Monday, April 27, 2009

MO Turkey - DeLany's Redemption

4/26/09 - Sunday morning started out gray and overcast with a major storm front scheduled to hit in the early A.M. Brad met me at the crib around 5am and he headed to the BS155 farm. We started out on the south end of the farm and our plan was to wait for the birds to gobble and move on them before they flew down from the roost. We heard a couple gobbles off to the south and a couple to the west, so we decided to go west and see what we could do. After reaching the west field the bird was still gobbling good, unfortunately he was on the neighbor's property. We could see him down in the bottom but he had 5 ladies with him and wasn't paying any mind to our calls. He eventually worked farther south so we decided to to cut our losses and try and strike another bird.

Brad had to leave by 9:30am for church, so I dropped him off and headed to the BS80 tract I got permission to hunt the other week. By the time I got to the farm the sun was out but the wind picked up to 25-30mph gusts. The property is bordered by the Lake City Ammunition Plant to the north and it's 8 foot security fence. As I was walking in I spotted a strutter and 2 hens to the south of the fence and knew if I could get into position the birds would have to pass me on one side or the other. I went straight into sneak mode and belly crawled into position. After getting set the 2 hens popped out and started feeding about 60yrds. in front of me and I knew it was only a matter of time before the big guy would make an appearance. The hens slowly worked past me and the big tom followed in tow, like he'd read the script. At 27 yards I let the boom-stick bark and the big guy didn't try to hold the face full of #5s I was dishing out.

I was jacked-up because of the my chip shot miss last Tuesday on a nice bird. Redemption was sweet and it got even sweeter once I rolled the bird over and noticed the 1 1/2" matching hooks this dude was sporting. This is by far the most mature bird I've killed 24lbs., 10 1/2" beard, and 1 1/2" spurs.

For the record the "Greatest Dad T-shirt" was in full effect again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thunder Turkey - MO Style

4/19/09- Brian and I headed down to Jimbo's early Sunday morning with hopes of scouting all of our properties and then going snagging at Taberville. We were greeted by rain first thing in the morning and it didn't let up until 2pm. The turkey scouting went great, we located several gobblers on our properties and saw birds out everywhere. Our plan was to set up a ground blind on the west treeline by the Yellow Barns after dark.

Our snagging trip didn't go as well! After launching the boat I went to park the rig and trailer. As I was coming back across the parking lot Brian was yelling at me to "bring the trailer back". Apparently the new prop wasn't installed correctly and it fell off into the river right after Brian fired up the motor. Luckily it happened when it did. All of the rain had the river running about 20mph and we'd planned to head down river. God knows where we'd have ended up!!!! We reconciled our losses and headed back to G-pond and got after some sunnies and bass.

We headed back to the Yellow Barns around 7pm after putting several slab sunnies in the cooler and listened for roosting birds. Around 7:45pm we heard several birds fly up to roost just NW of us. After the sunset we slid down the treeline and setup the blind.

4/20/09 - Opening day of the MO 2009 turkey season greeted us with clear skies and temps in the lower 50's with no wind. After getting to the blind and setting up we heard the first gobble around 6:40am and it didn't let up for the next 30 minutes. We could hear birds gobbling everywhere (60-70 gobbles total). We had one bird roosted about 75 yards west of us and he wasn't shy about letting us know he was there. After fly down we could hear several hens and the birds continued to gobble, but nothing came into our field.

Around 9:30am I couldn't keep Brian in the blind any longer, he had to go chase birds so he went to go grab my gun out of the rig while I stayed in the blind. At 9:40am a bird gobbled in the field just west of our setup. I could see 2 toms and a hen on the far west edge of the field, but because of the treeline it was tough to keep an eye on them. One of the toms gobbled at my calls a couple of times, but never came in. By the time Brian returned with the boom-stick the wind had picked up considerably (25-30mph) and it shut the birds down for the rest of the day. It was the first opening day we haven't killed a bird in 7 years (not counting the Rolla disaster). We did hammer the frying pan sunnies that evening though, so at least we had that going for us.

