Turkey Season Recap

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan talks with his cousin, hunting buddy and master turkey hunter Sam Maedke about all the success Sam has found turkey hunting in NorthEast Wisconsin.

Over the past 5 years Sam has helped friends and family shoot more than 100 free range birds along Wisconsin’s Eastern border. This year alone they were successful filling 17 out of 19 tags. This episode is full of tips, tricks and stories from his days in the field.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right guys. Welcome to you today's show. Now Turkey season has wrapped up in both Wisconsin and down here in Missouri, but there may be some seasons still going on. And on this episode, I'm joined by my cousin, who is just an animal when it comes to Turkey hunting. We're gonna talk all about his success, some tips and tricks, strategy stories from this year and years past, and I can't wait.

Let's jump in.

Like he was doing things that were just badass. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dan had the gun, I did have the rifle, like we would be okay.

All right guys. Welcome to today's show. Now, this is a bittersweet show for me because I'm talking to my cousin, Sam, who turns out to be just a Turkey killing machine, [00:01:00] like he's getting people on turkeys left and right. I'm over here talking crap on turkeys, saying how it's so easy here in Missouri, and then turns out I strike out this year.

So we're gonna dive into all of that. His success, my failure. And we're just gonna have a Turkey season recap episode. Are you guys completely done there with Turkey hunting? Yeah. Uh, fortunately and unfortunately, yes, we are done. Yeah, you're probably like, Hey, I get a lot more sleep now, but now those birds, I just gotta watch 'em for the next 10 months, 11 months, whatever it is.

Yeah, I, uh, it's, it's that bittersweet moment where it's like, I mean, you're, you, it sucks that it's over, but at the same time it's like there's so much weight lifted up your shoulders. And it's just finally like, you can just stop and take a breath and just enjoy it. Yeah. A lot of the times it's just go, go, go, go, go.

You know? And I mean, man, there's times where I've got eight [00:02:00] guys in one week. Geez. It gets tough, dude. Having the success that you've had this year, and in the past several years, you're, you're connecting with more birds and getting more people on birds than some people do in their whole life. I mean, your numbers are insane.

When you were sharing your numbers with me, uh, at my brother's wedding, I was just blown away by how many birds you're getting on. And it's like every day. I mean, yep. It's almost every day that you get a bird. Some days two birds, either you or you and somebody else. Yeah, I would, um, so in the last four years, um, so actually it would technically be the last.

Five. No, no. I, I lied. So in the last four years, we've killed 103 birds. Holy cow. Yeah, it's, uh, it's been a grind. So you guys have been seeing more birds [00:03:00] than ever this year? Absolutely. There has been, I can, I can say confidently, there's probably, um, twice as more birds this year as there was last year.

Jeez. So I don't know what's the reason for that. I mean, no, I have no idea. Are you sorry, we haven't really been having raccoons in the off season or what? No, actually we haven't. Um, in fact, this year I've seen more Koons in coyotes than I ever have during Turkey season. Hmm. Um, so I mean, I don't really have any explanation for it.

The only thing that I can really come up, up, or come up with is the last few years as we've been having. Super, super mild winters. We just, we haven't been getting those extreme cold fronts and all that snow. I mean, it's just been super mild, so maybe it's just easier living conditions for them and you know, they're not able to go through a harsh winter.

Hmm. Now, I don't want to give away your exact location. I mean, people [00:04:00] who follow you, they kind of know where you're at. But you're in eastern Wisconsin, north East Wisconsin. Yep. Yeah. So close to Lake Michigan. Yep. The Turkey hunting there, I mean, nobody, I've never heard anybody be like, oh dude, Northeast Wisconsin, man.

Like, there are birds there, there's big birds there. There's crazy numbers there. You know, like it's not a Oh yeah. Destination that you hear a lot of people talk about. Whereas you have like Pike County and Buffalo County that are known for big whitetails, both, you know, Illinois, a dozen counties in Iowa.

