This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
RYLAN: (Whispering) Slow and steady.
GRANT: This week I am excited to share a turkey hunt from father and son duo, Chase and Rylan White.
GRANT: Missouri’s general turkey season usually opens the third Monday in April and two weeks before that is a special youth-only season.
GRANT: Several states have a similar youth-only turkey season and they’re designed to open during the early portion of the turkey breeding season before many hens are receptive. And that means gobblers are very responsive to calls and decoys.
GRANT: Another factor that comes into play when hunting the early youth seasons is that forage is just starting to green up in most locations. And that means food plots and other green areas can be a huge attraction.
GRANT: Native vegetation and food plot crops tend to be low during that time of year which means it makes perfect strutting areas, places for turkeys to bug and feed on that fresh forage.
GRANT: Knowing that turkeys will likely frequent these areas, it needs to be on the top of your radar when scouting.
GRANT: Often during these special youth seasons, toms can still be grouped up sorting out the dominance.
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GRANT: Last year we shared that Rylan tagged two deer during a single afternoon – a nice doe and his largest buck to date.
CHASE: (Whispering) I am so proud of you.
RYLAN: I got a buck and a doe all in one night. Yeah.
CHASE: This is pretty awesome. So, we couldn’t have been more excited for him. I’m proud of him.
GRANT: That was a very special hunt for Team White as two weeks later, Rylan had major surgery.
GRANT: Rylan had a condition called femoral anteversion or more commonly known as pigeon toeing. And it caused Rylan a lot of pain when doing any form of exercise. It was an answer to prayer for many of us that Rylan’s surgery went great and he started physical therapy not long after.
GRANT: I am extremely proud of Rylan leading many of us by example by doing the tough work – painful work often – of physical therapy and working to regain his health.
GRANT: Rylan had set a personal goal, probably a goal to help motivate him, to be well and able to chase turkeys this spring.
CHASE: (Whispering) Well, we are three months out of surgery for Rylan and we’re in the turkey blind. So he can’t walk around very much. We like to run and gun when we turkey hunt. So, we’re actually elevated and we’re in the Redneck.
CHASE: (Whispering) We got a nice surprise this morning at daylight. We got three gobblers hammering to our right. The problem is we’re not set up for the right. We’re set up for the left. But we’re gonna make it work. It’s exciting to hear some birds gobbling. We’re just going to set in and have a good time.
GRANT: Last spring, Chase had planted this plot with Eagle Seeds Forage Soybeans. They did well and during the late season Chase tagged a big doe while she was eating the pods.
GRANT: The beans were left standing through the winter and fed a lot of deer and turkeys. And recently, to cover the ground, Chase’s father broadcast some small grains in the plot.
GRANT: I’m sure Rylan and Chase were glad to be in the Redneck Blind as the rain hit and the temperatures fell.
GRANT: Even during the rain, the turkeys continued feeding in the plot.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
GRANT: It seems during rainy conditions, turkeys prefer being in open areas.
GRANT: I believe one of the reasons turkeys seek open areas during rain is that it can be very loud in the timber with the rain falling or even rain falling off the tree limbs. And in addition, these raindrops make any leaves or vegetation move all the time which could appear like a predator rushing towards the turkeys.
GRANT: But when they’re in the open at least they have the advantage of using their vision to detect predators.
GRANT: Knowing how turkeys respond to different weather conditions can be a big key to having a successful hunt.
GRANT: Rylan was hoping for a larger bird to show, but it never did.
CHASE: (Whispering) All right. So me and Rylan are back in the same blind as we was yesterday. The birds are roosting a little farther off today and they are henned up big time up at my dad’s farm here. He’s been working on the habitat quite a bit.
CHASE: (Whispering) And, uh, we have been putting in food and we’ve been putting in cover, using burn. It’s really been beneficial for the turkey population. That being said, though, we have a lot of competition with the hens and it seems like the more we call, the farther away they go with the – the hens take ‘em away, so.
