Shawn

Just thought I would drop you a note and let you know how this year's turkey season went.

This was Kelsey's second year turkey hunting and she was going for another big turkey during the youth season. It was a beautiful morning and the birds were gobbling their heads off. We worked a few turkeys early, but could not convince any of them to leave the company of their ladies....so we went to them.

Sometime around 10am we called in one lonely gobbler, but he came in farther to our left than expected. He spit and drummed for us at about 30 yards before deciding to head back into the brush. I told Kelsey that if she was going to take a shot...now was the time. Well, it was a tough shot, a hard left angle and it was a clean miss (such is turkey hunting and a great learning experience for her). Another member, Randy, went along to film the turkey hunt....so at least we have that to look back on. The next day was more of the same, a ton of gobbling, lots of turkey, but I could never convince one of those lovelorn toms to come close enough for a shot. On the bright side, we saw a ton of deer (looking forward to bowhunting the area next year) and got some great footage of turkeys strutting (right by the truck....just on the wrong side of the fence).

This is also the first year that my wife has tried her hand at turkey hunting. We went back to the same farm that Kelsey and I had turkey hunted and both had a successful morning. She took her first turkey at about 10 yards. It was a bearded hen with a seven inch beard. Later that same morning, I was fortunate enough to call in two longbeards where we got to watch them spit, drum, and gobble for about 15 minutes from only about 25 yards away. After making sure that Kim got to see a good "show" I took one of the toms. He weighed in at 21lbs, 10 inch beard, and 1 inch spurs. (If I had only known I would have been able to call in two turkeys that close, we would have waited on the hen earlier, but I hated to turn down the opportunity for her to take any legal turkey for her first one. She tells me that will be her last hen after seeing the size of that gobbler and the show he put on)

The afternoon on both trips was spent fishing some of our farms ponds. I was fortunate enough to catch some great fish. I took some pictures, but I don't have them back yet. Even more important...I was able to spend some quality time with the people most important to me. Another great trip on MAHA properties.
Good hunting, Shawn

John,
Here is a picture of the turkey I was fortunate enough to take last weekend with my bow. We were hunting a "new" property and decided to do a little scouting in the early afternoon. I spotted some turkeys feeding out in a pasture, so I decided to forego the scouting and instead wait to see if the turkeys were going to feed close enough for me to get a shot. Well, for once, luck was on my side while trying to take a turkey with a bow. Something on the other side of the field scared the turkeys and they were coming right toward my corner of the field. A few of the toms got as close as ten yards before I was able to take the shot. Right in the "twelve ring" and she was down after only going about 5 yards....I love that kind of tracking job!

This is our group's first archery turkey of the year, but we have already helped out the deer herd and made good use of those archery antlerless only tags by filling three of them to this point. We have already seen a lot of deer, turkey, and other wildlife. Even when we don't harvest an animal the trips are great....the deer and turkey in the back of the truck are just the bonus.
Good hunting and good luck, Shawn

John,
Another turkey season has passed. It was a challenging one, but a rewarding one. It was windy, rainy (to say the least) and the weather was cold one day and hot the next.... but you can't tag them if you don't get out of bed, so we were out there on the windy days, the rainy days and the cold days and the persistence paid off. I was only able to turkey hunt on the weekends, so I had to take what was dealt to me and that was tough turkey hunting weather every single weekend of the season.

My buddy Randy and I drove to [location deleted] early Saturday morning through a huge rainstorm and made the decision that as long as the lightning held off, we were going turkey hunting. Well it did continue to rain...hard, but the turkeys had to deal with it, so we did to. It paid off for Randy that morning with a nice 23-pound bird with a 10 1/2" beard and 1" spurs. I wasn't so lucky, I had a tom fly down off the roost very near where I was sitting, but I never heard or saw him until he was right on top of me.... I don't know who scared who, but we both learned a turkey hunting lesson that day.

Sunday morning found me doing a belly crawl across an open field to four strutting tom showing off for a group of hens on part of a larger turkey flock. After about an hour of crawling 200 yards I was close enough for a shot. I was fortunate enough to take a 25-pound tom with a 9 1/2" beard and 1 1/2" spurs.

I went back out on one of our [location deleted] farms the last Saturday of season and it was dry weather, but extremely windy. The turkeys may have been gobbling, but with the wind I only heard one and it was not in area that was easily accessible from where I was standing. So I continued on to an area where I had seen turkeys strutting in the past. About 8:30 I was checking the bottom of a field and saw a lone turkey strutting at the bottom of the hill. Just what I was looking for! I called...nothing. I called again.... nothing. I tried a louder call and that did the trick. In all of the wind the turkeys just couldn't hear me. He started working toward me strutting and gobbling all of the way. 20 exciting minutes later I had the tom in the bag. 22 pounds 10 1/2" beard and 1" spurs.

Another great turkey season on MAHA properties. First, my 11-year-old daughter gets her first tom and then I bag two big old boys in two very different, but very exciting turkey hunts. I think I may try [location deleted] next year....
Good hunting, Shawn

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