Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Times on Kansas Turkeys

After a lot of scouting, burning gas and anticipation the 2014 Kansas Turkey season is finally here! Nick, Jeff and I all headed out to different public areas we'd located birds on the previous weekend. I slid into a new area that was loaded with birds when we scouted it and I wasn't disappointed as the early morning tree talking started....there where turkeys roosted all over my setup!

The majority of birds pitched into my field about 450yrds south of me; at my best count there were 72 birds total, including 18 strutters.  The big flock was causing all kinds of racket calling, fighting, chasing and breeding for the first half hour before birds started filtering off. There was one very vocal hen in the group, so I started cutting her off and mimicking her call....she wasn't happy about it. It didn't take long and the hen as running down the field right into my decoys, where she proceeded to bump, peck and purr at the Avian hen for about fifteen minutes. Ol' girls calling caught the attention of a group of jakes and they wasted no time marching right up to the DSD jake/breeder hen pair and flexing their muscle; kind of.

After another 10-15 minutes of the lone hen and jakes being in the decoys the dominant group of three strutters at the other end of the field took notice. One of them came out of strut, ran up on top of a field terrace and stuck his head up as high as possible. The second he spotted the action 600yrds away the race was on. Him and his two running mates were charging down the field and the group of jakes noticed immediately; as they worked off to my right. The toms angled slightly to my left and went into strut about 40yrds out. The hen was still close by, so I started softly purring on the VECtor slate and within seconds the lead bird was on the march. He entered my left shooting window broadside and headed straight towards the DSD jake. I let him get about 2' away from the decoy before I released the first spring archery gobbler was down! His two buddies didn't know what was happening and the group of jakes saw the leader going down as an oppurtunity.....for the next several minutes the boys put on a wicked show fighting each other.

That afternoon Nick and I headed back into the same area to try and lay a double down. About an hour into our sit Nick pulled out a new pot call to show. I made two quick yelps on it and BOOM........gobble, gobble, gobble right behind us! Within seconds Nick spotted three toms entering the field about 40yrds left of our blind. They came straight in, but locked up about 3yrds before Nick had a clear shot. They were acting very timid and actually backed away from the decoys and hung out about 35yrds away. I told Nick "this ain't right, there is another dominant bird around" right them all three heads shot up and the toms ran to the timber; only to be met by two other long beards, The new guys in town ran the first three birds off about 70yrds before turning tail and marching back to our DSD jake in full strut. Nick and I were ready and both at full draw; he had the first shot. I heard his arrow hit the front bird and tom #2 came out of strut and turned his back to us.....lights out! My arrow hit home hard and ol' boy flopped about 20' before giving it up. Nick's bird was still on his feet and making a huge semi-circle out in the field....after locating the arrow it was evident Nick shot forward, missing the vitals. Although we missed out on our intended double up, I did have my second spring archery bird ever in the books and I'm officially tagged out in Kansas for the 2014 season!

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