I never made it back out to Kansas for the last couple of weeks of the season. Work got too backed up while I was hunting during the first part. Anyhow, I found it interesting that it was 19 degrees on the first day I hunted and 91 degrees on my last day. Overall, gobbling activity was lower than previous years in both Iowa and Missouri…but ESPECIALLY in Iowa. I was still lucky enough to tag out in both states. The farm I hunted in Kansas was new to me, so I had nothing to compare it to. I think Missouri (at least along the Iowa border) is OK, because I saw quite a few birds. They weren’t as vocal though, so I was probably dealing with older birds and not the usual loudmouthed two-year-olds. The Iowa farms I hunted in <delete> county were a little different this year. I didn’t see or hear many birds there. <Delete> was especially worrisome. The east fencerow had been dozed, and some of the ditches had been cleaned up. I didn’t think that would have a big impact on the wildlife, but I didn’t hear a gobble within a half mile of that place. I’m hoping it was just like that on the days I listened, because that farm has gone silent in the past, too.
Here are some pics I took. I didn’t any good ones of when I took Gus to Kansas, which was probably the most fun hunt, even though we couldn’t get a bird within shooting distance.
Definitely had some older birds this year. Two of the younger (unscientifically based on spur length) ones clocked in at nearly 27 pounds, however. And I think this is the first year I’ve ever tagged a bird with a legitimate 12+ inch beard. Many have come close, but none had hit the 1 foot mark.
And this guy was impressive, but his other spur was broken off…
Now it’s time to put away my stuff. 🙁