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GRANT: Longtime GrowingDeer viewers know that Lindsey Martin is a very accomplished hunter. One of her favorite places to hunt is her family’s farm in southwest Arkansas.

GRANT: The farm is in the Ouachita Mountains which are steep and rugged. During the past several years, Heath and Lindsey have spent a lot of time working to improve the habitat.

GRANT: They’ve used TSI, timber stand improvement, used prescribed fire and added several food plots.

GRANT: Both deer and turkey populations have increased in number and quality.

GRANT: These improvements to the habitat have resulted in many great hunts, especially for mountain country.

GRANT: It’s been a few years since Lindsey has tagged a tom on her family farm and she was eager to hunt there this turkey season. It was extremely windy opening morning, but the forecast called for the wind to lay about midday, so Heath and Lindsey waited and went out at midday.

GRANT: Turkeys are active during windy days, but it’s tough for hunters to hear if toms are responding to their call. And if they’re not careful, it’s really easy to alert turkeys during those conditions.

GRANT: Lindsey and Heath planned to hunt a hidey hole food plot on top of a ridge. This hidey hole has a long track record of being a productive area to tag toms.

GRANT: Heath and Lindsey knew this spring a couple of toms were using the plot. They had some cool Reconyx videos of toms and hens at that location.

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GRANT: They also had videos of a single tom working that plot during the midday and gobbling.

GRANT: By midday toms have typically bred the hens they were with during the morning and are out searching for more.

GRANT: Because this plot is on top of a ridge, it’s a great location for toms to go to and gobble and listen for other turkeys.

LINDSEY: Good afternoon. It’s about 2:30. We are just getting set up in the blind here this afternoon. We’re gonna hang out here for a couple hours this afternoon to see if we might catch him cruising through looking for a hen.

GRANT: Lindsey had just finished sharing about this hunt when they spotted a tom walking through the timber. (Inaudible)

LINDSEY: (Whispering) He’s got his head down. He’s coming. He may be coming. He’s coming.

HEATH: (Whispering) Yeah, that’s a (Inaudible).

LINDSEY: (Whispering) I’m about to have to switch windows. I mean he is (Inaudible). I can’t see him anymore. Tell me when I can move my gun.

HEATH: (Whispering) He’s turning back. (Inaudible)

HEATH: (Whispering) (Inaudible) On his head.

LINSEY: (Whispering) Aim and take him?

HEATH: (Whispering) Yeah, whenever.

LINDSEY: (Quietly) So, first of all, that was fast. And I have to confess something. So since we did not go in this morning because it was really windy, when the wind laid, probably about 11:00 or so, Heath said, “Hey, let’s go ahead and go in about 12:30 or 1:00.” And, of course, I sat there and said, “So, we’re gonna have to sit in the blind for seven and a half hours ‘til dark?” And that seemed a little extreme to me. And so on our way down here, we actually saw a turkey in a different field we had to drive through. So it took us a little longer to get up here.

LINDSEY: (QUIETLY) The point to the story is, so I did my intro at probably 2:30. We turned the camera off and I had just enough time to figure out where I was gonna put my chair to give me the best shot. And I still hadn’t really figured it out yet when Heath said, “There’s a turkey coming down the road.” And so I don’t know that we have been in the blind 15 minutes.

LINDSEY: (QUIETLY) Mr. Longbeard comes cruising in. And so he came up and he walked right up to those decoys. He circled around that jake and started to come towards that hen. He got in between those decoys. I did not want to shoot a decoy, which I’ve done before. So. So, anyway, so we got a turkey. That’s my first Arkansas bird in probably two years. So.

HEATH: (Whispering) Congratulations.

LINDSEY: Well, here’s my Arkansas bird for 2020. This is one of our favorite spots for turkeys. We usually have a couple of longbeards that use this plot and we’ve been getting lots of footage off our Reconyx here.

LINDSEY: As it turns out the dominant bird or what we think is dominant, we call him Mr. Longspurs; and we actually do not think that this is Mr. Longspurs which makes sense because when he came in and he saw this jake here, he did not come in like a dominant bird. He kind of stopped and assessed the situation which is not what we have seen from Mr. Longspurs. So, as it turned out, I’ve had a pretty exciting and quick first day.

LINDSEY: This is my first bird that I’ve been able to harvest here on our family farm in probably about two years. And so we’ve got a really great turkey population right now due to some habitat work that we’ve been doing.

LINDSEY: So, hopefully, I’m going to get back on a hot streak – one a year from here on out for a few years.

GRANT: Lindsey’s hunt has several easy lessons that we all can apply to where we hunt. Lindsey and Heath knew they had a great setup on the ridgetop and they wisely waited until the conditions were favorable for that setup.

GRANT: Videos from their Reconyx camera and Heath and Lindsey’s past history of hunting on that ridgetop gave them a lot of confidence knowing it was a place turkeys frequent.

GRANT: Understanding that toms prefer a place where they can hear and be heard, combined with an attractive food source, made that a great location.

GRANT: Another factor that made this a successful hunt is that Heath put out the Avian-X hen and jake in a submissive posture. That jake in a quarter strut and a submissive posture seems to be a magnet to bring toms in to challenge the jake and take the hen.

GRANT: Congratulations again, Team Martin. A great hunt and fresh meat for the Martin family.

GRANT: A couple of days after Lindsey tagged her tom, Heath grabbed the Winchester and tagged his best tom to date. We’ll share that hunt and Heath’s strategies with you soon.

GRANT: Turkey season is now open in many states. One of my friends, Derric Stull, has had an excellent turkey season in the mountains of eastern Tennessee.

GRANT: A few years ago, I toured Derric’s property and helped him develop a habitat improvement plan. He has worked hard at implementing that plan, has seen a big increase in both quality and quantity of deer and turkey and he’s had a very successful turkey season this spring. I just wish to take a moment and congratulate Derric on a job well done.

GRANT: Turkey season here in Missouri opened this morning and I had a great hunt. We’re going to be hunting every morning taking family and friends and starting to plan our food plots. Stay tuned to our social media as we’ll be keeping you updated daily.

GRANT: I recently read a report that many more people are getting outside and enjoying Creation. Man, that makes me smile. But what’s really important for all of us, no matter the season, is to take time daily, be quiet and listen to what the Creator is saying to us.

GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.