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GRANT: It’s Monday, April 4th and Adam and I just returned from Kansas archery only turkey season. Kansas is kind of unique, ‘cause starting April 1st, for a couple of weeks, they have an archery only turkey season. Now, it’s early and the turkeys are still grouped up, but it’s archery only so, it should be great. And we packed a couple of Bass Pro blinds, and our bows, and rolled out to a friend of mines property in Kansas, has a bunch of turkeys. And the field that we had seen several turkeys in during the fall was a natural place to start. And we crossed the creek and come up on a bank. We didn’t have a camera with us, so there’s no film here to show you, but there were, literally, about 51 turkeys, including several strutters, out in the field. And I am so excited. I can’t hardly sleep that night, ‘cause I’m thinking, we’re gonna tag a couple the next morning in Kansas.
GRANT: Adam and I get in the blind early. We’re there; the – it’s kind of windy, and cloudy, but when you’ve seen 51 turkeys in that field the night before, you’re still pumped up. We’re not seeing a turkey, but we’re hearing a bunch of turkeys. I mean, you know not five or six gobblers, more than I can count and separate.
GRANT: And I was pumped through seven o’clock, eight o’clock, nine o’clock. I was pumped ‘til lunch, but we didn’t see a turkey.
GRANT: It all worked, except the turkeys coming in. As soon as they hit the ground, that whole bottom went from a chorus of gobbling to the silence of a library. It was quiet.
GRANT: (Whispering) We heard a bunch of birds this morning, but as soon as they hit the ground, they were quiet. We probably haven’t heard 10 gobbles since 8:30, 9:00 AM. Haven’t seen a gobbler, and, uh, it’s just been a tough day. Nothing working, nothing close. You can’t even get one to shock gobble, so, they’re really, really, really with the hens, and apparently, early on. And there’s a lot of turkeys on this property so, I think that’s even making it worse, ‘cause turkeys are finding turkeys easy.
GRANT: We ended up repositioning our blind a couple of times. Never really had turkeys working the decoy. And that leads me into the real learning points of this episode, and there are three I want to share with you. The first point is don’t guide the guide, and that simply means when you go somewhere, that guy that knows that property – the manager, the biologist, the owner, whatever – he knows more about that property than you’re ever gonna know, so listen to him. The property owner where we were hunting had told us that the neighbor did a lot of hunting over bait – which is legal in Kansas – out of ground blinds and that the turkeys were probably conditioned to avoid ground blinds. Rule number two is in early season those turkeys are all grouped up. It’s just about like hunting deer. Figure out the pattern and get in front of them.
ADAM: Couple of ‘em. There’s more (inaudible).
GRANT: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah, oh my gosh. Yeah. Oh my gosh.
ADAM: They just keep coming out of there. That’s the second big flock come out of there this morning. Yeah.
GRANT: (Whispering) I think our only hope is to actually get ahead of them.
GRANT: (Whispering) He’s coming up.
GRANT: Rule number three came on the last morning of the hunt. Even turkeys that don’t get hunted much know their habitat really well. Adam and I got in front of these turkeys; they’re coming to us. I’m sitting, you know with my back to a tree. Adam’s right behind the tree peeking out with the camera. And, and, and as you can see on the film, we’re watching a, literally, a flock of gobblers – jakes and mature birds – coming straight through us to the trees. They don’t really know we’re in the world. And they just about 40 yards away, no decoy up, no nothing. I’m sitting still, bows up. I’m just sitting there, and they just notice something’s not right, and they just changed their mind. They just simply go back the way they came. It’s so critical to have good camouflage and be in an area that doesn’t stick out, and we were camouflaged well. Everything is working great but that black camera sticking out around the tree, apparently, was just enough, and the shine off the lens, the turkeys just to say, “Nah. Let’s just go somewhere else.” So the three rules, and three tips, for this hunt is: don’t guide the guide; know the local conditions, ‘cause those turkeys may flare off a blind, if they’ve been conditioned to avoid ‘em or whatever’s going on; and you got to have great camouflage. Turkeys aren’t really that smart, but they got tremendous vision, and they’re scared of everything in the woods so, they see something unusual, they’re just gonna change their mind and go another way.
GRANT: You know this coming weekend is youth season. I’m getting prepared to take Raleigh and Rae hunting back at The Proving Grounds, where I know the land, know the turf, know where the turkeys want to go. Looking forward to a great hunt and I hope you’re prepared to have a great turkey season. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.