4/21/09 - Day 2 of the 09 season started off around 42 degrees with a slightly overcast skies and a slight breeze. Brian wanted to hunt on Glen's west property and I was going to setup in the ground blind again. The gobbling picked up where it left off from day 1. I had 3 birds about 150yrds. north of gobbling like it was the only thing they knew how to do. I heard several birds fly down around 6:50am and the then the hens started pouring into my field. The 3 toms continued to gobble for the better part of the morning, but none of them would cross the treeline and follow any of the 13 different hens that came into the field (3 bearded hens). The toms were responding to my calling and I had them fired up, but they wouldn't leave all them ladies.

Around 9am Brian called and we decided to meet down by the creek on the middle field and do what we do best "sneak" them thunder turkeys! After Brian found me we headed North about 75 yards and I called a couple times "gobble, gobble, gobble" about 100 yards north. We decided to cut the distance another 25 yards and call again. This time the bird was much closer and we decided they had to be coming down the west field edge "wrong". Just as we cleared the creek bank on the west field edge a tom exploded with a gobble on the east edge of the treeline. We both turned to see 3 birds outlined in the sun, necks extended gobbling and looking for that lady friend they just heard. Without saying a word we both bailed into the creek bed and crawled 40 yards through the understory until we were within 12 yards of the fence line. The birds were just to our right in the corner of the field, but our view was obstructed by a downed tree. I could see the biggest bird strutting in the field, but couldn't see the other 2 birds. Brian had a better angle and could see all 3 birds (2 toms, 1 jake). We could tell they birds were looking for that hen they heard, so we decided to putt a couple times and try to bring them down the fence right in front of us. Our plan worked, but not to perfection. After a few soft clucks and purrs one of the birds gobbled in our face and then they started working up the fence to us. We planned to smash both of the big toms when we got the chance. After a few close "shoot, no don't shot, shoot, I can't see him, shoot" Brian finally called a shot that we both had. I smashed my bird right in the face and he didn't even think about holding the #4s from 11 yards. Unfortunately Brian had to deal with a little more brush than me and his shot didn't connect, although he tried to bring the bird down a 2nd and 3rd time without any luck. I wished we could have connected on the double, but one bird is better than none and we put another solid sneak together on a Big MO Tom.

It was my biggest turkey to date 25lbs, 10" beard, and 1 1/4 inch spurs. It was a great start to the 09 MO season, now we need to get Delany on the board!

Note: Ralph killed his first bird in 6-7 years on 4/21/09 - 23lbs, 11" beard, 1 1/8 spurs.

Monday, April 13, 2009


TBFH 4/11/2009

Team Big Fish Hunters (Brian, Pete, and Nick) headed down to LOZ on 4/11/09 for round 2 of the spoony snagging season. We also had Brian's future step-father Allen aka- THE SQUIRREL on board our boat. We met Juddy, Linn, Brad, and Miller at the I-70-65 junction around 7:30am and headed south for a day full of sun, big fish, and Allen. We saw 30-45 stutters on the way down which got our blood boiling for next week gobble, gobble, gobble!!!!

We were on the water by 9:30am and were greeted by dense fog and about 50 other boats working the channel. The fog lifted quickly and we were treated to 68 degree sunshine and no wind for the rest of the day, it was a perfect day to be on the water.

Brian got the action started about 25 minutes in and the action stayed pretty consistent for the rest of the day. We ended up catching 8 fish on our rig with 6 keepers and The Marshall Boys also caught 8 fish with 1 keeper.

Brian led the way with 4 fish on the day and 3 of those went over 50lbs with largest going 65-70lbs. I ended the day with 1 keeper 35-40lbs. and 1 little guy 20lbs. Allen also caught two fish and Nick was blanked on the day. Miller also brought in a great fish on the other boat 65-70lbs, but I think Brian's fish was a touch bigger.

All in all it was another great day on the lake and we consistently landed more fish than any other boats around us. Dipsy Divers are Magic!!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2009 Spring Pheasant Shoot

We headed to a pheasant farm in central MN on March 28. Denny has been taking me the past couple years for a birthday gift. Denny, Pops, Chad, Logan and I did the hunt......shooting. We ended up killing 14 birds (1 black pheasant). It was a fun day. Not much else to say since we where hunting pen raised birds. Thanks again to Denny for the great gift.