But as far as Turkey hunting goes, you just don't hear people talk about these destination spots quite as much. Yeah, we're, we're, we're pretty exclusive and off the grid. Um, which is nice. I mean, you don't have, I, I don't have a problem with sharing. What I have a problem with is sharing with the wrong people.

Yeah. Because those wrong, the wrong people are the ones that are gonna screw it up for everybody and they don't care cuz they're not from [00:05:00] around here and they don't have to really face the consequences. Um, so it is nice being able to kind of stay off the grid. Um, And not really give specifically that location away.

But we're also talking, I mean, I run properties between three counties, so it's not like, it's like, Hey, you go north of this town, you know, 15 minutes and then you're in the mix of it. You know? I mean, it's, it's, it's a big area that we run. And so in fact, uh, towards the end of the season, I ended up taking a little bit of a trip.

Um, went and did some, some clay shooting. And my gosh, man, the town that I had to drive through to get there, it was like, I mean, almost every field I drove past had at least half a dozen birds in it. It was just, they were everywhere. So next year I'll be, I'll be closing some more. Some more land down over in that area.

So how many acres do you currently have? Because every time I talk to you, you're like, dude, talk to another landowner. Got access to property, talk to another landowner, got [00:06:00] access to property. Mm-hmm. In some cases, you know, like somebody started hunting that property and they're like, Hey, you know, we've got family now hunting it, or a neighbor's hunting it.

So you can't, but you're, you're putting in the work. I mean, you're knocking on doors, you're having these conversations, making these connections, and getting access. To property for Turkey hunting and waterfowl hunting. And that's a big part of your success, I would imagine. Oh, absolutely. Well, the thing is, man, just like anything else in life, it takes work.

I mean, yeah, I mean the, the chances of you going out and being able to be successful is, I mean, it's up there. It can be up there. It's just really that you're basing it off a look. But when you go out there and you put the work in, you do your homework, you do your scouting, and it's gonna cost a lot of money.

I mean, dude, I put, I mean, in one in month and a half, I put almost 20,000 miles on my truck. Geez. I mean, it's just insane numbers, you [00:07:00] know? And it's getting down to the point now where I'm like, you know what? I'm, I'm gonna buy it. A separate vehicle just to scout, because I put you're gonna have money, all this that you like, paint a big Turkey fan on the back of just to go out and put miles on turkeys.

Yeah. Yeah, man, it's, it's, it's insane. I mean, uh, this last year is a little different. I didn't, uh, I didn't charge this last year. I'm going through a bunch of transitions in life. Um, and so I just didn't really want to have to deal with the clientele and the stress of, of making sure that these guys have an opportunity to shoot a bird.

So it was just a lot of friends and family that I took out and, uh, we still made it count. So, I mean, it is, it is tough because I still do. Just amount, you know, just about the same amount of work, scouting and, and my homework just for friends and family. But, um, I mean, again, if you want, if you want to be successful, you gotta put the work in.

So taking friends and family out, I mean, that's amazing. I [00:08:00] love hunting with people, people that I know, like people that I've never met before, just getting out in the woods, finding out about them, enjoying that time outside. Yeah. Um, with that, I mean, I would imagine coordinating hunt has to be a big part.

Like scheduling. Hey, when are we going out? Maybe not because of how successful you are. It's like, all right, you get Monday, you get Tuesday, you get Wednesday, and you get people a bird it seems like almost every day, but like trying to figure that out when they draw their tags for, cuz you guys have, what, five seasons up there?

We've got six total. Six total. Dang man. That's crazy. So you only get, you only get a week. Yeah. A lot of states you get like a month or a month and a half or Yeah, you only get, you only get one week. I mean, you can buy more tags. Um, four different weeks. But yeah, you, I mean, you only get a tag, uh, a tag per week.

