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Reflect on each post as if it’s a live feed into the life of a “365 day a year whitetail & turkey fanatic”!

2013 Turkey Season: Kansas

My 1st Kansas turkey, one of 12 jakes I called in the first morning.

My 1st Kansas turkey, one of 12 jakes I called in the first morning. 14lbs, 4.5 beard, 1/4 spurs 

The trip to Kansas got off on the wrong foot, as a contest calling buddy I was going to go with had to cancel just before we were to depart. His truck was in the shop and had eaten up his funds for the trip. I have been there before, so I understood. The biggest issue was he had the land lined up we were to be hunting. I started looking at maps to find public areas and Walk-In hunting areas. I was able to find a few but I have never been there so it was going to take scouting or some fast luck.

I called a buddy, Brandon, I knew from work that lived out there. I had planned on having a beer with him when I got out there any way. I told him what had happened, truthfully if I had not already bought my tags I would have just scraped the hunt and went next year. I asked him if he knew anything about the public lands I had looked up. Brandon said he would ask around and get back to me.

So I was off for a 7 hour drive. I left at 4am Friday morning, and drove right to the first place I planned to hunt. I saw turkeys so I hunted there that afternoon. I had a missed call from Brandon, so I gave him a ring back. He was heading home to do a little farming and had offered me the opportunity to hunt some of his family land. I knew that the turkeys would be thick on their land but I’m not sure I understood how thick.

I found Brandon that afternoon behind the wheel of a tractor. We took a spin around the field a few times, catching up on shop talk, there is always something to talk about with the day job. After that he took me over to the land I would be hunting in the morning, and sure enough the turkeys where there. We looked at a map and he told me what areas are good to start in the morning.

312270_10201267884963670_732831456_nThe morning came and I got out there to the gate to find the sky to the north being lit up. I checked an app on my phone and found a large thunderstorm closing in. It looked like I had about a 50/50 shot at getting rained on. Now I’m not worried about a little rain so I headed for the area we had looked at on the map. I got about half way and the thunder and lightning had me rethinking my decision to hunt. I had to head back, lightning is one of the few things that will keep me from the turkey woods.

The storm passed and I was back out hunting by 8AM. Brandon had told me that the turkeys head to the fields after they leave the roost. Again his info was right on. I found 5 toms and around 12 jakes in the lower field. I was able to set up on them and called the jakes to about 75 yards and the toms to about 100 yards but they just didn’t want to play the game. The toms worked off to land I couldn’t hunt. So I turned my attention to the jakes. I had two tags for Kansas and I was willing to fill one with a jake to insure the freezer stays full.

I needed to make a move in order for the jakes to see myzink_avian_x_lcd_jake_quarter_strut_1288858_3_og. I had observed the jakes fighting one another and saw that when a new comer showed up a few in the group would run across the field to the newbie. I made my move using the cover to my advantage. I belly crawled up to a rise in the fence line that I was sure the jakes in the field would see my decoy. The jakes where about 70 yards from my location. They spotted the Avian-X LCD Jake decoy immediately and headed my way. A group of three came right up to 15 yards of the decoy. I took aim and downed what looked to be the biggest of the three. I soon had many other jakes jumping on my dead turkey. I let them have their fun but I wanted to save my last tag for a tom.

I headed next to another farm that we had seen toms in the afternoon before. I hunted it for a few hours and wanted to head back to the farm I had started on. Already thinking of the next morning I wanted to be ready and I have an idea of where I was going in the morning. I pulled up to the gate and looked over the map of the farm. I looked up to see a jake crossing the road, about 200 yards away. I glassed him just it time to see a gobbler step out and run him off into the woods. The gobbler popped out of strut and looked at my turkey, he didn’t spook but he didn’t like it. He head back the way he came. I looked the map again and hatched a plan.

My best spring yet this was my last of 6 turkeys taken this year. Kansas 2013 Tag 2, tom 16 pounds, 10.5 beard, 1 inch spurs

My best spring yet this was my last of 6 turkeys taken this year. Kansas 2013 Tag 2, tom 16 pounds, 10.5 beard, 1 inch spurs

I knew if I could get into the same ravine about 300 yards up from where he went in, I’d have a chance. Took the long way around, circling in front of him, I made my way into the ravine and got set up. I made a few yelps and a hen answered with some aggressive cutts. I came right back at her with my own aggressive cutts. Before long she was in the decoys, our calling back a forth had stirred up another hen up the ravine from my location. At this point I had one hen almost on top of me and I had to be very careful not to spoke her. Then he appeared- the gobbler I had seen from the road with another gobbler in tow. They made their way into the jake decoy and just as they did, I took aim. Dropped him in the decoys and the other gobbler took flight, flying right over me.

Wow! What a trip, done in a day, almost too fast to enjoy it. Rest assured I did enjoy it. A monster Thank You to Brandon and his family, for helping me out with a place to hunt and even a place to stay. They are an amazing group of people, getting to know them was the best part of the trip. Filling the tags was an added bonus.


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