Joshua

Jon and John,
attached are some photos of my successful turkey hunts on MAHA land in [location deleted] and [location deleted] this year. I'll send some prints in the mail as well.

As with most turkey hunts, there were ups and downs, but overall the hunts were a great success. As always, it was very nice to be turkey hunting on quality private land and to have the place to myself while I was there. That's one thing I continually appreciate about being a MAHA member.

My [location deleted] turkey was 20.5 lbs., had a 1" beard (eaten off by fungus) and had 1" spurs. My first [location deleted] bird was 24 lbs. with an 11" beard and 1.25" spurs.

My second [location deleted] turkey was 21 lbs. with a 10.5" beard and 1.25" spurs.

Thanks for the good work ya'll do in securing quality properties.

Sincerely, Joshua - Texas

Another

Hi, John,
attached are a few photos of my successful turkey hunts on [loaction deleted] association properties. I was able to take a Rio turkey on Sunday morning (April 23), and then the next day moved over a few counties to the east and was fortunate to take an Eastern bird the next morning. They were both mature tom's with very nice feathers, beards, etc. I enjoyed the turkey hunt very much. It took me a few days to locate any turkeys, I think partially because of the terrible weather while I was there. When I did locate some birds, though, I was lucky to get a few to work. The Rio hunt was particularly exciting, as he came to my calling from 300 yards across an open field, gobbling and strutting all the way.
Joshua

Jon & John,
I've just returned from more than a week of turkey hunting on MAHA leases in northern Kansas and northern Missouri. The turkeys really made me work for them, but I finished up the hunt successfully. I heard more gobbling overall this year than last year, but it took me a good deal longer to kill my first turkey. After that, though, things snowballed in my favor. I took two long beards in Kansas and one long beard in Missouri. I'll recount the story of my turkey hunts below.

Day 1 - Hunted a property I hadn't turkey hunted before, on the recommendation of another MAHA member. Rainy and windy that morning, but I still heard two toms gobble a few times on the roost and set-up near them. They didn't respond to calling as they had hens with them, but they did almost accidentally wander into range, but not quite. They were both Rio Grande toms. Saw one more turkey that day, but they wouldn't work.

Day 2 - Same property as Day 1, set-up in a different location at daylight (over 1/2 mile away from yesterday morning). Wind was calm, I could really hear well. At gobble time I heard at least 8 different toms roosted in the same general area, and they were really hammering. I called a little and softly and they answered frequently. Unfortunately, almost all of them flew down and left in the opposite direction - I heard hens, so that's probably why. I heard the toms gobbling getting further and further away, then I heard one more bird fly down. I yelped a few times and heard a gobble less than 50 yards off my left shoulder and behind me. He was coming. There was a good deal of brush between me and the bird. He was roosted just inside some woods on the edge of a field. I was on the edge of the field and had a hen and jake decoy about 20 yards into the field. Shortly I could hear him spitting, drumming and strutting and I couldn't wipe the silly grin off my face. Momentarily his head came into view and he was headed right for the fence. He was in range of me but was behind a good deal of brush. I was set-up to shoot when he entered the field. Unfortunately, when he got to the fence and saw the decoys there was something he didn't like, and he never would come out into the field, slowly moving off where I didn't have a shot. Later that morning I had a group of 4 toms gobbling on a hillside across a ravine, but they had hens and wouldn't come any closer. Turkey just about everywhere.

Day 3 - Hunting same property, set-up in same spot. Waiting for daylight, heard noise behind me, initially thought it was cows, then saw that it was 3 people walking, obviously hunters. When they got to about ten yards I said "ppssstttt" to get their attention. It definitely got their attention. All three of them levitated off of the ground and one of them, a grown man, started screaming like a girl - LOUD. I asked if they were MAHA members and they were not, but the uncle of one of them had the property next door leased and they were using the edge of the MAHA property to access it. Since they gave me a good chuckle with their performance, I figured they had enough of a scare that morning without me getting on to them about being on the property. They were very apologetic about messing up my hunt. As it turns out, the toms that had been roosted there the morning before were definitely not there this morning. Not sure where they were, but they must have been a good deal farther down the creek, because I didn't hear them gobble any. I did hear some birds gobbling over 1/2 mile away on the south side of the property, but when I pursued them I discovered that they were on another property that was not MAHA. I heard a few more gobbles that morning, but couldn't get anything to work in close.

Day 4 - Hunted today on a property where I shot one turkey last year. Got there in the dark and the turkeys started gobbling hard right where I thought they'd be. I could hear at least half a dozen mature toms roosted up and down this creek bottom. Unfortunately, they didn't fly down where they did last year. Last year the field in front of them was corn stubble. This year, the field was winter wheat higher than a turkey's head, so they flew up onto the ridge instead of down into the field. I did a quick march to try and get around in front of them. I didn't see them again that morning, but I did hear a few birds. They were gobbling hard in response to my calls, but I heard hens calling in that direction, plus these turkeys were across a big creek from me, and they just wouldn't come in. Later in the morning I heard two different toms gobbling in a different area, but they were a LONG ways away, and while they would occasionally answer my calls, they never got closer. Shortly before noon I heard another tom in a different area and he was within 200-300 yards, but I could see him and he also had hens and I couldn't coax him away from them.