Really. Dang. So how many people did he take out this year? Uh, this year was [00:09:00] 19. And how many birds did he end with? 17. Geez, dude, it should be, I should be at a hundred percent this year. It's actually last year as well. Yeah. You've, you've had multiple years in a row now where you got people on a bird on every single hunt, but when you have that many people, I mean, a dozen and a half people that you're taking out, somebody's gonna miss, somebody's gonna mess something up.

Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, I mean, and it, it does get frustrating because it's like, you know, this year, uh, I took a kid out from Colorado and, uh, Wasn't even planning on taking him. Didn't, had no idea who he was. It was just a good buddy of mine was like, Hey man, you know, we've been on these birds for three days.

We, we just, they're giving us the book. They're giving us the runaround. Uh, we need help. And so I, I got him on some birds right away in the morning, but they got hen up, so he moved on to the next spot. Uh, for like late, late morning, [00:10:00] and I mean, this bird did a textbook. I've been really waiting on holding off on this bird.

Um, just because I knew, I mean, this guy's been in the same field every single day. Um, and he had the same two hens with him. So it was like I knew if I snuck into his home, sat up in his living room and knew he was gonna come walking right in. And that's exactly what he did. I mean, it was textbook. He came in at 20 yards, right?

Right down a four wheeler path in the woods. And, uh, I told him to shoot. He pulls the trigger and all you hear is a loud click. And I'm like, oh no. And so I tried, I tried to call as he was ejecting another shell. I'm hoping that maybe it would, um, I guess, um, mute his noise, you know, from the gun. Yeah. And.

Turkeys aren't that dumb man. He, he heard it loud and clear and, uh, yeah, he heard that second shell get racked in. He went to take [00:11:00] off and he, I mean he, he, he swung at him. Uh, but it was, it was definitely amis. So it happens. I mean, you can't expect it to happen all the time. Um, you know, I mean, if it was, if it happened all the time and it was easy all the time, wouldn't it be hunting?

It'd be killing So, You gotta sometimes just accept your losses and move on to the next bird. So, but I mean, and he had to get going to Colorado. I mean, he had to get back and, uh, he left right after that hunt. Otherwise, I, I can almost, almost guarantee that if I, he, if he gave me the rest of the day, I would've gotten on another bird.

And you guys can hunt all day there. Yeah. Yep. That's up to sundown. See, we just get like a half day, and I'm not talking 12 hours a half day. I'm talking, I can't remember now. It's like one or two. It may even be noon. But it's, yeah, fairly early in the day that you have to be done. Um, and you mentioned that that was on a four-wheeler trail in the woods.

Yeah. What, what does the breakdown of your hunts look like? How, how often are you hunting the woods? How often are you [00:12:00] hunting open field or is it just situation dependent? Like, I see this bird, he doesn't like to hang out in open fields, so we know we have to hunt this wood lot. Yeah, I mean, you really take everything into factor.

I mean, so it depends on the scenario you're in. It depends on the landscape that they're on. It depends on the property they're on. Um, it depends on the time of the day, it depends on what kind of weather. I mean, there's so many things that come into factor when it comes down to chasing these things. Um, and that like, you know, I have no problem with, uh, with reaping.

Um, but throughout my years I just, I, you know, when I was younger, I feel like I mastered it, so it's not really a challenge anymore. Um, and there's, to me, there's nothing better than shooting a bird textbook, having 'em come, come walking in. Um, so yeah, I mean, when it comes down to hunting these birds, really, I mean, there's so many things that come in a variable, but, uh, most of it would be depending on the property I'm on.

Um, I've just learned the birds that are on these [00:13:00] properties and you know, some of them where I'm like, okay. I know this woods, this woods has seven different, four-wheeler trails for deer hunting. Um, they like hanging out. I know where their sand baths are. Um, you know, it's like I know almost every square foot of these woods.

Yeah. Um, and so it's like, okay, I know exactly like you sneak up all, and some of them, I mean, you're walking 13, 1400 yards just to get to the woods. And I'll do a little call and give 'em to shot gole. And once they, once they. You know, get vocal with me. To me, it's just game over because now I know exactly where you are in the woods, and now I'm gonna know exactly how to set up.

