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3seasons last won the day on April 4 2019

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  1. Nice looking rig Al. Can’t wait to see what all you do with it.
  2. Well even though I'm working 13hr nights 6 nights a week I was able to get out and help a buddy of mine take his 8yr old boy and his 12yr old daughter. Birds gobbled a couple times on the roost then maybe 2 times on the ground. Heard 4 in all directions. It got quiet after fly down so we sat patiently calling softly every so often. I no more than reached up and turned off my camera than out pops a head then another then 6 more. We had 8 hens standing at 15yds from us and we couldn't move. Then I hear it, drumming and he is close. I tell Ty to get ready but he is frozen because of the hens. Then after what seemed like forever (5min) I see the tips of his fan moving from left to right just over the rise in the hill. He is trying to flank his hens. I tell Ty to get his gun up and to aim right way right Every so often you could see his head looking then just his tips. Ty finally got twisted around an is now leaning on me and is able to brace his 20ga on a small sapling. I make a few soft calls and ask him if he can see the turkeys head when he raises it to look at us. He said he could see it and I told to put the dot on it and squeeze the trigger. My next call I hear the safety click and then boom. His first turkey was flopping just over the hill from us. Double beard 8 3\4" and 5 3\8" 1" daggers for spurs and weighed 19lbs. He was pumped He cracked me up though, after I got done dryheaving I said dang Ty you sure are calm, to which he replied "well I'm calm because, well I like shooting" LOL cracked me and his dad up. He's a stone cold killer. Just though I'd share. Mississippi youth season started out pretty dang good.
  3. Congrats. Fine looking bird
  4. Nothing wrong with that. congrats!! I hope to get up that way next year.
  5. A few of the pics from the trip. Lic Cost.docx Merriam's DIY Turkey Hunt 2.pdf reid schedule.xls.xlsx turkey 2019 schedule.xlsx Turkey Target 2019.pdf
  6. Wow where to start with our 2019 turkey trip. I’ll try to do it some justice. After getting off work the morning of April 30th, Bradley and myself head out on the 35hr drive to northern California. We arrive Wednesday afternoon May 1 and get our hunting license and head out for an afternoon hunt\scouting mission. We didn’t have any luck that afternoon but we did run into a fox hunter who told us about some places to look. May 2 California The next morning found us on a 2 mile flat that was mixed tree groves and open fields with rocks in them. It was a strange mix for sure and we struck out that morning not hearing anything. So we moved farther down the road and stopped on the top edge of a huge canyon. There we could hear 2 birds gobbling below and we decided to try to get to them. There was about a 600ft elevation change and it was pretty steep. We were able to drive an access road to the bottom and once we got out we headed towards the hardest gobbling bird. Wouldn’t you know it he was right in the middle of some private land, the only private around, and he wasn’t coming off of it. This private land had the whole valley blocked from access on the west side. So we left that bird and started walking the east end of the valley in hopes of striking another bird. After a mile or so in we were getting to the end of the valley where it made a big fork. I made a call and a bird gobbled in the distance so we took off closing the distance. When we got to a point that we couldn’t move much more we decided to set up and try our luck there. I told Bradley to go ahead and I’d call, we ended up setting next to one another on a huge pine tree. I started calling and the bird would answer back and just as I thought something was about to happen it did. Bradley jumps up and said he’s got to go he’s getting eaten up; we had sat down on a tree that was covered up in some type of ants. He was covered with them, he said he was fine until one bit his face and they all started biting him, then he had to go. I felt horrible but as he left to go shuck clothes I made a small loop and go a little closer to the bird, and started calling. The bird answered and after about 10 minutes I hear Bradley make a call. Then Bradley starts moving farther away calling. The bird finally left his strut zone and started my way. I could finally see the tips of his fan as he inched his way to me. Then I could see him strutting and looking. Seems like it took forever and I told myself to relax and be patient and just let him come. That’s something I’m not very good at; I tend to shoot as soon as they get in range. He finally struts to about 30yds and when he stretched his neck out to look around I took the shot and punched my California tag. I told Bradley I’m gonna have to call this bird the TK and Mike bird and it was pretty fitting. May 3 California We tried getting the gobbler that was on the private land to cross the fence but he wasn’t having it, it was like he was a runner and he had places to go and things to see. After climbing down in the valley and back out we took off in hopes of finding another bird somewhere else. We ended up on some BLM land that used to be an almond farm and it was about a 2 mile walk to the back of it. We decided to give it a look and it didn’t take long to see that there were turkeys on this property. The sign was there and we saw a few hens but no gobblers. After about 