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DANNY: Boom!

GRANT: Pro Staffer Danny Naugle has been spending a lot of time in Creation. He’s been catching a lot of fish here in the Ozarks. He’s also found several mushrooms to add to the table.

GRANT: A few days before turkey season opened here in Missouri, Danny headed to the range to pattern his Winchester.

GRANT: Knowing the pattern and his effective range, Danny was ready to go hunting.

GRANT: Danny had several Reconyx pictures of a single hen using a cattle pasture on a small farm where he has permission to hunt.

GRANT: Grazed cattle pastures can make great turkey hunting locations. The vegetation is often short, and the cow pies are full of insects. This makes great bugging and strutting locations.

GRANT: The afternoon before Missouri’s turkey season opened, Danny scouted the pasture from across the holler and saw a tom strutting.

GRANT: Early the next morning, Danny and Bradley used onX to plan their approach and hunt.

DANNY: So, I came in last night – I came up in on this hillside and watched back to the south. That turkey – I watched him strut up across here, hit the middle of the field and I lost him in the rise. But it was 7:45, almost 8:00. I’m pretty sure he’s roosted over on this tree row. That’s where they typically roost at. I shot that bird last year – he was roosted right here and he came up that fence line.

DANNY: My thoughts are we come in across this bottom, sit on the fence line up here and hopefully catch him pitching off the roost. If he works that bottom end down around us, we’ll back out, run down the tree line and we should be able to cut him back off up here. I think that’s our best plan. Could be a quick hunt if it works out right.

ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Eagle Seed, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Morrell Targets, Hooyman, Hook’s Custom Calls, Summit Treestands, RTP Outdoors, Yamaha, Fourth Arrow, onX Hunt, Scorpion Venom Archery, Bloodsport Arrows, Code Blue, D/Code, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.

GRANT: Once they got settled into a fence row, Danny hit the Harrison Hoot’n Stick and tried to locate the tom.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Yeah. Good luck, man.

UNKNOWN: (Whispering) (Inaudible) He’s close.

UNKNOWN: (Whispering) Yeah. (Inaudible)

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Did you see him or just hear it?

DANNY: (Whispering) I didn’t (Inaudible) just heard it.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Where’s he at? Where’s he at?

DANNY: (Whispering) I don’t know. I’m not sure.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) There he just gobbled. Did you hear him?

DANNY: (Whispering) (Inaudible)

BRADLEY: (Whispering) That was him gobbling. He’s on – he’s over that hillside just right now.

GRANT: It was extremely foggy that morning and every now and then, Danny would give a call trying to draw the tom within view.

DANNY: (Whispering) Uh, he’s going away, isn’t he?

DANNY: (Whispering) He gobbled once and at least let him know we’re up here.

GRANT: Occasionally the tom would gobble, and Danny and Bradley knew he was in the area and likely with a hen.

DANNY: (Whispering) Well, sounds like he’s coming back this way, doesn’t it?

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Yeah. Like one minute it sounds like he’s coming this way, the next minute…

DANNY: (Whispering) He’s right there. I don’t know why we can’t see him. Right there. (Inaudible) He’s right there.

GRANT: They remained patient and waited to see what would happen next.

DANNY: (Whispering) Oh, he’s definitely coming in.

GRANT: It wasn’t until about 8:30 when Danny spotted the tom’s fan through the fog and just over the rise of a hill.

DANNY: (Whispering) There he is. (Inaudible) See it? Right there. Yeah. There’s his fan. See him fanned up?

BRADLEY: (Whispering) No. I’m looking at the camera.

DANNY: (Whispering) Straight, straight behind the jake decoy for you. A little bit to the right.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Is he coming in?

DANNY: (Whispering) He’s just standing there right now. But he’s facing this way, coming this way slowly.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Oh, yeah. I got him. See, he’s facing away right now?

DANNY: (Whispering) Yeah, he’s facing away right now.

DANNY: (Whispering) Can you get him on camera?