CHASE: (Whispering) Rylan isn’t able to move very much, but the birds have moved down right below us. But they’re just sitting there. He thinks he can make it down there and we’ll just have to take it real slow. And we’re gonna get out the onX app here and see what the terrain looks like between here and there.
CHASE: (Whispering) This is kind of a section that we stay out of to let the wildlife have to their selves, kind of a sanctuary, if you will.
CHASE: (Whispering) We are right there.
RYLAN: (Whispering) Where we at? Let me try to get like right in that area right there. Try to call ‘em just to the edge of the field.
CHASE: (Whispering) We could, yeah.
CHASE: (Whispering) The turkeys are right here moving back and forth. We’re gonna try to ease our way down the hill and maybe make a move on ’em.
CHASE: (Whispering) Think you can make it?
RYLAN: (Whispering) Yeah, I think so. Slow and steady.
GRANT: Unfortunately, it seemed the turkeys were drifting away.
GRANT: There’s a small hidey hole food plot on the next ridge and Chase believed the toms were working their way up that ridge toward the plot.
GRANT: Rylan and Chase began working their way up a drainage being careful to keep the ridge between them and the turkeys.
GRANT: Chase wisely decided to set up a ways off the plot rather than getting too close and alerting the turkeys.
GRANT: He gave a yelp on a Hook’s call and was answered with a gobble.
GRANT: A few minutes later, Rylan saw a head coming through the timber.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
RYLAN: (Whispering) He’s coming. Don’t move. (Inaudible)
CHASE: (Whispering) He’s going to the right.
CHASE: (Whispering) Whenever you get a hole, you bust him. Stop.
RYLAN: (Whispering) Right there.
CHASE: (Inaudible) Now he’s on the right.
UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible)
CHASE: Boom. Go get him. Get it on safety. Get it on safety. Come over here.
GRANT: Congratulations, Rylan. I’m very proud of you for achieving your goal and tagging an Ozark Mountain turkey after a tough surgery.
CHASE: Heck, yeah. Did you find that antler just right there?
RYLAN: Yeah. It was just laying here.
CHASE: That’s awesome. Just leave ‘em right there. We’ll do a shot right there.
CHASE: Well, we had a good day today. Yesterday we elected to sit in the blind. So today the turkeys went the other way this morning and Rylan had had enough. He said, “Let’s go, dad.” So this guy came along, and Rylan put the hammer down on him.
CHASE: You’ve had kind of a dry spell here lately, haven’t you?
RYLAN: A bad one.
CHASE: But, we got us a bird down and we found some morel mushrooms earlier and we’re going to have some turkey and mushrooms.
GRANT: Rylan’s hunt should motivate all of us. And it also illustrates a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
GRANT: When moving toward the turkeys, Chase decided to set up off the plot and allow the turkeys plenty of space to figure out how they wanted to approach the calls.
GRANT: I’ve learned the hard way by spooking more toms than I care to admit, that it’s often better to stay back from a plot or an obstacle and let the toms pick their own path to come to the call.
GRANT: I almost always apply this technique when trying to call toms across a barrier such as a fence or a creek.
GRANT: Giving toms space allows them to cross barriers where they prefer and then work in to your setup.
GRANT: Turkey season has opened in most states and will soon open in others. When you tag that big tom, check out our video that shows how to remove all the meat from a wild turkey.
GRANT: Rylan’s experience during the past six months makes the inconvenience we’re experiencing now seem like a pretty small hill. But if you’re feeling a little stressed out, one of the best therapies is getting outside and enjoying Creation. And most importantly, take time every day to be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.
GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.
CHASE: What do you think?
RYLAN: That’ll work.
CHASE: Ready to rock?
RYLAN: Got it.
CHASE: Okay. Love you.
RYLAN: Love you.
RYLAN: You think you should just bring the truck down through here?
CHASE: Yep. We’ll just carry it to the top of the hill, and I’ll bring the truck over. Okay?
RYLAN: I’ll carry the turkey. You gotta carry most of the other crap. Okay?