1.75 miles as we’re slipping through an old grown up road between two fields Bradley makes a call and a bird answers and he’s not that far off. Bradley crawls up the old road and slips up next to an old grown up fence row and I start to soft call. The bird gobbles and in just a few minutes I see him coming through the grass. I’m now hoping that I didn’t call to soon and that Bradley is set up where he needs to be. The bird closes the distance and I’m starting to worry that Bradley can’t see him; finally I jump as the shot goes off and I see the bird disappear. I see Bradley jump up and take off to make sure the bird was down. He said there was a fence post that was blocking the birds head from view and that he couldn’t take it any more as soon as his head cleared the post he shot. He punched his California tag that afternoon and we were off to Oregon. May 4 Oregon With the intel of a friend of a friend We find ourselves on a small block of BLM land in southern Oregon where we run into a local hunter before daylight that tells us were in a good spot and that the birds travel through he land throughout the day. After a few hours we decided to go check a few other spots in the area and while we found a ton of sign and saw birds all over the private land down in the bottoms we didn’t see or hear a bird up in the mountains on the public land. That afternoon we decided to go back to the small parcel of land and walk it over to get a better idea of the layout. When we parked I asked Bradley which was he wanted to go and he said he’d go left so I went right. I had gone about 300yds when I needed to tie my boots so I stopped by some trees with an old fence growing in them, made a call with no answer and then knelt down to tie my boots. As soon as I’m done my phone buzzes and it’s a text from my wife wishing me luck on my hunt. I told her thanks and when I look up through some bushes I see a group of turkeys, its 3 hens a jake and a longbeard. I couldn’t believe it they were 30yds away and when the gobbler gave me a shot I took it and I filled my Oregon tag just like that. It was in a beautiful draw coming down off the hills, I couldn’t have asked for a better spot. We hunted hard and burned 3 tanks of gas traveling and looking for Bradley a bird over the next 4 days. But we never found any birds. We had a close encounter on May 7 and there was a miracle on that hill side, a dead bird flew off that morning after we had sat waiting for over 5hrs. Oh I was so sick for him but it happens it just stings more on these trips. So after another day Bradley said lets go to Washington. We make the 12hr drive north and get there just in time to roost a bird up on the top of a mountain. A place where one of Bradley’s friends had been a couple days before and had given us some great info. We set up camp right past the bear danger signs and talk about a not so easy feeling trying to sleep in bear country. Us southern boys aren’t used to that sorta stuff. May 9 Washington We hike up the mountain before daylight and get set up pretty tight on the roosted bird. He starts gobbling at 4:30am which is crazy to me. It gets light so early out there. The bird is roosted on the edge of a big bowl on top of the mountain, we’re sitting in that bowl about 60yds apart and we start soft calling and he goes nuts but then so do his hens. They drop down straight out of the tree and hit a small shelf right below them and that’s where they stay. After an hour or so we regroup and Bradley tells me he’s gonna stay and see if he will do anything a little later and that if I wanted to I could go look somewhere else I could. I told him I didn’t hear any other birds and that I didn’t want to take the chance of bumping the bird if I left and that I was just gonna sit over by a tree to the right and watch and help call if needed to. So we eased down to the trees we had talked about getting against. Bradley starts calling and the bird answers him and after about 10 minutes you can tell the bird has moved up some. He keeps calling and I’m thinking about trying to video the hunt until the worst thing happens, I hear the bird gobble and now he’s moving to the right which is towards me, I catch the tips of his fan just over the rise of the bowl as he struts by me at 12yds. Now he’s drumming and strutting right by me. Bradley makes a few calls and his hens come over the bowl and start to him but then the gobbler basically calls them back to continue going over the bowl and away from us. I crane my head around and he’s strutting 10yds from me but behind me I slowly move my gun up and around and I’m now aiming left handed and kinda in a bind. The thought went through my mind and I felt really bad but I know Bradley wouldn’t let a bird walk so I settled my red dot on his head told myself to squeeze the trigger and my gun just went off and I had filled my Washington tag. It was the best and worst feeling in the world because I know how bad Bradley wanted that bird and the last few days had been brutal. It took him a few munutes to walk up to me and the bird and he just said” it not my year, I knew that dang bird was gonna do that. I mean why would he walk up a perfect runway of beautiful grass when he can skirt the mountain and then have to scale a sheer rock face to get over here.”