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Yeah. I’m still trying. I think I’ve got him. Is he strutting now?

DANNY: (Whispering) Yeah, he’s still strutting away.

DANNY: (Whispering) He’s going back down, like down the hill to the right.

GRANT: Eventually, the tom disappeared back into the fog.

GRANT: Danny and Bradley remained patient.

UNKNOWN: (Whispering) He’s straight behind that (Inaudible) bush.

GRANT: About 30 minutes later, the tom reappeared.

DANNY: (Whispering) It’s just (Inaudible) out this way.

GRANT: As the tom strutted back and forth, Danny waited until the tom came close enough and presented a clean shot.

DANNY: (Whispering) That’s so cool.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Oh, yeah. I’ll try to get him (Inaudible).

DANNY: (Whispering) You ready?

BRADLEY: (Whispering) Huh?

DANNY: (Whispering) Tell me when you’re good.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) I’m good whenever.

DANNY: (Whispering) (Inaudible) I think he just took a step to the left.

BRADLEY: (Whispering) I’ve still got him.

DANNY: (Whispering) Okay. You ready?

DANNY: Boom!

BRADLEY: Oh, my gosh, dude. What a stinking hunt. Holy cow!

DANNY: Let me go grab him. I’m gonna step that off. What do you think? 50, 55?

BRADLEY: I’d say it’s every bit of 50.

DANNY: 50. On the dot.

DANNY: What have we – sat here and listened to him gobble for two and a half hours?


DANNY: And he just – I mean, he never traveled more than 100 yards. He just kept strutting back there in that fog all morning. Look at these. Look at those spurs, dude.

GRANT: Congratulations, Danny. Looks like you’ve got another tasty meal for your family.

GRANT: From the time Danny heard the first gobble until he took the shot, three and a half hours had passed. During that time, Danny was extremely patient. He remained in one location and rarely called.

GRANT: The tom was likely with a hen and drifted back and forth throughout the morning. Danny decided to patiently wait and see if he’d finally drift within range.

GRANT: Learning when to be patient when turkey hunting can result in punching many more tags.

GRANT: Danny had scouted this pasture and felt it was in the core of this tom’s range. And with enough time, he felt that tom would come all the way into his setup.

GRANT: Danny and Bradley are obviously talented hunters. But what you might not know, Danny is a fireman and Bradley works for the highway patrol. They, and many, many folks like them, have been serving others through this virus and we all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

GRANT: Danny shot the tom at 50 yards, dropping him in his tracks.

GRANT: Danny was using Winchester’s Long Beard XR No. 5s. If you’re not familiar with that technology, it’s really incredible. When the shell is being made, there’s a resin put around the shot. And that resin stays in place until it exits the barrel and then allows the shot to expand. The purpose is when shots going down the barrel are not protected or kept in place, the shots are bumping in each other and develop flat spots which causes flyers. When you keep all of the shot in that pocket, so to speak, and then it can spread out, you get a perfect pattern even at long distances.

GRANT: Just a few years ago, I was hunting with my daughter, Rae, here at The Proving Grounds.

GRANT: You nailed him. You nailed him. You earned that turkey, baby.

GRANT: The tom dropped, and we started celebrating. When we stepped off the distance from the blind to the tom, it was 61 yards. I guess during all the excitement, the tom was further than I realized.

GRANT: We spent a lot of time watching the video in super slow motion of turkey hunts and it’s interesting to see that shot pattern develop as it’s going down range.

GRANT: I’m always impressed at how tight these shells pattern even at longer distances and that’s resulted in a lot of tasty meals.

GRANT: During the next week, I’ll share another turkey hunt from the Ozark Mountains and the techniques I used to bring home some meat to the Woods family.

GRANT: If you’d like to learn more about our turkey hunting techniques, check out our playlist.

GRANT: Fishing, looking for morels, turkey hunting or even taking a hike are all great ways to get outside and enjoy Creation.

GRANT: But it’s most important to take time every day to slow down, be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to you.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.