watch the footage, I was really proud of Raleigh. That tom’s head was bobbing a lot and moving in the weeds, and she waited until she was confident she could make a great shot.
GRANT: Look at the hooks on there.
RALEIGH: Hmm. Hmm.
GRANT: That’s a good three year old bird. Busted off on this side, but look how long that one is.
GRANT: You can tell he’d been fighting. Look at his…
RALEIGH: They’re all messed up.
GRANT: …look how, look how his tail’s all messed up. Big, thick beard. Goodness gracious. That beard. Look at that. That’s an inch across there. That’s a very – that’s a thicker beard than any bird I’ve killed this year.
RALEIGH: This hidey hole food plot’s been really great for our family this year. I mean, my sister got one, my Grandpa got one – I mean, there’s actually feathers around here from my grandpa’s shot – and now, I got one. You can see here how the feathers are all busted off and crooked and stuff.
RALEIGH: This one just broke at the base and is only barely holding on.
GRANT: Oh, goodness gracious.
GRANT: Once again, the combination of Winchester’s Long Beard ammo and XS3 shotgun bagged the bird at 40 plus yards for the Woods’ family.
GRANT: Long ways from when you were, what, six years old and had the little .410.
RALEIGH: I missed that one.
GRANT: Big gobbler ran in. Ran to us. Ran the whole way and didn’t stop. You shot, and he threw off, and you said, “That was great.” You weren’t upset, and I knew you was gonna be a great hunter, cause you wanted the experience more than the turkey.
RALEIGH: Hmm. Hmm.
GRANT: The next morning, Adam grabbed the Winchester and teamed up with Seth Harker, one of our pro staffers, near Mountain Grove, Missouri.
ADAM: (Whispering) Right out there at the edge of that field.
SETH: (Whispering) Yeah. (Inaudible).
SETH: (Whispering) Not bad.
ADAM: (Whispering) Well, it’s been one of those mornings. Horrible. Barely gobbling. We finally got on a hot bird. We gonna sneak up here and kill him. Gobbling again.
ADAM: (Whispering) Can we get to him?
ADAM: (Whispering) I think he’s in the woods. Right on the edge. Right?
SETH: (Whispering) I think he’s out in that field.
ADAM: (Whispering) Well, we finally got on a bird. Just gobbled. He’s gobbling great, and he’s one of the only birds gobbling this morning. Set up overlooking a road. Hopefully, we’re gonna call him up to the field. Up the field edge, right in the road. We’ll see.
GRANT: When a tom’s gobbling in the morning, he’s trying to attract hens to them. So it’s always risky that a hen may get to the gobbler, before the gobbler gets to the hunter.
GRANT: That seems to be the case during this setup, as they heard a hen calling close to the gobbler, not long after they setup.
ADAM: (Whispering) If he stays quiet, I ain’t doing nothing.
SETH: (Whispering) Yeah. I wouldn’t either.
GRANT: They kept on prospecting, and soon after, heard another tom gobble.
GRANT: They moved quickly to a good set up by this tom and started calling to him.
ADAM: (Whispering) He’s coming.
SETH: (Whispering) That’s what I thought. (Inaudible).
SETH: (Whispering) I see him.
SETH: (Whispering) I see him. Visual. (Inaudible) The left decoy.
SETH: (Whispering) I’m all over him.
ADAM: (Whispering) Good?
SETH: (Whispering) Yeah.
ADAM: I just don’t get tired of turkey hunting. Whoo.
ADAM: I was gonna let him come, but he kind of had his head up. And the way my season’s been going so far, I was not letting him get away.
ADAM: Whoo. Thank you. Thank you, buddy.
ADAM: He was kind of, he was coming up, and then, he kind of stood there like – uh, he probably was just looking him over. But I didn’t want to take any chances. (Laughter) Look at this. This is, this is why I love turkey hunting. It’s because I get shook up, during deer hunting, but not until after the shot.
ADAM: But it is the whole time their gobbling, I’m still shaking.
SETH: Oh, I..it kind of got me a little rattled there coming.
ADAM: Yeah. That little, that little beaut right there. Mmm, mmm-mm. He loved it as much as I did.
ADAM: I haven’t even stepped it off.
SETH: Dude, it’s quite a poke. I was living in the viewfinder.
ADAM: He’s got a heck of a beard, I can tell you that much.
SETH: Does he?
SETH: (Inaudible) Rope.
ADAM: Looks like inch spurs. I don’t know how far that is.
ADAM: Probably, every bit of 50.
ADAM: Something like that.
ADAM: It’s May 2nd, today. So, no breastbone showing. Not much breeding going on it doesn’t look like, but they’re really henned up. It seems like this spring, we’re about three weeks behind normal. We’re not even full foliage here. Dogwood blooms are still on. Got a great beard.
SETH: Boy, I mean a rope, dude.
ADAM: Probably, a ten inch, ten inch beard. Inch spurs. Probably, 23 pounds. Great hunt, though. Just a beautiful, beautiful Missouri hunt. You can see it’s got a beautiful fan.
ADAM: Just a beautiful bird. I do not get tired of hunting turkeys, not at all.
SETH: Boy, he’s a beautiful turkey, dude.
ADAM: (Inaudible) Down. Got a heck of a beard. Look how pretty his head is. (Inaudible) That’s why I like shooting ‘em so far. You don’t mess up the head. You get to see how pretty it is. If you want to introduce somebody to hunting, you don’t take ‘em deer hunting.
ADAM: You take ‘em turkey hunting…
SETH: Turkey hunting.
ADAM: …and you set ‘em on the ground right there with ‘em.
SETH: Oh yeah. Well, just like Trace. He said, “Dad, I, I like turkey hunting.”
SETH: Beautiful turkey, ain’t he?
SETH: I, I wonder if he was gonna go back and strut, or if that was it.
ADAM: I do, too. That’s why I wasn’t taking any chance.
SETH: Guess what?
SETH: I think you made the right decision.
ADAM: Yeah. I definitely don’t regret it.
ADAM: Was he gonna go like this, or was he gonna go like this?
ADAM: I thought about giving him a second, but I’m not gonna lie. The way he was standing, if he would’ve taken one step back this way, I would’ve shot, I would’ve shot Miss Purr-fect, so I was like, I don’t really want to send her spinning.
SETH: Yeah. There’s lots of bb’s in his head, dude.
SETH: There, there, there.
ADAM: He’s got a great beard.
SETH: Yes, he does. Rope beard.
GRANT: Adam, obviously, made a great shot on this bird, but the true success was Adam and Seth not getting discouraged, reading the turkey’s behavior, and adjusting their hunting strategy accordingly.
GRANT: If you’d like to learn more about our management techniques or our deer and turkey hunting techniques, join us this year at our annual field day. Scott Hooks is gonna be here, and he’ll be showing us all some pointers about using turkey calls. For more information about our field day, simply go to GrowingDeer.tv and click on the field day banner on the left side. We’ve clearly been blessed with a number of great turkey hunts this spring. I hope you and your family have had a chance to get outside and enjoy Creation, but most importantly, take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.