Yeah. And if I, if I, for whatever reason, I make the wrong decision of how to set up, I mean, I'm gonna get another chance to set up differently and get back on that same bird, change his mind. Okay. So there's a lot of tricks you can use too, that. That, um, that I'll do. And, uh, it actually worked out numerous times this year.

[00:14:00] If, if that bird's hung up through the woods and he's just, you know, who knows? Maybe he's on a hand, maybe he's just call shy or decoy shy. Who knows? If he doesn't have any visibility on you, don't be afraid to get up. Walks 20, 30 yards through the woods, do a little bit of calling and then come back and sit down cuz.

That bird, the, one of the, one of the crazy things about turkeys is they can pinpoint probably within about a 15 to 20 foot radius of where you are in that woods of where you're calling at. And it's, it's amazing. So if you move 30 yards from where you were just calling, that bird is then gonna be like, whoa, hey, hold on.

Like, okay. So the calling was over here. Now it's coming from over here like, Obviously, you know, that's, that's something that's real, you know? Yes. I, I had, it worked so many times where these birds just didn't wanna come in. I'm like, gimme one second. Let me, let me get up. Let me move, [00:15:00] let me sound like I'm a bird that's just kind of moving down the path, and then we're gonna come back again.

And a lot of the times they'll think that I'm still 30 yards away. And when they come walking across the path, they see the decos and they're like, oh, oh, oh dang. Okay. They're right here. You know? Yeah. And then it's just, it's game over from there. It's fine. We're gonna walk through a couple scenarios, but first I wanna start with like maybe the night before, because again, I.

Self-proclaimed world's worst, Turkey hunter. As far as like strategy goes, I go out, I do the same thing every day. I've got this little box call and I just shake it, you know, and gobble, and it's worked. I've called them in that way, and I'll try to do, you know, all the hen noises. I don't even know the technical terms, which goes to prove my point even more.

But, uh, mouth calling. I suck at, uh, doing a slate call. I suck at. And I just don't practice a lot. It's not something I'm super passionate about and [00:16:00] Yep. I have yet to like fully dive in. So I've got a couple little calls that I do. It's worked in the past, did not work this year. Um, to the point of like successfully shooting a bird, I had birds.

Best I could tell is I had a tom spitting and drumming within six to 10 feet of me. Mm-hmm. I mean, right behind me. Hanging out in the woods, but we're gonna walk through scenarios of how to hunt different birds, depending on, uh, if they're aggressive, if they're not aggressive, if they're with hens, if they, they're not with hens, uh, if they're grouped up with a bunch of Jakes or other Toms.

Um, because I feel like that's valuable information for people to know moving forward, looking at next year or maybe, I don't know if anybody's finishing up Turkey season, maybe there's still some hunts going on. Um, But before we dive into those specific scenarios, start me off with like, the night before a hunt.

Like, say it's opening day [00:17:00] tomorrow, it's noon the day before. What, what are you doing? What are you looking for? Um, is it just drive around, find birds in a field, see if it's a field that you have permission on. If not, try to get it. So pretty much, I mean, everywhere is different, you know? Okay. So here, um, you know, I drive around, I'll drive 150 miles, um, just down back roads, down this way, down that way.

And I have a pretty good routine now to where I can make, um, you know, kind of a big circle, a big pass, and hit the majority of my properties. And so the night before, I mean, and this isn't even like just the night before opening day. I mean, this is, this is for me, My passion for the sport is going out the night before and roosting a bird and hunting him in the morning.

Yeah. Getting an idea of exactly where he's going to roost, um, in the woods or a tree line or whatever, and sneaking in a dark setting up and then slowly listening [00:18:00] to the world wake up. Um, so yeah, I mean, here I'll drive around, I'll find a bunch of birds and I'm like, okay. Um, so there's bird's in this area.

