MARCH 25, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #1
LOCATION: BALDWIN COUNTY & JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE
AM HUNT CALLED IN 2 HENS AND 3 JAKES
Dad and I would hunt our club in Baldwin County on the opening day of the Georgia Turkey Season. The first bird to show was a hen with a very nice beard. The next birds were 3 jakes and they became very obsessed with our Avian jake decoys. That evening we went to Jasper County and hunted the Cullum property. We also called up a hen but not any gobblers. See the footage on my 2017 video.
MARCH 28, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #2
WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE
PARTNER: KEITH SMITH
PM HUNT CALLED IN 1 GOBBLER
Keith Smith and I would hunt some private land in Wilkinson County after work on this evening. We tried to lighten the gear we would take as we did not have the golf cart on this day. We walked a couple hundred yards down the woods road toward the river swamp and began crow calling. After about another hundred yards we heard a gobble. We began looking for a place to setup off the edge of the road. We set a hen decoy up about 20 yards in front of us. The gobbler sounded like he was about 300 yards and it took about 30 minutes before we knew he was coming in. The hung up at about 75 yards but finally inched in and came out on the road right at the hen decoy. We had not seen a beard and still wondered if he was a jake but his gobble sounded like that of a good bird. When he made it to the road he began strutting and we knew he was a mature gobbler at this point. Keith had already scored on a gobbler with his bow so it was my decision if I wanted the bird. Assuming he had beard rot I thought he might be an older bird so I decided I would take him. We got video until he appeared to be moving away when I took the shot. The gobbler weighed 20 lbs. 13 oz., had 3/4 inch spurs and a 1 inch beard. See the footage on my 2017 video.
MARCH 31, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #3
MONROE COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
AM HUNT CALLED IN 1 GOBBLER
Dad and I would hunt some private land in Monroe County this morning. We had traveled up a month earlier and mowed the 4 acre field so we would have an excellent video for the hunt. At first light we heard nothing which was a big disappointment. We knew there had to be a gobbler in hearing distance so we planned to hunt for several hours. After about 3 hours we thought we heard a gobble to our left front. As he continued to gobble we thought it was to our left and sounded to continue around our left and then behind us. The Double Bull blind is an excellent blind as are many, but sometimes makes it difficult to determine the direction of a gobbler. After about 15 more minutes Dad saw a gobbler to our right at about 100 yards. We have been mistaken about the direction before but this was very surprising. We were unsure, but still think the gobbler did make his way around us and came out on the right side. The gobbler strutted all the way in and eventually to the jake decoys. I called to get the gobbler out of strut or to move away from the decoys. When I cut he initially became nervous and moved away and was in the perfect position for Dad to take the shot. The gobbler weighed 18 lbs. 8 oz., had 1 inch spurs and a 10 1/2 inch beard. See the footage on my 2017 video.
APRIL 1, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #4
JASPER COUNTY, PRIVATE
AM HUNT CALLED IN/SEEN 2 GOBBLERS AND 3 HENS
Dad and I would travel back to the Cullum property in Jasper County on this hunt. The land had been selective cut and we had found a strut zone on the previous hunt and decided to start there this morning. We heard a couple of gobblers in the distance, but nothing close. A hen came in and soon made her way toward the pond. After hunting until after 10 we decided to move over to the fields. We set up on the lower side and soon after heard a gobble a few hundred yards in front of us. The bird made his way around the end of the field and came in strutting but stayed on the end. Eventually we saw why, a couple of hens came out and all three birds locked up on the end. Eventually they all left and after about an hour heard another gobble. We thought it was the same gobbler but instead it was a different gobbler as his beard was only about 6 inches and appeared to have beard rot like the previous one I had killed. He came in to our setup with no problem like a two year old which he was. I was hunting with the bow and had almost decided to take him but after looking at the ½ inch spurs thought otherwise. This was our first “Catch and Release” of the year but excellent video. See the footage on my 2017 video.
APRIL 13, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #5
PARTNER: KEITH SMITH
PM HUNT CALLED 3 GOBBLER AND 2 HENS
Keith Smith and I made our way back to Tennessee and to the WMA we had both killed a gobbler at a couple of years before. As daylight approached we heard nothing. It seemed like a couple of hours had passed before we heard a gobbler. The gobbler we thought we heard was behind us, but in a short time we saw a gobbler in front of us. The gobbler was spying in our direction but just as on previous hunts made his was into the woods and inside the wood line around our right side. Afterwards we saw a couple of hunters walking across the field which could have been what cautioned the bird. We gave it a couple of hours and saw a couple more gobblers that did the same thing. We either had to remove the decoys and or relocate to the corner in front of us. We decided to move after another hour and try and catch the birds away from the field in the early part of the afternoon. We set up and felt really good about the hunt when we saw two hens but that was all. See the footage on my 2017 video.
