Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kansas Triple Play

4/11/12 - Nick Bales, Greg Cole, and me met up in Topeka, KS for the opening day of the Kansas spring turkey shotgun season. Nick and Greg had bow hunted some Corp of Engineers ground the previous weekend and were covered up in birds. We all picked a different area of the Corp ground to hunt for the morning and we'd planned to meet up around 11a.m..

I was pretty much going into my spot blind and I wasn't exactly sure where to head to first, so elected to hike in about 1.5 miles to an area that had open crop fields, timber, and big turn in the creek. At about 6:15am I was very happy with my decision, because 12-13 toms started to fire up on the roost with in 150 yards of my position. I worked inside 70yards of the first bird and got my decoys setup and settled in for the morning. The gobbling on the roost was amazing and around 6:45am they really fired up. The toms were hammering at each other and a mess of hens were also joining into the chorus of turkey talk. The first bird to pitch down was a long-beard and he immediately went into full strut and started heading my direction. He didn't make it 10yards before a group of 8-9 jakes pitched down between him and my decoys and proceeded to run the big tom off. The jakes stayed in and around my setup for the better part of an hour. I had several hens feeding in and around the spread also, but no big guys. It was an awesome first morning show and first hunt in Kansas!

Greg and Nick were both having a pretty sweet morning themselves. Greg was only about a mile east of me and he had several birds hammering on the roost also. He had 4 toms, a jake, and several hens pitch into the field he was set up on and around 7:30am one of the toms finally broke off and came into Greg's decoy. He didn't waste any time and quickly dropped the hammer on his first KS tom! Nick was about 2 miles south of us and was hunting a field they had seen birds in the weekend before, only he had some company today because some guy had a blind setup about 30 yards from Nick's hiding spot. The first bird into the field was a triple bearded jake and after strutting around for a few minutes Nick had seen enough and he smoked that dude. By the sounds of it the guy in the blind didn't know he was there and had a few choice words...I'm sure he probably needed a change of undies also.

The boys picked me up around 11:15a.m. and we headed into town for some gas. On the way in we were seeing toms all over the place, so after a quick fill up we headed back towards the Corp ground. On the way I spotted two toms sitting on the top of a knoll, but on Corp ground. We had drive about 2 miles to get around to them and when we drove by the knoll the birds were gone, but the spot they were in was actually a little island with roads on both sides of it. As we drove past Greg and I both spotted the toms on the back side of the knoll, but there were now 5 toms in the group. We didn't have much time to make a decision, so I had Nick drop me off in the ditch about 80yards down the road. There was a pretty good bank that allowed me to sneak up on the group quickly. Once I was inside of 30yards I'd run out of real estate to move. I could hear and see the birds in front of me, but the cover they were in was thick and I was going to have to do something else in order to get a shot off. I decided I'd just slowly stand up and see what happened. To my surprise there were now 7 birds in the group and they all stuck their little heads up when I stood up, but they didn't move. Instead they just stood in a big group trying to figure out what I was. As soon as the first bird separated from the group I smoked him! The other 6 toms all exploded out of the timber like flushing pheasants while my bird did the death flop. When I finally reached him I noticed that out of the 7 toms I'd just killed the only jake in the group, but what do you do...

It was an awesome day with good friends and a lot of turkeys. I'll be headed back to Kansas on Saturday to try and punch my second tag, then it's on to the MO opener on the 16th....gobble, gobble!!!

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