There's bird's in this area. Is there a patch of trees close by? And if there's numerous patch of trees, then I'm gonna have to probably kind of keep my eye on it a little bit more just to get an idea of, because I mean, a lot of these patches of trees are, are, you know, 5, 6, 800 yards apart. Um, and you don't wanna set up on one and find out he's on the other.

You just wasted your morning. Um, So, yeah, I'll, I'll go out, I'll roost a bird. Um, unless if I can get an idea, I'm like, okay. So there's only one patch of trees. Uh, I know, I know where he's gonna roost. And a lot of these places, I already know where the roosting areas are. So as long as I can see a bird out in the field, I got an idea of where he's gonna be.

Um, I'll kind of go out early in the morning. I do an all call, get 'em to hammer down, and then I'll make my move [00:19:00] from there. Um, it's really just, I mean, if you get out too early or too late and the sun's starting to come up and it's starting to get too late, hug a tree line, move slow. Like don't, don't rush it because any single time you go to rush something and hunting it will never work out.

Yeah. You know what I mean? The chances of you getting lucky are pretty, even, even lucky are slim. So, Take your time. I mean, don't rush 'em. These birds, they take their time all day, every day. They don't have to rush anything. So as soon as you start rushing them, that's, that's when you're gonna screw it up.

I, I've seen that just on trail camera, like when birds come in, in front of my trail camera, it will, my phone will be pinging over and over and over. Mm-hmm. And I've been using the taxi camera reveal two point ohs. And so, I mean, This is my first year with the cellular camera deal. And so it's [00:20:00] like, it gets annoying to the point where I'm almost like, dude, I gotta shut this notification crap off.

Like my phone is constant. It's vibrating so much. I feel like I'm getting a phone call and these freaking birds, I'll just watch 'em and they'll work out in this field and then they'll go like 40 yards. They might get off screen and then they'll come back and they just sit there and zig-zag these fields.

All day long. Yeah. I, I've got maybe two videos of them, like just full on sprinting, but for the most part Sure. They're just, like you said, taking their time, cruising around. Yeah. I mean, yeah. They don't have a reason to rush and watching them eat, I'm like, I feel like a Turkey eats like I eat if I'm at the mall food court, you know, I like take a bite and I'm looking around, like looking at everybody and I'm like, oh, look at that guy.

That's funny. Oh, look at this lady. Yep. Is anybody walking take a bite? Yeah, exactly. They're never like just head down for long periods of time. One of em has their head up [00:21:00] it seems like at all times. I mean, always there will always be one with their head up. Yep. There's always gonna be a lookout. Yeah. So, so you get out in a field, you get in the woods and you're going to make a play on a bird, right?

Mm-hmm. You know where he roosted you get out there. Early enough to where he is not gonna see your movement, you know, in the dark of the night. Yeah. He's probably passed out in a tree. How close are you wanting to get to that roost tree? A hundred yards. Okay. Within a hundred yards. Um, a lot of the times, especially some of these older birds, this happened quite a few times this year.

Um, we had a lot of, you know, three, four year olds that they're just smart enough to stay quiet a little bit longer. Kind of, they'll, they'll watch everything around him before they start making noise. And there was numerous times this year, all of a sudden, you know, we're calling, we, we got this bird, he's hammering down, you know, 50, 60 yards from us.

And [00:22:00] we know that when he pitches down, he's gonna pitch down either over us or he's gonna pitch down at a slant and he's gonna come just outside. Oh, just outside. Shoot, uh, shooting range. And so, There's been numerous times we'd be sitting there calling at this bird and then all of a sudden another bird hammers down and I'm talking, he is on top of us.

And so when that happens, I normally start to shut up, you know? Yeah. If, if I do anything, it's very light, very quiet, because you don't want him to pinpoint you and then be like, okay, hold on a second. Like, that's not coming from those birds in the tv, the audio, it's like the video. Uh, on YouTube is lagging or something.