Day 5 - This morning I set up on the ridge where the toms flew to yesterday morning. Unfortunately, this morning they weren't roosted in the same spot. I didn't hear as many toms this morning as yesterday, but I did hear three. I had observed some turkeys crossing the road at one particular spot not far from where these birds were roosted, so I set up near there, which was not far from where the birds were roosted this morning. Instead of flying down and walking down the creek bottom, though, the turkeys flew down into a big field where they weren't really approachable. I backed off and set-up to do some blind calling in an area where I'd heard a tom yesterday morning, hoping he would come back into that area this morning. About mid-morning I observed a tom following some hens in one particular spot. The wind was blowing HARD from him to me and I don't think he heard my calling, and the hens took him off to parts unknown. I made a note of where they were, though, and about 5 p.m. got set up in that area, hoping to intercept birds headed back towards their roosting areas. I had been calling about every 10 minutes for half an hour when I heard a gobble. It was about 200 yards away. I kept on calling and he would answer just about every time. Over the next hour or so I worked him, and he kept getting closer and closer, gobbling harder and more as he got closer. I had set my decoy up on a small rise where any approaching tom could see it from a ways, but wouldn't be able to see me until he was already in range for a shot. It worked too good. For about 15 minutes this tom was less than 50 yards away, gobbling hard, strutting, spitting and drumming less than 20 yards on the other side of my decoy. He was on the other side of the rise, though, so I couldn't see him. I quit calling altogether and that brought him closer, until finally I could see his head come over the rise, and I dropped him at 35 yards. He was 22 lbs., 11" beard and 1 1/4" spurs, a real nice tom, full Eastern. While I was taking pictures I heard a tom gobble, over 1/4 mile away, and it sounded like he was on roost already. I had been in that area earlier in the morning and it was pretty open, but there was a thin creek that had a line of big cottonwoods running through it, so I guessed that was where he was, and made a point to go there in the morning.

Day 6 - I went in well before light and walked very quietly to the edge of the cottonwoods I thought the turkeys were probably roosted in. As it was getting to about "gobble time", I called once on my crow call and he gobbled about 100 yards away, just around a small bend in the creek. It was a perfect turkey set-up. I set my hen decoy out in the corn stubble where he should be able to see it when he flew down, and I set up in the creek bottom about 25 yards away, well hidden. I called softly and he answered occasionally. I heard a bird fly down and shortly a jake came up to my decoy from the left and started putting on a strutting show. Then I heard another turkey fly down and it was the mature tom, I couldn't see him, but he was gobbling occasionally, but stayed out at about 100 yards. Then two more jakes came in from my right and they joined in the excitement of my "hen". The jakes stayed there putting on a show for about 10 minutes, and then lost interest and moved off. That's when the mature tom made his move. He gobbled once or twice more, and each time he was closer. Soon I saw him strutting and he walked out from behind a cedar bush into full view and I dropped him at 25 yards. I believe he is either a Rio or a Rio/Eastern hybrid. I killed him about 1/2 section away from where I killed my turkey last evening, which was definitely an Eastern. This tom was 20 lbs. and had 1 1/8" spurs. His beard was about 1" long and was fused together. I'm guessing it had been eaten by beard bugs or mites. I've heard of that happening, but had never seen it until now.

Another

Day 1 - I scouted this turkey lease the day before my hunt started and saw a good number of turkeys, tracks and also spooked some nesting hens, but wasn't able to get anything to gobble when they flew up to roost for the evening, so I came in this morning blind and just headed for what I thought was the best "looking" turkey spot. I didn't hear any gobbles at all on the roost. I thought I had entered the "no-gobble zone". It perplexed me a bit. About 7 a.m. I heard a distant gunshot on a neighboring property and immediately heard one tom gobble one time, a long ways off. I moved about 200 yards in that direction and set-up on the edge of a field/creek bottom where I could see at least 100 yards in front of me and to my left. I started yelping and cutting about every 5 minutes, and after about 20 minutes of doing that I happened to glance to my left and saw a mature tom about 100 yards away, coming right to me. He wasn't making a sound, but he was definitely on a mission. I already had my gun ready, so I just watched him walk right past me and when he came into the clear I dropped him at 15 yards. He was 21 lbs. with a 10" beard and 1" spurs. Very pretty Eastern Turkey. He came from a different direction than where I heard the solitary gobble this morning, so I'm guessing it was a different bird.

Day 2 - Set up in the same turkey spot where I killed the bird yesterday. Didn't hear any gobbles again, but did watch a long beard walk by a few hundred yards out, following some hens. That was the only turkey I saw that morning.

Day 3 - I finally heard some gobbling this morning, albeit very sparingly. The closest turkey was roosted in a creek bottom with fields on both sides. I guessed wrong and he flew down to the field on the opposite side of the creek bottom from where I was at. I saw him at a distance, and he had four hens with him. He shut up completely after fly-down. I followed those turkey visually for the next several hours, but just couldn't get him interested in leaving those hens.

I had intended to turkey hunt at least 2 more days in Missouri originally, but spent too much time in Kansas and had to get on home.

I was very happy taking 3 out of a possible 4 mature toms, and hearing and seeing as many turkey as I did. I only heard one distant gunshot in those 9 total days of hunting. I had the properties to myself. That's one thing I love about turkey hunting private land, and especially in Kansas, the turkey just aren't pressured and so they're willing to talk a good bit. Enjoyed my turkey hunt very much this year and look forward to hitting it hard again next spring.

Thanks for the work ya'll do in finding quality properties for MAHA members.

Good Hunting, Joshua

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