(last year I went through what he was going through so I know how he was feeling). We took some pics and headed to the truck and then went to walk a few more places that we know had birds but didn’t have any luck striking anything. That afternoon Bradley decided to go down a blocked road across from the camps where he had seen some sign earlier in the day. I dropped him off around 6:30pm and then I went to try to find him a bird for the next morning at another spot. At 7:40 I get a text saying it’s time to break camp. He had punched his Washington tag with a unique tail fanned bird. He had eased up the road a good ways where there was a fork in the road, he took the left fork this time because earlier in the day it had some elk on it and he didn’t want to spook them so he went down the right fork. This afternoon about 300yds down the left fork he makes his first call with his trumpet call and a bird sounds off on the next ridge top about 400yds away, he finds a tree to set against and makes another call on his trumpet. The bird sounds off again and now he can see 3 gobblers coming down the hill side in front of him. The lead bird was almost at a run he told me and when he hit the road he was coming straight to him. He had ranged a dead fall and when the bird ducked under it he readied his gun. As soon as the bird straightened up Bradley filled his Washington tag. Talk about a huge relief after the mornings hunt. We broke camp and headed to Idaho just in time to try to roost some birds but didn’t have any luck but did find a good place to hunt. May 10 Idaho We start our hike up into some timber company land that is mixed clear cut and drainages. We hear a couple birds in the distance across the valley on some private land so we keep walking, then we hear a gobble that is where we can hunt him if we can get to him. He was down in a bottom along a creek drainage and was about 300ft below the road we were on. We made a mad dash to get on an old road bed above him which took us on a mile detour adventure; it’s hard to walk straight away from a gobbling bird. We ended up right above the gobbler and it was almost straight down to him. We called and he answered and this went on for about 10 minutes, then we could tell he was on the ground so we had to do something. I set up on the top side of the road in a dip and Bradley eased back and set up next to some small trees in a dip on the bottom side of the road. I was calling and the bird was slowly coming up the mountain and was on course to come out about 30yds down the road from me. Then he drops back low and hits and old dim logging trail and starts to come below us, Bradley calls and I call and the bird is hammering. I look back at Bradley and he is aiming down the mountain and I said to myself “that bird will never make it up here, lol” after about 5 minutes he shoots and then I see him bail off the mountain side. I run to the edge and he’s way down in the bottom but he’s holding a bird. Bradley had filled his Idaho tag with a fine bird. I hunted that afternoon in the same place because there was so much sign only to see a couple hens and 2 jakes. But Bradley did hear a couple birds on the back side of the property right at dark so the next morning we set out up that side of the mountain with no luck on the bird we were after, it was all quiet except for a bird way off in the distance that was on private land that he had also heard that day before. May 11 Idaho Ok so here is where the little devil sits on my left shoulder and the little angel sets on the right. I go on the public land that borders the private land where the bird was gobbling earlier. There is a shelf on that private land that is a perfect strut zone. Now the little devil is saying he’s going to be right over there later on and no one is around just go sit on that tree and wait, but on the other shoulder I’m hearing you know it’s not right, work the bird over onto this Forest land. So who won, well the right shoulder angel won. I’m sitting there fighting the urge to cross the line when in a far distance on the private land a rooster crows and a bird gobbles way off into the public land. I said to myself he’s out in that cutover on the other mountain, I’ve got a chance. I make a loop but can’t find him and he never gobbles again so I’m starting back to my original spot because I had found an old road that cut the public land and went into the private and I found tracks all along the road and I figured he would walk it to go to that strut zone. About half way down the road I notice a slight spot to the right of the road on a hill side and I tell myself I bet he crosses here and goes through this 10-15yr pine replant to get to that spot. But I walk to the end and set up literally on the line facing the public land, my back is on a painted tree. Every 15min or so I’ll make a call with just silence until 6pm when I called and he gobbled about 75yds away in the thick of the pines. Sure enough he had walked where I had told myself he would earlier. Now he’s at a pretty good angle to my left so I make a small move and reposition my gun in his direction and start calling and he gobbles again much closer but I can’t see anything because it’s so thick. I make some more calls and I catch movement to my left and there he is just in the edge of a small opening, I strain to get my gun around that much more but it’s enough to settle in on him and I fill my Idaho tag with a fine one. I shot a tree in half 3yds in front of me somehow but still managed to get him. I couldn’t believe it and I was so happy that I got him the right way and didn’t fall into the temptation of doing the wrong thing. As a turkey hunter you all know how hard it is. I text Bradley that I hat gotten him and he text back congrats but we