Thursday, April 24, 2008

MO Turkey Opener

4/21/08 - Brian and myself started the MO 2008 turkey season out at Green's Farm in southwest MO. The first morning started out with a bang. The blinds I placed several weeks ago had blown down during the storms we had the week earlier, so our first line of business was to try and locate them. After finding the blind about 100 yards down the tree line and resetting it, it was finally time to hunt. The temps were in the mid 60s with overcast skies and a slight south wind. We only heard 4 gobbles on the roost, but nothing close. We had scouted the night before and watched 6 big toms strutting in the field we were set up in.
Around 8:30am we finally heard several gobbles from the east field, and the game was on. The toms were fired up gobbling at almost all of our calls. The first bird entered the field about 300 yards to the north then a second, third, fourth, and fifth bird followed suite. All of them were big toms and they waisted no time closing the distance on our position. It was awesome to see all of them strutting, spitting, and gobbling the whole way in. I was hunting with my Hoyt and Delany was supposed to be running the video camera. I ended up filming the birds until they were about 40 yards out, and then handed the camera over to Brian (big mistake!!!!). The birds came right into the set and then everything went down hill, and fast. Brian couldn't get the camera on the birds and was moving the camera all over the joint, all the while I had 5 toms strutting between 14-22yards. Brian finally got the camera sorted out, and then knocked the camo cover off the camera. The fist bird of the group saw this and the gig was up. All the birds started bugging out and I had to hurry a shot at about 33 yards. Unfortunately I didn't account for the blind being unlevel and my arrow hit right below the shooting window and missed the bird. Brian proceeded to try and take a shot with his gun, but forgot to click his safety. He finally got it sorted out, and took a fleeting attempt at about 50+ yards. The only thing that accomplished was educating all 5 of the birds.
We didn't have any action for the rest of the day, and couldn't get a bird to gobble at any of the farms we went to.
What should have been a great day in the turkey woods ended up being one of the biggest disaster in my hunting career.

4/22/08 - We headed back out to Green's farm for the second day of the MO turkey season and hoped our luck would be a lot better than the previous day. We had decided to hunt the north field, and got to the farm extra early in order to make the long walk up there. A storm front had moved through the night before and there was an unbelievable lightening show to our north. We reached our setup and as we were putting out the decoys the first bird gobbled on the roost not 150 yards from our setup. The temps were still in the mid 60s with south winds, but the turkeys decided to gobble early and often today. We had two big toms roosted right off the field and they gobbled at everything. Around 6:50am I spotted a bird roosted about 70 yards from. It pitched into the field and landed about 20 yards out from the decoys, unfortunately it was a jake. He came straight into 7 yards and decided something wasn't right. About that time the 2 toms pitched down and landed right on the field edge, and instantly began to strut and gobble. The jake started to putt and I think that prevented the toms from committing to the setup. They just worked their way north gobbling the entire time.

Around 8:30am we decided to make a move and worked our way north east through the creek bed. We struck a bird about 9am and he was about 60 yards in front of us in the bottom. We set up and started calling. Two more birds responded and the game was on. The birds acted like they weren't going to move, so I decided to work around to the south and sneak up on them through the creek bed. The birds were gobbling the entire time and around 10am I had finally made it about 30 yards from their location. The underbrush was thick and I was trying to get a visual on the birds, when I heard Brian calling directly north of my position. He decided he didn't want to sit at the first location and snuck down the north edge of the bottom. About two minutes later Brian shot twice and showered me with BBs from about 50 yards. He got the bird, but I chewed his ass for not staying put and almost shooting me. I wasn't very happy about the whole situation.