APRIL 14, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #6
TENNESSEE PRIVATE LAND
PM HUNT CALLED 1 GOBBLER AND 3 HENS
Keith Smith and I would hunt with Ray Kelly for the next couple of days. We decided to make an evening hunt on Ray’s property. Keith and Ray would hunt one side of the property and I would set in the big field where they had hunted that morning. Less than an hour after I set up I called a hen out from my right. The hen made her way to the middle of the field. Not long after that another hen came out from across the field from the left side. About the same time a gobbler made his way from across the field from the front right. They all converged in the middle of the field where he basically hung up. I managed to call the two hens in but he stay out just beyond 50 yards. I had felt he needed to be within 50 yards before I would attempt a shot. The hens made their way back out to him and I felt it was over but about that time another hen came into the field from the other side. I thought I might have another shot if I could get her to come to the calling. I slipped an extended range Winchester load in my gun which was probably a mistake. I had shot this load in my Benelli but not the the Mossberg. The hens all came back, but the gobbler still hung up at 50+ yards. The hens made their way to my left as if to leave and head toward where they would probably eventually roost. The gobbler would now come to within a spot that would be as close as he would be. I ranged him and once he got to 49 yards I decided to shoot. The pattern was very tight but was off it’s mark. This was pretty much another “catch and release”. I shot my gun with the XR shells when I returned home and saw the pattern was off but extremely tight at that range. See the footage on my 2017 video.
APRIL 16, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #7
TENNESSEE PRIVATE LAND
PARTNER: JOSH BYROM
AM HUNT CALLED 2 HENS
Keith Smith, Ray Kelly and I would hunt with Ray’s friend Josh Byrom for the next couple of days. We split up and Josh and I hunted together while Keith and Ray paired up. We heard several birds on the first morning and thought surely we would call one up. Josh tried to run the horses off to prevent any issues of a bird making it all the way in but we never saw one on the first morning. The next morning we thought we would set up where the birds had travelled the previous morning. We called up a couple of single hens that provided some excellent audio. See the footage on my 2017 video.
APRIL 27, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #8
WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
AM HUNT CALLED 1 GOBBLER, 2 JAKES AND 1 HEN
Dad and I would hunt some private land in Wilkinson County on this hunt. Dad killed a nice gobbler last year and it was my time for the next bird. At first light there were no gobbles. Soon after we heard what we thought was a hen behind us but soon after a jake flew down in the field and went away from us where the birds had roosted the year before. We had set the jake decoys farther to our right in case a gobbler hung up he might still get within range. Soon after another jake entered the lower end and then the gobbler and hen. They worked their was in front of us in the plowed field but didn’t seem interested in coming on our side with was grassy. As they moved farther to our right front I thought there would be no way to shoot to the decoys so as soon as I thought they were out of sight I slipped out of the blind to go move the decoys. I peaked over the blind and a hen just over the ridge at about 40 yards saw me. As it turned out it was probably the same hen and then I saw the 2 jakes. We gave it a couple of hours and saw the hen come back in the plowed field and start dusting. Another half hour and the jakes and gobbler came back. Another hour and we managed to get the hen in and the gobblers followed. The gobbler weighed 19 lbs., had 1 inch and ½ inch spurs and a 9 inch beard. See the footage on my 2017 video.
MAY 3, 2017 VIDEO HUNT #9
WILKINSON COUNTY, PRIVATE
PARTNER: KEITH SMITH
PM HUNT CALLED IN 3 GOBBLERS AND 1 HEN
Keith Smith and I would hunt for just the second time on this property in Wilkinson County after work again on this evening. We again did the same thing we had done on our first hunt. This time at about the same spot we received a gobble from my crow call and we immediately looked for a place to set up. We didn’t go as far as the first time since we felt with the foliage on the trees the bird might be closer. It took about 10 minutes to get set up and we positioned the hen decoy to our left knowing the gobbler would see it when he rounded the curve of the road in front of us. I called just enough to get his attention and then clucked a purred a little more but he never gobbled again. In less than 10 minutes the gobbler rounded the curve in the road at about 100 yards and slowly worked his way toward us. After he got about 60 yards 2 more gobblers and a hen rounded the curve behind him. This would possibly be my chance to tag out and also double with Keith at the same time. The first gobbler moved off the road and appeared to continue coming just off the road. The other birds kept coming and seemed to lock up at about 45 yards. I told Keith to take a shot when he could and if another shot was presented I would capitalize too. The hen finally got clear and Keith took the gobbler. The second bird had also went off the road but came back to flog the gobbler Keith shot. When he did I waited for the hen to move again and then took the shot. Both birds were good birds but a little light in weight. Keith’s bird weighed 15 lbs. 3 oz., had 1 inch spurs and a 10 1/2 inch beard and mine weighed 17 lbs. 9 oz., had 1 inch spurs and a 9 1/2 inch beard. See the footage on my 2017 video.
7, 2016 VIDEO HUNT #10
LOCATION: TWIGGS COUNTY, PRIVATE LAND
AM HUNT – CALLED IN 1 GOBBLER AND 3 JAKES
Dad and I hunted his club on this morning and heard a gobbler sounding off 15 minutes before daylight. This made us feel he would surely respond once we started calling. It took about an hour but the gobbler and 3 jakes made their way in. The jakes came all the way in but while in range stayed just outside where we would have liked to shoot. Dad said it was the same gobbler he had called in a couple of weeks earlier. He didn’t really want to shoot him as he was only a 2 year old so this was basically another “Catch and Release”. The gobbler and jakes provided some excellent video. See the footage on my 2017 video.