have a dilemma, because he had just at that very moment gotten permission to hunt some private land and it was some fine land. When he picked me up he told me about the land and I said heck lets hunt it tomorrow for a fun no stress hunt and lets use our 410’s. May 12 Idaho We arrive on the farm and start our walk across the fields to the woods edge when the birds start sounding off and its quite a few on this roost. We get set up and we can see 4 or so strutting on the limbs and of course they have a hen who takes then straight away from us. After about an hour we slip down into the bottom and start up the far hill to see if we can’t put our eyes on them in the next field. As were coming up the hill I pull out my fan and hand it to Bradley and tell him to use it so maybe they won’t spook if we run into them, just as we’re crawling up the last little bit I hear him say “shoot there they are” and I hear a cluck then I see a jake pop up and then 2 longbeards at about 8yds and they are coming to us in a hurry. Bradley gets his little 410 set between the fan feathers and I tell him I can’t get a shot to just shoot one and ill try to get on one. He shoots and then I hear “awe crap” and the turkeys take off back down the hill, I shoot just as they disappear and I miss also and I just started laughing. That was pretty sad I told him as I laughed. We had both pulled our shots, we didn’t get back on those birds that morning but followed them around for a while and in that bunch it was 4 longbeards and 11 jakes. We decided to stay and hunt that afternoon and it was a wild hunt too. This time the 20’s came with us and we chased 3 longbeards and a hen but they ended up skirting us and going off onto another ridge where we couldn’t move on them. Now were in a big dilemma because were sitting under the roost trees at this point and if we don’t kill well be 11 or so getting out of there. Just as were about to try to ease out to watch the roost from a distance Bradley catches the tail of a bird crossing the creek below us and tells me a bird is coming our way. About 2 min later I see 4 red heads pop out 30yds from us out of the woods and cross the fence into the field. I tell Bradley they are there and he is looking down in the bottom, I say to your left but nothing, finally I say in the field to your left 30yds and then he sees them and starts making his move with his gun. I tell him to shoot any of them when he can and of course the one bird I’m aiming at drops as his gun goes off and the scramble commences. One of birds breaks right into an opening and I’m able to get a shot on him and we double on a ridge top on the edge of the mountains in Idaho. Doesn’t get much better . We slept in Idaho that night then off to Montana the next morning. We stopped in western Montana but they said they had a bad winter kill so we headed east for 12hrs May 13-14,15 Montana / North Dakota We heard a couple birds but never could do anything with them the morning of the 14th we set up tight on a bird Bradley had roosted for me(he already had Montana) and that joker was slick. He flew down and ran around us staying just under a slight hill running out of hearing all while gobbling. After that morning of chasing that bird I said lets go to North Dakota and try our luck, I just wasn’t feeling it there at the time. So we took off north to North Dakota. The original reservation we were going to was closed so we called another reservation and they said they had good bird numbers so we took off there. We had 500k acres to hunt and they gave out 30 tags hmmm that might not be good. But the guy at the wildlife department showed us on some maps of where to look. We rode around for about an hour checking out some places he told us about and they looked good but we didn’t see anything at that time so we rode to a spot Bradley wanted to check out that he had seen on our maps. It was rough country right next to the lake it was deeeeeeeeppppp ravines but it did look good. As were driving back to the original spot I see a gobbler in a field going towards 2 jakes we stop to look at him and Bradley says there are 3 over here on the right side of the road strutting. We drive up and turn the truck around then drive back by and once we get out of sight we jump out grab our gear and take off up the hills trying to get around them. We’re able to get in a small wooded valley below them that has 3 fingers running up to the field they are in. Just as were getting to about 100yds from the edge of the field a hen steps out in to the opening of the left valley coming our way, luckily I had my fan out using it to block our movement. We inch our way to a forked tree and set down and the hen start moving away. Bradley makes a call and a hen answers and the gobblers gobble. Then one hen comes our way and I see a gobbler run across the opening from our left to right running up on top of a hill that’s 50’ above us I see him come to the edge and blow up into strut. I call and here he comes strutting through the brush down the hill face right to us. When he gets to 15yds he stops and struts back and forth and gobbles and drums. I’ve got my 410 fixed on him( I couldn’t use my 20 in ND because my plug had messed up on me and if you tried you could load more than 3 shells in my gun so I carried my 410 to be legal) I tell Bradley to let me shoot first and he said ok. The other 3 gobblers closed the distance then went away again we never could get a shot at both birds at the same time. Finally the other three worked off a little and