3seasons

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About 3seasons

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    Scott
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    McDonald
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  1. Heck yeah that’s awesome. Congrats to both of y’all. Liking that white in the fan
  2. Arkansas 4/10/2019 Monday morning found me Steve and Tony on the side of a mountain in NE Arkansas. We had some bad rains at day break but it cleared out and was a beautiful morning. I heard a bird gobbling his head off way down a ridge on some private land and saw 7 jakes and two long beards headed to where Tony was set up. I hear a shot and turkeys gobble. I send a congrats text but didn’t get the text I was expecting back, he had missed. Man I hated to hear that. Nothing else happened that morning so we did some riding around and looking at the county side and ended up in a really nice place that afternoon and we set up on a field edge hoping one would come to the field. We sat a few hundred yards apart and I was on one end when I start to hear a bird gobbling on the distant mountain, he gets closer and I make a call and he gets fired up. But he’s on the neighbor’s property so I listen from our side and get a mark on where he goes to roost. After we get back to the truck I asked Steve if he got my text about the bird gobbling and he said no he had left his phone in the truck. I told him where the bird was and he said oh yeah you can hunt that, Son of a ……. I told him that was some need to know info. And we laughed as we made a plan for the morning hunt. Tuesday morning we were sitting 80yds below the roosted gobblers on the field edge. For 30 min we had 5 birds hammering on top of us while on the roost. Perfect setup, we have a hen pitch out and land about 100yds out, she’s walking to us then fly’s over the decoys and lands then walk into the decoys at 10yds and she is chatty and the birds are hammering. I just know it’s gonna be any second and they are gonna drop all around us. She mills around then walks to a higher point to our left and she takes flight and the gobbler shut down. We didn’t have a clue as to what just happened but it wasn’t what was supposed to happen. After 20 more minutes of silence we hear a distant gobble and decide to make a loop, that’s when we get about 200yds from our set up and I look back to see a guy standing in the middle of the field on the high ridge sky lined on the horizon. Another guy that had permission to hunt walked across the field after day light so that morning was over. Tuesday afternoon we get a hot tip from one of Steve’s friends that they had been hearing a bird by their house every day. So we have to go check that out that afternoon. Sure enough we strike a bird up but he’s across huge valley and on the next mountain. He gobbles 250+ times that afternoon if he gobbled once. It was crazy he literally ran out of breath gobbling a few times. But we couldn’t get him to fly to our side. He roosted and I marked him on my map and we made a loop to see if we could get to him. Steve thought it would be public but then he deflated me with the news that he’s on private and it’s the one place that is off limits because the landowner is saving it for his grandson. I wanted to cry. Lol So Wednesday morning we go back to the area we had been Tuesday morning because tony had seen 2 birds cross a field and we set up in that corner hoping they would come back by. Sure enough they start gobbling up the mountain from us but when they hit the ground they skirted us and went out into the middle of the field with 6 hens. (Disclaimer we are on a piece of private land that is landlocked by public but there is only one access and we walked down it, the mountains are too steep to access from any other point) The wind picked up to around 20mph and we discussed where to go over breakfast. I said I’d like to go back to the area we were in the first morning because I wanted to check on the bird that was down the ridge (now that we had gotten permission to hunt it) and see if he was in that area. He was gobbling to good on Monday and was going to any other gobbling bird so I figured he should be in the area. We get there around 4 and start our hike in about half way in in-between the whipping wind we think we hear a faint gobble. We keep heading towards that ridge and get to the bottom of the field that leads to that ridge. We hear a distinct gobble and me and Steve look at each other and then another gobble. We point to the top and both say he’s in the edge of the field, at that time I’m reaching into my vest and grabbing my fan. I told Steve I was going to ease up to the top and see if I could spot him to get a game plan. As I reach the top I’m peeking through my fan and I see him standing about 300yds away in the corner of the field and he sees me and gobbles. Then blows up in strut and gobbles again. I’m about 50yds out in the field from the wood line and I decide to give it a try, my Alabama experience was the first time I had actually been in on a fanning of a bird and this was my first solo try. I ease down below the ridge and close the distance and the next time I see him I’m 75yds closer and now crawling on my hands and knees. He’s still in the same spot but has started gobbling more. I stop and start moving the fan around like a strutting bird then turn it so that he can see the back of the fan, kinda like I was turning my back to him and wasn’t worried about him. Well here he comes, he’s walking my way slowly but surely and now I’m starting to get nervous. He makes it to a small sway in the field and disappears and now I’m freaking out because I don’t know if he’s