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Obsessed with bowhunting whitetails and running trail cams! Love fishing, 3D Archery, camping, and teaching hunter education. Been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff since 2008 and is excited to become a part of the team here at Victory Outdoors.

Turkey Down

2016 Iowa Second Season Turkey Recap!

20160424_095716I was able to get out for a couple hunts last weekend during the second spring turkey season in Iowa. I had to work Friday, but I met Cody at his house to see if we could connect with a gobbler on his way to roost for the evening. There has been some great activity on this property, however I’m afraid we were just too late getting out there. We had to wait on a deer that was out in the tall grass, and as soon as she moved off we bumped a hen and she flew off into the timber. It wasn’t the best start to a hunt, and it ended up being the only action we saw all night. I had a busy day planned with family Saturday, so my next opportunity would be Sunday morning. I headed out to the main property, I bowhunt in the fall. I’ve been running cameras out there for several weeks and have been seeing some good birds so my hopes were high. As I made my way across the CRP field I saw a pair of deer tails headed away. They looked like ghosts floating away in the dark. I was bummed that I bumped them, but at least they didn’t blow, and they moved off quietly.

I wasn’t terribly pleased with my setup, as the only option to shoot into the open field left me fairly open to the timber behind me. I was propped against a small tree, maybe 14 inches in diameter. Since I was wider than my tree I was happy to have a few multiflora rose plants around to help break up my form. There were at least four birds gobbling from the roost, but as they flew down, they headed off deeper into the neighboring property. I did have a small hen come in behind me very early on, and after she checked out the decoys, she headed back into the timber to find the rest of her flock. After about twenty minutes I heard another hen come toward me, and the small hen and she moved off. Over the next couple hours I had nine more hens either alone or in pairs move through the field. I also had at least twenty deer cross the field heading to their beds. At approximately 8:45AM I had two hens come through my setup, and after giving them a few minutes to walk away, I decided to hit the box call and see if I could get any responses. I gave a series of yelps and almost immediately heard a gobble. It sounded like it was in the neighbors pasture probably 150 yards away so I hit the call again. Again I got a response. I figured one more should do the trick, so I hit a few more yelps and after the next gobble I set the call down. I figured if I was getting that kind of response this late in the morning my chances were high. Peeking over my left shoulder, I saw a red head moving my direction through the timber. I flipped on my little camera and reached up to turn on my Tactacam.

20160424_090303As I leaned back into the tree, I heard something over my right shoulder. I glanced that way and saw a nice tom trotting away inside forty yards. At this point I was bummed. I thought I had blown it. Could the bird from my left side have looped around and busted me? I gave a few soft yelps with a diaphragm hoping he’d reconsider. Everything was quiet. After a minute or two, I was crushed when I heard wings flapping just a few yards behind me. I tipped my head up to see a bird flying away. I’m not sure what he saw, but he definitely didn’t like it. In desperation I gave a few more soft yelps. I was hoping the bird that trotted off to my right was still in the area and I could convince him to come into the open. After another minute or two of silence, I heard leaves rustling to my left. I slowly turned my head to see three gobblers sneaking through the briars maybe eight yards away. They made their way into the open and went straight for Jake Snood. The first two took turns pecking and kicking the decoy. I’m not sure where the third bird went, as I never saw him again. The larger of the two attacking birds started running off to the right, and I was worried my cover was blown, so as soon as the other bird stopped jumping I sent a load of Third Degree his way ending my hunt. I was very happy to put my tag on him. He weighed in at 21lbs, with a 9 3/8″ beard and 7/8″ spurs.

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