Bradley told me to shoot the bird to my right and then we could start calling in hopes of getting the others to come to the fight. I settled my nerves told myself to take up the slack in the trigger and squeeze. It was so cool to see the pattern engulf his head and hit on the hill side right behind him. He drops and we start calling like crazy and the other 3 are going crazy. Bradley was able to crawl about 10yds into a thicket and get a shot on his ND bird. We had just doubled on two amazing North Dakota gobblers. It was an unreal hunt and probably the best of the trip for me. We took some awesome pics in the 40mph wind then ran back to camp cleaned our birds then loaded the truck and headed back to Montana with an hour to spare before day break. May 16 Montana It flooded on us the last couple hours of our drive in and the roads were nasty but Bradley was able to get us to the spot we needed to be. We swapped driving about 1am so I could try to get a little sleep before the morning. Well when my alarm went off it was like waking the dead and the wind was howling and it was cold outside. I got out of the truck and looked around and thought about getting back in the truck and going to sleep but we had just driven all night to get to the spot and I had one morning to hunt before some real bad weather set in. I looked up in the sky and saw a single star and said its gonna be ok. I changed clothes and grabbed my gear and told Bradley I was going up the road to listen and he kinda gave me a good luck look said ok and he was out again. I made it to my listening spot and couldn’t hear anything but wind. After about 30 min the wind died down and the sky’s cleared and I hear a fain gobble in the distance then another and he’s moving and I know about where he’s going. I take off on a hike to cut him off and end up spooking 3 mule deer and of course they run in his direction and that was the last gobble I heard from him. Feeling defeated I just said” you won old boy you sure are a slick one. “ and I started the hike back to the truck. I stopped at a high point just to look around and the sunrise and in the distance he sounded off again and he was on the move away from me. I took off after him and once I finally got within a few hundred yards of where I thought he should be I stopped behind a small hill and listened I hear him gobble and I ease up to the top of the small hill and finally pin point him and he’s in a most difficult place to get to. He was on the flat to of the highest peak in the area and it was pretty much wide open to get to him with the exception of a few pines that were on the same hill he was on. So I made my plan of approach and slipped down into a low drain and make it to the side hill. I started picking my way through the pines as I made it closer and closer to the bottom of the hill he was on. It was about 200ft to the top of the hill and it was almost straight up. So I started climbing, the rain from the morning deadened my footsteps, a welcome gift from above, and after I closed the distance to 30yds from the last incline he was still gobbling his head off. I made a soft purr on my pot call and a slight yelp on my mouth call and that was it. Then I crawled on my knees through the small thick pins to the other edge of the incline where it was actually a little more slope for me to try to make a move. As I’m sitting there trying to plot my path through the pine cone covered ground for the last little bit in hopes of seeing him I hear a put and its to my left. I ease my eyes over and there he stands 10yds from me. Apparently he was coming to the calls I made and I didn’t know it. No way did I figure he would leave his look out, but he did. I eased my gun around and was able to get a shot off as he disappeared behind the bluff wall and just blew some feathers off of him, he pitches out off the mountain side and I’m able to get a second shot off just as he is about to be gone. He folds up and hits the last tree he could have and falls to the ground at the edge of the cliff just before going over. I had filled my final tag of the trip and what an amazing hunt it had been. I climbed to the top where his last post was and wow what a view. We traveled 7700 miles driven in 15 days over 90 miles on the ground in the beautiful mountains of the pacific North West and took birds in 6 states. The Good Lord blessed us beyond anything I could have ever imagined on this trip by keeping us safe in our travels and our hunts. It’s amazing what all HE can and will do for us. We loaded up got breakfast at a small town diner and then headed south for home… Until next year. 2019 was a pretty amazing year.
  7. All public land minus the one place we knocked on the door to hunt. Camped most of the time and ate out of the ice chest. Not near as bad as most think, I couldn't go on a one bird guided hunt anywhere for what I spent on this hunt.
  8. On the road headed home but here are some pics. Story to come California 5/2/19 5/3/19 Oregon 5/4/19 Washington 5/9/19 Idaho 5/10/19 5/11/19 5/12/19 North Dakota 5/15/19 Montana 5/16/19
  9. That's what it's all about!!! Congrats. Man that pic with her holding that 10ga up should go in a frame. Now you're gonna have to get her a little Mossberg mini super bantam .410 and get her one.
  10. Heck yeah that’s awesome. Congrats to both of y’all. Liking that white in the fan
  11. 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.
  12. 3seasons


    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.
  13. That’s awesome congrats Al