gonna flank me and I don’t want him pop up and be able to see my side profile . So I ease up farther and higher until I see his white head coming through the grass and I settle back down only this time my stake hits hard rock and it won’t stick and once again a little panic sets in, lol. I ease up a few more yards and find a soft spot and plant my fan in the ground and I’m looking through the gap in the feathers as this gorgeous bird struts and drum’s his way to me. Now I’m a nervous wreck and I’ve lost the feeling in both arms and hands and I can barely breathe. Looking through a single hole with one eye is tough to judge yardage but since I could basically see the reflection in his eyes I figured he was close enough so I raised my gun and slid it through the gap in the tail feathers and I believe he was at the point that he was about to rush me because is changed into a different posture and got about half strut and started leaning my way and that’s when I punched my Arkansas tag. After the shot rings out and I see him fall to the ground I just lay out on the ground because I’m my normal wreck after the shot, Lol. Steve walks up and was telling me how amazing that was and then looks at me and says if you’re gonna need anything other than cpr you’re not gonna make it. I told him I’d be ok in a few minutes. After I regained my composure we high fived and shook hands and then we walked over and looked at this magnificent creature. The Good Lord sure does some beautiful work on these birds. He’ was the boss of the mountain. 21lbs 3 beards 10” 7 1\8” 6 1\4”, 1 1\8” needle sharp spurs and some really nice color.
  3. 3seasons

    Oklahoma

    Oklahoma 4/6/2019 Got an invite from my good friend Steve out to his lease in Oklahoma in hopes of filling my Oklahoma turkey tag, I hunted Oklahoma two years ago and I got to watch my little girl kill her first bird out there in western OK with my other good friend Russ. But I was not able to get a bird on that trip or one I had made a few weeks prior to that trip so I had my fingers crossed that things would work out on this trip. Saturday morning we found ourselves in tight to a roost area with multiple birds hammering. We saw them pitch out into some open area then we could see them coming to our set up, it was 7 jakes one of which had an ohhhh so close to full fan. I mean it was a quarter inch from being perfect. But I just couldn’t make myself shoot, had we been in the woods he would have been in trouble. After an hour of them whipping my decoy and spinning the hen decoy into ground at 12yds they finally walk off. I about fallout from the excitement. We make a move and strike up another group of birds which come in fast, we’re in some pretty thick woods and they come in to about 15yds but I’ve got a fallen tree blocking my view and all I can see is their heads. After they walk off Steve, who had a different view point, said the strutter was nice and full, I couldn’t believe it I couldn’t see him, I had seen one jake and never saw a strutter but I could hear him drumming. I was hoping I hadn’t missed my chance as they walked off. Around lunch it flooded and the wind picked way up. We got something to eat and got back to the woods around 4pm. I set up in the woods hoping to call in a bird going to roost and Steve went to another spot about half a mile from me to watch another area and said he would call if he saw a gobbler. It was very windy and every now and then I could hear a faint gobble in the distance so I got up and headed towards it. I ran into a group of chatty hens but never heard or saw a gobbler with then nor heard the one I went after so I eased back to my setup. About an hour later I get a call from Steve asking me if I could hear the bird gobbling to my SE, I told him no I couldn’t hear anything but wind but I was making a move to get closer. I look at my map and made a plan to slip and look in some open areas and try to strike the bird up. As I’m easing through the woods I’m soft calling and glassing but don’t see anything, I make it to one opening and decide I need to get to the other opening. As I’m slipping through I catch movement and it’s a hen about 80yds to my left and she’s feeding in a small gap in trees, then another walks through, then I hear drumming and it’s pretty loud in the wind and I know he’s got to be close. Im in the wide open and in a bind so I drop down and go towards a cedar sapling but I get about 8’ from it when another hen hits an small opening at 30yds and then I hear the deafening drumming again and I see a big black object through the dense timber walking from my right to left. He stops just short of the small gap in the trees and now I’m shaking like crazy and I have to make a decision. He breaks into about half strut and I can see his full head and half of his body and I say to myself he has 5 hens and I haven’t seen a hen with another bird on this place so he’s got to be the boss bird. I steady my dot on his head and filled my Oklahoma tag with a fine bird. It was an unreal hunt and the Good Lord blessed me on that one for sure. But it wasn’t over. As I regain my composure Steve calls and asked if it was me that shot and that he had spooked a good bird that was coming my way. Just then I hear one gobble close to me and I told him to get down there with me. He drives his truck down south of me and parks, I call him and tell him where im at and he comes up towards me and when I see I point to a tree and he sets down. We get to calling back and forth to each other and we get another bird fired up. It wasn’t 3minues and we see him come running by the truck and runs up in Steve’s lap and he takes a really nice Oklahoma bird. Doesn’t get much better than that.
