This is the video transcript. To watch the video for this episode click here.
>>DANNY: [Shot] Boom, baby. Whoo! [Laughter]
>>GRANT: It’s almost time to celebrate Mother’s Day which probably should be called Love Day. You know, mothers just love on their kids, almost all of them. And maybe you don’t have a biological mom; maybe someone else is helping you or you’re like me and you’re at an age where now you’re kind of helping mom versus mom helping you. Either way, it’s just a day to really pour into someone and love on someone which is a reflection of what we should do year-round. This year let’s let Mother’s Day be an inspiration for our behavior every day.
>>GRANT: This week I wish to share a recent turkey hunt from team member Danny Naugle and several tips that can apply to your turkey hunting.
>>GRANT: Scouting and finding areas where turkeys frequent can be a big key to punching a tag.
>>GRANT: When you find a great area, it’s not just one that a tom is using this year, but toms have used in the past and toms are likely to use during future seasons.
>>GRANT: A great example of this is a hidey hole food plot team members Heath and Lindsey Martin have created on their Arkansas farm. It’s up on a ridgetop and ideal for toms to strut and gobble.
>>GRANT: Identifying areas that turkeys use year to year is a great start to a successful turkey hunting strategy. But hunters need to be ready to adjust their strategy in case of turkey behavior changes or the environment in that area changes.
>>GRANT: I guess to summarize that; it boils down to using observations you made during past hunts on a property and MRI – most recent information – based on what you’re seeing during the current season.
>>GRANT: Danny is a skilled outdoorsman, and he lives and hunts here in southwest Missouri and he used that exact hunting strategy to tag a tom recently.
>>GRANT: Since February, Danny has been very busy. He’s not only a fireman but he and his wife, Jessica, were blessed with the birth of their first child, their son, Henry.
>>GRANT: I’m very proud of Danny and Jessica because they haven’t wasted any time getting Henry outdoors and starting a trend of a family being together and enjoying Creation.
>>GRANT: Even with everything going on in Danny’s life, he’s found a bit of time to pattern his Winchester and make sure it’s still on from last season and do some scouting.
>>GRANT: The morning before turkey season opened in Missouri, Danny was out on the edge of a pasture listening and he knew toms tend to use that area.
>>GRANT: Danny’s knowledge was based on hunting there several years in the past and tagging a number of toms.
>>GRANT: In fact, last year Danny dropped a tom at about 50 yards in the same pasture opening morning.
>>GRANT: That hunt lasted several hours as the tom seemed to hang up behind a blanket of fog before he finally worked into Danny’s setup.
>>GRANT: While scouting this year, Danny had heard a tom roosted in about the same place the tom was last year.
>>GRANT: Knowing that the tom last year flew down and really wanted to stay at the far end of the pasture, he decided to move his setup to that end.
>>GRANT: Next morning was opening day and early in the morning, Danny and his friend, Shawn, slid in quietly to their setup and waited to see what would happen.
>>GRANT: Light was just cracking as that tom fired off that he was close by.
>>GRANT: When Danny and Shawn felt that it was about time for that tom to fly down, Shawn gave a quiet call just to let that tom know there was a hen in the area and, as soon as he did, that tom fired back.
>>GRANT: It wasn’t long until they were certain that tom was on the ground.
>>GRANT: Fog had rolled in much like last year and it was difficult to see much past 40 yards.
>>GRANT: They knew that tom was close as Shawn whispered he could hear him spitting and drumming.
>>SHAWN: [Whispering] Hear him spitting?
>>GRANT: Within moments Danny spotted him through the fog.
>>SHAWN: [Whispering] There he is. See him off to the right?
>>DANNY: [Whispering] Yeah.
>>SHAWN: [Whispering] He’s slowing down.
>>GRANT: The tom was strutting about 40 yards out and it seemed he was trying to attract those Avian-X hens – the decoys – to come to him.
>>DANNY: [Shot] Boom, baby. Same spot, opening day, two years in a row. Boom.
>>DANNY: It’s April 19th. It’s the opening day of Missouri’s turkey season. And I’ve been fortunate enough to punch my tag once again on opening day. Last year, Bradley and I did it on this exact same field, pretty similar conditions to today. It was real foggy. We’re down here close to the lake and that fog rolls in pretty thick.
>>DANNY: I have a newborn baby this year, and so I haven’t been able to do quite as much scouting as I typically do. So, I was just kind of relying on some past history. There’s usually birds up using this field.
>>DANNY: And I came out and listened yesterday morning and heard one on the roost on this side of the field. So, I dropped a pin on it and Shawn and I, we made a game plan. Got in here early this morning about five and got set up. And about six o’clock, he hammered on the roost and we were about 80 yards from him. He pitched off; kind of skirted around us a little bit, strutted back and forth, and finally turned and started to commit and gave me about a 40-yard shot. So, I took it, and punched a tag, and tagged out now.
>>DANNY: I’ve got to wait a week and I’ll get back after ‘em. It’s a little bit before eight right now and I think Shawn and I are gonna get out of here and see if we can’t find him a bird.
>> ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Green Cover Food Plots, Winchester, Avian-X Decoys, LaCrosse Footwear, Thlete Outdoor Apparel, Morrell Targets, Summit Treestands, RTP Outdoors, Yamaha, Fourth Arrow, HuntStand, Scorpion Venom Archery, Case IH Tractors, Burris Optics, Bloodsport Arrows, Code Blue, D/Code, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
>>GRANT: I’m sure Danny is happy to have some fresh turkey meat to share with his family and go along with all those morrells he’s been finding this spring.
>>GRANT: Danny’s quick and successful hunt was the product of knowing how toms use the area plus the MRI – the scouting information – he had this spring.
>>GRANT: It might not be obvious, but Danny’s hunt also reminds me of another very important lesson or strategy. The further you set up away from a tom, whether it’s on the roost or you get one fired up mid-day, the more likely that tom is going to be cut off by some hens, messed up by a coyote, or something else.
>>GRANT: When you can get in close, especially when that tom is on the roost and it’s still dark, your odds are very good that that tom is going to come to the setup.
>>GRANT: Danny’s hunt can also be used to illustrate it’s important to set up where a tom wants to be. If Danny had been further across the pasture like he was last year, it might have been more difficult, if it happened at all, to get the tom to come in.
>>GRANT: Knowing where a tom wants to be – a strut zone, a feeding area, whatever – is a great way to increase your odds of punching a tag.
>>GRANT: Toms are typically more responsive if you’re calling from a position of where a tom wants to be or maybe you’re in a travel path of where he’s wanting to go.
>>GRANT: Trying to call a tom away from hens or away from an area where he wishes to travel often is very frustrating.
>>GRANT: This is where scouting and understanding turkey behavior can play a big role in creating a successful strategy to tag a tom.
>>GRANT: If you’d like to learn more about our strategies and techniques, check out our social media pages.
>>GRANT: You know, taking your mom or somebody you care for out hunting, fishing, just hiking, enjoying the wildflowers this time of year is a great way to get outside and enjoy Creation. And more importantly, I hope you take time every day to be quiet and listen to the Creator and seek His will for your life.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.