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>>GRANT: Recently Daniel, Clay, and I were at the La Hamaca Ranch in South Florida chasing turkeys.
>>GRANT: During the second morning of our hunt, we slipped in and happened to sit right under the trees where some toms were roosted.
>>GRANT: The toms pitched off the limb and hit the ground right in front of our setup.
>>GRANT: I truly enjoyed that hunt as I watched the toms work our setup with a beautiful South Florida sunrise behind them.
>>GRANT: After I had punched one of my turkey tags, Daniel grabbed a Winchester and he and Clay went hunting.
>>GRANT: While they were hunting, I spent the next few mornings scouting for turkeys and chasing hogs during the afternoons.
>>GRANT: I saw a lot of critters while scouting, but I focused on finding roosting areas and if I could kind of following turkeys around to see how they use the area during the day.
>>GRANT: While scouting one afternoon, I spotted some toms out in a pasture and I followed them around using my Burris binoculars until they went into some timber close to dark.
>>GRANT: There were several mature pines in this hammock, and turkeys prefer roosting in pines versus hardwoods like live oaks. Pines, of course, have very horizontal limbs. They’re not as dense as like the limbs on an oak tree, which makes it much easier for turkeys to fly in and fly out.
>>GRANT: The next morning before daylight, I was standing on the downwind side of that hammock. And you may wonder why I’m worried about wind direction since I’m hunting turkeys. But being on the downwind side will allow me to hear the toms and any light calling hens much further.
>>GRANT: When the toms sounded off, it was obvious they had roosted in the pines. I stood there enjoying listening to them until I was sure they and the hens had all hit the ground and then I kind of moved in trying to figure out where they were headed.
>>GRANT: After satisfying I had a good pattern, I eased out of the area and went back to the lodge and was happy to hear that Daniel and Clay had tagged a tom.
>>GRANT: After celebrating that, Clay and I decided we’d hunt the roosting area I had found.
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>>GRANT: I dropped a pin using onX between where the toms were roosted and the pasture I seen them go out into, and that pin would be our guide to slide in before daylight the next morning and set up.
>>GRANT: [Whispering] We’re just a few yards, and there’s that pasture right there. They’re gonna be roosted over here. [Inaudible] .
>>GRANT: It was barely light when I heard Clay whisper he heard a tom flying down.
>>GRANT: I hadn’t expected the toms to fly down this early, and I certainly didn’t expect them to pitch down within a few yards of our feet. I still had a call in my hand. I was getting ready to tune up just a bit, and my Winchester was laying on the ground on my left side.
>>GRANT: Two of the toms kind of walked around while the dominant toms strutted.
>>GRANT: As I watched the toms walk around, I believed if I moved really slowly, I could ease the Winchester up to my left shoulder.
>>GRANT: The toms had drifted to our right just a bit, and I was able to get the shotgun up and prepare for a shot.
>>GRANT: However, by the time I got all situated, the toms had got behind some live oaks and brush, and I did not have a clear opportunity.
>>GRANT: If you look closely, you can see some hens through the trees in a small opening behind the toms, and that’s where I thought those toms would pitch down and land.
>>GRANT: The toms were between those hens and our decoy, and it kind of seemed like they were trying to bring both groups of hens to them.
>>GRANT: Are you kidding me? I mean, are you kidding me?
>>GRANT: I can’t believe it!
>>GRANT: It’s just hard for me to really get a grip on how this turkey season 2021 has started for me and the GrowingDeer Team. I mean, man, it’s just been fun. We’ve just been having fun, man! I mean just a great turkey camp.
>>GRANT: Clay and I come out here yesterday afternoon again hog hunting, listening for turkeys. And we’re coming through this stand of live oaks over here – maybe 200 yards that way – and I’m ahead of Clay just a little bit just putzing around out in this pasture, and I saw a gobbler.
>>GRANT: We watched those turkeys come back in this part of timber. So, Clay and I say, “Hey man, we’ll just get up early, and we’ll just walk there in the morning.”
>>GRANT: Sure enough, we come in here and we put this hen out close because they’ve been flaring off decoys this year. So, she’s not too far off our toes, thinking, “Boy they might hang up out there.” And I’m just getting my call out. I mean I’m just getting my call and my striker out, and I see – woosh – land; 747 lands right there. And two more toms come in here. My shotgun is on the ground here. I’ve got a call. It’s confusion, just to tell you the truth. And I’m like, mmm – infinitely slow, and I’m gonna swap knees but then I decided, “Nah. Just bend your knee.” And if I get too low, there’s some grass right between me. That’s why I was trying to stay up. You’ll see some grass there.
>>GRANT: So, I get over here and I find a hole. And I line up on that one tom that’s got its head up. And then he turns sideways and starts doing – so I gotta – I mean I’m doing the yoga, like I am right now, trying to be quiet.
>>GRANT: Finally got it lined up and man put the Burris on there – 41 yards, shooting a 20-gauge. Of course, my favorite – I mean, you know, I’m just telling you folks, for about like 19 or 20 bucks a box, Long Beard XR is the turkey killingest round out there, period. And at 41 yards with a 20-gauge, that thing again drops.
>>GRANT: It is 6:44 after I’ve been yapping all this time, and from when they flew down – if I’d had my gun up – it would have been like a six-second hunt. Which one do you want? Are the cameraman – boom! It worked out great because I got to enjoy it more.
>>GRANT: I’m tagged down South Florida, man. I’m on hog patrol, which I love. I love stalking these South Florida hogs, and the ranch is wanting ‘em gone. They’re doing all this damage in the pastures. This was an awesome morning. I’m gonna go check out that tom.
>>GRANT: This hunt is a great example of how spending some time scouting can result in punching a tag.
>>GRANT: Are you kidding me? I mean are you kidding me?
>>GRANT: Putting boots on the ground and looking for fresh sign – and maybe that sign is tracks or strut marks in the dirt; maybe you’re out early or late listening for toms to gobble, or you’re even using a trail camera – well, that’s a great way to find areas where turkeys frequent.
>>GRANT: Let’s take that one step further. If you can really pinpoint where toms are roosting and have a good feeling on the direction they’re wanting to go first thing in the morning, and you can slide in there in between the roosting and where they want to go, you’ve got a really good chance of filling a tag.
>>GRANT: I can’t believe it!
>>GRANT: This hunt seemed quick, but it’s actually a result of several hours and a lot of miles spent out there scouting and looking for turkey sign and turkeys, and the result, well, it’s more fresh turkey for the Woods family.
>>GRANT: Oh yeah. Oh yeah!
>>CLAY: Woo, yeah, those things are sharp.
>>GRANT: Those are sharp ones right there. Look at that bad boy.
>>GRANT: Look at that. He’s worn some feathers off. The tom I killed the other day, obviously, had not been doing much breeding yet because when toms are breeding quite a bit they wear their feathers off their chest.
>>GRANT: And of course, full fan.
>>CLAY: Um hmm.
>>GRANT: That’s what we like to see, right? Right there.
>>GRANT: We’ve got some more natural meat to put in the freezer.
>>GRANT: Cook that bad boy up. Mmm mmm; fresh turkey meat.
>>GRANT: Oh yeah. Mighty fine.
>>GRANT: Understanding how critters use different types of habitat and using that information to guide your scouting or formulate a strategy to go hunting is a great way to get outside and enjoy Creation.
>>GRANT: I hope you have a chance to do the same this week, and more importantly, I hope you take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.