  4. That’s awesome congrats Al
  5. Hers a podcast with us talking about the hunt and the audio of the hunt Hipe y’all enjoy https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ke866-ad086e
  6. I agree 110% No way we would have done it in the woods or on public land, but the spot these birds were in was perfect. Wide open and out of sight of the main road. We knew no one was in the area and no way someone could have snuck up on us. It was a perfect set up.
  7. Yes that's 3 states so far this year and should have gotten one in Mississippi. I'm working on my super slam but I'm having fun bouncing state to state. Florida was just a fun hunt. This year my work schedule worked out where I can get a good bit of time off so me and my traveling buddy will be hitting 12-14 states this year. Sleeping in the truck or tents and cooking our meals helps out on the cost.
  8. Georgia 3\28\2019 After finding some success in Alabama I took off to NW Georgia and was ready to hunt a WMA for the Georgia opener. I was standing on the side of a mountain at daylight overlooking a couple miles off river bottom and the face of another mountain. I could clearly hear a dog barking at a house 2miles away. But that’s all I heard opening morning. I didn’t hear a bird nor see a bird through midday so I headed East to hopefully find a gobbling bird. Sunday morning I heard a bird in the distance so I took off in search of him. I ended up getting in-between two gobbling birds and was in a pretty good position. One bird ended up going onto the private land that bordered the public land but the main gobbling bird kept gobbling. He was in a bowl roughly 100yds from me, just over a small ridge. I got as close as I could get without topping the ridge to give away my position and I sat down. I called a few times and he would cut me off but wouldn’t move. I figured he had hens with him so I pulled out my gobble tube. I’m just over 1.5miles deep in the woods and I was the only truck anywhere on that road. So I gobbled and he went nuts. We gobbled back and forth and he started closing the distance. Once he got just under the edge of the ridge, maybe 50yds, he gets quit and flies across the swampy area and takes off onto the private land. I couldn’t believe what happened he was committed and so close. I got up to see what I could have done better or see what had happened and as I walked the bowl where he was I see a decoy on the far edge and a guy sitting there. He had come in on top of us and spooked the gobbler and set up. I just waived and turned around and started the walk out. He had come in on a small access road that went next to a house that I didn’t know about. He had about a 400yd walk. Sunday night after I got done hunting I stopped to talk to a guy walking down the road and offered him a ride when he said he lived a few miles from there and his phone was dead so he couldn’t tell his wife to come pick him up. When he got in the truck he told me to turn around and he showed me some places to hunt. He told me where he had just roosted 2 gobblers and to hunt them the next morning since he had to work. I thanked him and told him he didn’t have to tell me where they were. He said he really appreciated the ride. So Monday morning sure enough they start gobbling where he said they would. I get set up down the ridge from them and as they start working to me BOOOOOMMMM someone had slipped in-between us from somewhere and shot at the birds. I see birds flying off and the guy starts calling. Well about an hour later another bird cranks up and I get him to about 60yds through some real thick woods and the guy comes in on top of me again and starts cranking on his call spooking the bird. I’ve about had my fill by this point. Tuesday I couldn’t find a place to park because of all the people in the woods. Wednesday I’m sitting next to the tree I want to be at 2.5hrs before it is even thinking of breaking day. It’s still dark and I can hear 4 different people owl hooting and I hear a bird way off gobble then I hear the same guy start cranking on his call, its dark dark and he’s just a calling. I sit tight and bam I hear a gobble close to where I’m at so I make a quick move to better my position and get ready, they are roosted over a big cypress slough and I’m sitting 100yds from the edge of the water. 5 birds pitch out and land 80yds from me, 2 strutting gobblers and 3 hens. They slowly work their way up towards me and I’m soft calling. The two gobblers gobble 2 times on the ground but it was just enough for me to hear 2 different guys closing the distance on me. Like an idiot I get impatient and rush my shot, the big gobbler flips gets his wings under him and takes flight, he hits a tree then sails over the big slough then the worst thing happens I see him fall dead deep in the swampy area. I looked for 3hrs but never found him I was sick and aggravated with myself. Bradley had text me telling me he had killed a bird in NW Georgia and he had found a couple more and there wasn’t near the people where he was. So I loaded up and took off west. Thursday morning were 2 miles off the road and were on 3 hot birds when what do we hear 2 different calls closing in on us. I just shook my head. One guy came in on top of us and I whistled at him and he apologized and backed out but it was too late the gobblers had left the county. Bradley need to make a run to South Carolina to pick up his turkey tags for this week so he left me to do some hunting on my own in the mountains. On his way out he struck a bird and he sent me a text and a pin on OnX maps. With no service I didn’t get it until I to had heard a bird and it ended up being the same one he had heard. While I was moving on that bird I got his text and pin. It was a chess match I had to keep moving and calling and moving until I got them close but it was so thick I couldn’t see them. I let them work on down the pine ridge and I looked at my map and I decided to make a big loop and try to get in front of the flock. I did just that I caught a deer trail at the bottom of the ridge and took off running to get to the hard wood bottom a 1/4mile away. As I was looking at a tree to sit against I hear a put and we ended up meeting at the same time. Turkey flew and some ran left, I see a strutting bird with a jake and a hen to my right. I get my gun ready and the strutting bird walks into an opening and cranes his head up to look at me and I let my little 20 eat. He is a gorgeous Georgia mountain gobbler and I couldn’t have been happier. Thursday afternoon I roost a bird and Bradley gets back from South Carolina. I tell him we need to split up and get on both sides of him in the morning so one of us should get a shot. Friday morning worked out perfect. We set up on both sides of the bird, I use a ditch wash to get within 80yds of the roost tree and Bradley sets up above him in some pines about 60yds away. Its not 100yds between me and Bradley. I’m in the creek bottom and 2 hens pitch out and land 40yds from me. The gobbler pitched out in a thicket and walks to check on the one hen he heard in the pines. That’s when Bradley lays the hammer down on him, another fine Georgia gobbler. The cool thing is I got the whole 11 minute and 30 second hunt on recorded audio. So Georgia is ranked #1 in the best and worst category so far. We were blessed with a great week of hunting.
  9. Alabama March 21 2019 Hunting with friend Andy in the Weogufka Mountains of central Alabama, we had hunted a day and a half with no luck but had gotten messed up several times by other hunters of the Camp he was in. It was crazy to be on private land and still have people come in on your set. Well after our morning hunt Thursday we fixed our lunch on the back of the truck and went to a high hill in a fresh cut(still being cut) cutover. We could see for a ways and as were pulling up to the top of the hill Andy says the birds will be out there strutting and I said if we’re gonna be wishing they are gonna be 30yds away. As we crest the hill I see 5 birds 1 of which is strutting about 400yds away. We glass them and see its 3 hens and 2 gobblers so we back up off the hill out of sight and make a game plan. We drive down the road past the gravel food plot road they are on and park about 600yds south of them on the other side of a big hill and a creek. We grab our guns and a call and take off. We make it across the creek and through all the tree tops to the off side of the hill from the turkeys. Andy has a fan and said just stay close. This was the first time I’ve ever done this, watched my little girl smoke on in Florida last year at 4ft but this was a first for me. We slowly crawl to the crest of the hill and Andy says he can see them they are about 100yds away and now are looking. I ease up to see the strutting bird start to head our way and drops out of sight below the hill. It takes what seems like forever and nothing. We see the other bird coming too and he disappears. After a few minutes I make a soft yelp and I see a red and white head pop over the hill then Andy says when you see his head shoot him. Well I had seen his head for about 8 seconds before he said that and I was shaking so bad I couldn’t steady my dot on the bird, lol. I took a deep breath and steadied the dot on his waddles and rolled him. After the shot we ease up to see the strutted standing just over the hill and Andy took a shot on him but the bird took flight somehow. I looked at Andy and he was pumping his gun and getting ready to take a follow up shot so I raised my gun up and fired off at the flying gobbler, he crumpled like a dishrag and hit the ground as Andy’s second shot rings out. He runs over and finishes the bird off and we had a nice Alabama double of two real nice gobblers. Talk about a rush, wow I’ve never fanned on and believe me I realize how dangerous it could be but under the right conditions it’s unreal. I got to looking after I was able to stop dry heaving and saw my wad, the felt, the mylar and the over shot card. It was wild to find all that laying there. Thought it would make a cool pic. It was a hunt I won’t soon forget.
  10. That’s good stuff Al congrats!! To you and your buddy
  11. Back story; back on March 2 2013 Reid and myself had planned a trip to Florida to finish our grand slam. It was an awesome experience ending in us sitting shoulder to shoulder on a pine tree in a palmetto thicket and doubling on our first Osceola turkeys. That completed both our grand slams but we went ahead and made a spur of the moment run out west that year and was able to make it a single season grand slam. When we met the land owner of the property we hunted and they ended up being from the same area that were from and it made for good conversation. This year it took some digging and research but Reid was able to contact the landowner and was able to get permission to come hunt it once again. (We tried contacting the guy we hunted with and his number was no longer the same not had he land owner had any dealings with him since our hunt that one time) We wanted to go public land but figure it was worth a shot to try and ask and it was well worth the effort. We left MS Thursday mid morning and arrived in a little town south east of Tampa around 12:30am Friday morning, after trying to help a family headed to Orlando get their car started for an hour or so. As the day started to come alive we were standing in the cattle field on the woods edge waiting to see what we had to work with. We heard 4 different gobblers that morning spread throughout the pines and burnt palmetto thicket. We had a hen right by us that was as vocal as could be it was so cool sitting there for over an hour listening to her talk. As they eased off in the distance we slipped out trying to formulate a game plan to scout the area with it being so open and decided it wasn’t worth bumping and spooking birds. There was a couple fire lane/trails running through the property so around lunch we drove through the area. We saw the old live oak we took pictures on back in 2013 and it brought back some good memories. We saw a pile of hens and jakes and 2 longbeards during our drive and all the crazy cows that lived on the property. So we had a good feeling about the next morning. We tried to roost a bird that afternoon but it was all quiet. Our game plan for the morning hunt was to be pretty much centrally located between where we had heard the birds the morning before. It was still pretty dark and we hear a faint gobble in the distance so we moved in that direction. Once we got closer I hooted and birds gobbled down through the trees, 3 to 4 of them. Then 2 Owls got cranked up on top of us and the gobblers shut up for some reason. (Lol made me feel good though, I could make them gobble but the real thing couldn’t, guess I sound so bad that the ol gobblers laugh gobble at me) we ease deeper into the pines and a hen starts up and the woods come alive. It’s birds gobbling from every direction. We decide to set in between the groups of birds and see what happens. It’s way to open to move any closer. We find a tree that has some scorched bushes around it but is enough for some extra cover. After fly down the bird work their way away from us and all gobbling stops. Reid gives a soft yelp and one of the hens in the distance answers back. So they get to talking to each other. Before we know it there are 4 hens running our way and behind them there are 2 gobblers trying to keep up. The hens literally run by us at less then 5yds, Reid had to close his eyes so they didn’t spook. The gobblers close the distance to about 50yds when out of nowhere a cow comes charging charging in and literally, if you’ve ever seen a cutting horse work, cut the gobblers from in front of and and had them running away from us. We couldn’t believe what had just happened. The cows finally work off and Reid makes another call and the hens crank up behind us and here they come again. Running back by us and off into the pines where the gobblers had run to. So we’re sitting against this tree facing south. My gun shouldered right handed. Reid had repositioned to shoot left handed and was also facing south. As we watch the hens disappear I hear a faint pthuuummmm and I say to myself that was a turkey drum. The sound seemed to come from behind us and I ease my head around the gobbled steps out from behind a tree at 10yds. Directly behind us. He is in full strut and is breathtaking(literally I couldn’t breath or half see because of the way I was craning my neck lol) he drums again and I’m trying to tell Reid that he’s on top of us but he can’t hear me. He makes a soft call and the bird realizes something isn’t right and breaks strut and starts walking towards his side of the tree. I try telling him again to get ready but he still never heard me. Then the bird walks behind a clump of trees and I make my move to shoot left handed. The bird probably heard me and is now going straight away for us and he’s getting it pretty good. I got an opening and I pulled my shot just to the right of his head. I was so aggravated at myself but it happens still doesn’t make it any better. We let the woods quieten down and I slipped out to make sure I didn’t connect since I went cross eyed after the shot and couldn’t really tell what happened. After I looked around and we relived the hunt we got up and eased down to where we had see the other birds earlier. Reid is a little ahead of me and he stops next to a pine tree just before a clump of palmettos. As I ease up to him I hear him say gobbler 120yds and we both hit the ground. I crawled to the right to a tree and he got against a tree to his left. He calls and after a few minutes we don’t hear or see anything so he crawls over to me and stands up next to my tree. He can now see a strutting bird and a few other gobblers. He makes a series of yelps and says “here they come” and drops down beside me. We’re on a small pine sitting shoulder to shoulder and there is a clump of palmettos and a burnt scrub bush in front of us about 50yds out. He whispers that they are gonna come around that bush. And then I see a glimpse of one through the thicket. The first bird steps out and we see his beard swing. The next one steps out and his beard is hanging but isn’t swinging and I whisper to Reid “he’s good enough for me”. Reid calls one more time ever so softly and the birds start our way. There are a few pines between us and you know it the closer they get the more frantic we get because we can never see both birds at the same time. Then we they get to about 25yds they finally spit the tree and we can see them on each side of it. Reid draws down on the left bird and I draw down on the right. I count down 3,2,1,Zbooooommm both birds hit the ground. We had done it again. We jump up and walk towards the birds honestly expecting to see a couple 2yr olds but couldn’t be happier with them. Well to both our surprise when we get about 5yds away I see the first set of spurs then the second. I couldn’t believe it and of coarse my dry heaving starts up and I’m out of commission for about 20 second. After I get all that over with i go and we’re both amazed at what we had just done. Doubled on two 1.5” spurred birds. His has 1.5” spurs and a little over a 9” shot up beard and weighed 15.02 pounds. Mine has 1.5” spurs and a decently thick 6” beard(it’s like it was cut with scissors, maybe it got burnt off while feeding after the controlled burn) and weighed 15.72lbs. We relived the hunt and said a prayer thanking the Good Lord for blessing us and then we took pics on the same old live oak from 6yrs ago. It was pretty cool. 2013 2019
  12. I'll actually have some time off this year and plant to hit a few states so it should be a fun year. I'll keep you guys posted on my hunts. Hopefully I'll be able to share some pics and stories along the way. Good luck to everyone and I hope yall have a blessed and safe season.
  13. I shoulda added this in the story but working mids and trying to get all this in at work is a bit tough. I was talking to Bradley on the long ride home and we were discussing crawling birds and the technique he uses. Its the same as I do and probably most others do but in my case my hindrance comes in the form of a little green 3-5 leafed plants that loves to show up during the spring. Poison Ivy and Oak are not my friends and therefore when it comes to getting down and rubbing elbows with it I choose to stay on my feet and let my calls do the work. When the forest floor allows ill crawl with the best of them if I have to but if its covered in green I'll let my calls do the work.
  14. Dang impressive Don, HUGE CONGRATS to you and your brother and your daughter on some fine birds. When you catch them right there is nothing like it, same can be said when you catch them when they aren't right. Sounds like yall hit it perfect and had an outstanding trip. Hats off to you.