You know, the audio in the video don't quite quite line up. You're like, yeah, I can't tell if it's early or late, but something's off here. Yeah. Those old school, those old school movies. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, um, but if you don't have anything like that, I mean, if they're, if they're, let's say 50, 60 yards from you, um, [00:23:00] I'll let them wake up.

I, I am never the first one to call ever. Um, I'll wait until I, if I call, it's cuz I'm doing the o call and that's just to give 'em, to hammer down, to be able to locate 'em. Um, and in all honesty, out of scouting and the hunt and the, the, the shot itself, um, out of everything that there is, Going out there early in the morning and doing the O call and getting 'em to hammer down is by far my favorite point of the day.

Soon as that happens, I'm like, dude, I don't care what happens. Yeah. I'm like, I don't care what happens for the rest of the day. Like, that was awesome, and I'll be back out here tomorrow to do it again. You know? Yeah.

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I, I feel like we should have done a [00:25:00] checklist of things that you should do during Turkey hunting. And then for each thing you say like, don't do this or do do this. It would be like an X in the box for if I follow along because I've already been like in my mind, mentally red checking all these boxes here.

Like don't ever be the first one to call. Dude, I'm like walking in the middle of the, not in the middle of the night, but like long before daylight and I'm like shaken up box and I'm like, man, I don't hear anything. Maybe they didn't roost over here. Probably just need to get an owl call. I had one at one point, but.

All my stuff. Yeah, my gets lost. My, my favorite hunt, uh, this year, well, not one of my, not my favorite, but the favorite one with the OWA call. So I took, uh, I had two of my good buddies and of my buddy's dad, and so all four of us had tags. And the night before I, I saw four times out in this field and I was [00:26:00] like, oh man, what better way could this ha like end with a quadruple, you know?

My gosh. So was like, I mean, I've never had it happen before, but I was, I was willing to give it a shot. And so my, my buddy didn't tell me that his dad got into a, a motorcycle accident like just a few days before. So this guy's got a broken hand and a broken foot. Geez. Doesn't say anything to me about it.

And I just put him on like 1100 yard walk to this, to this patch of woods. Need to know information. Have you recently been in a wreck? So we get like, God, we get like less than a hundred yards into this field. And I turn around and I'm like, the guy's in pretty good shape. You know? I'm like, what is his deal?

What's taking him so long? And he's like, oh, he, he crashed his bike the other day and I'm like, Why didn't you tell me that? I never would've brought you here. You know, like I would've figured something else out. You would've found a field that you had to walk like [00:27:00] 80 yards across instead of 1100. I would've found something I could've just drove them up to, you know?

And so, uh, so yeah, we, we, boy, we took our sweet time. I mean, we, we walked with them. We got 'em all the way out there. And I'm talking, I mean, we are pushing the point of, of them pitching off the roost. And I was like, all right, man. Like you guys, you guys just get sitted down. Um, we'll figure it out. And then I started sitting there and I'm like, oh man.

It was pretty early when I saw them last night. I mean, they had a few hours yet. So I was like, dude, they could have went into any one of these patches of woods. I was like, I, I, I hope to God that I'm right, my judgment's right, and that they came over here like, I think they're gonna, and so I did that,

nothing. And I'm like, oh no. I looked at my buddy Gage and he's like, that ain't good. I was like, no, it's not. And I was like, let's give [00:28:00] it another shot. So I did that.

Nothing. I'm like, dude, I'm gonna be so mad because it's gonna take us 45 minutes to get back to the truck with this, you know, with his dad. Yeah. And so he's like, well, what do you wanna do? And I'm like, gimme a, gimme one more shot. And I'd never really used this call because I don't think I'm all that great out of it or great with it.

But I was like, gimme one more shot and it's a little more aggressive. And I went, Ooh. And there was eight birds that hammered down within a hundred yards. I was like, oh my gosh. I was like, yes, thank you Lord. Like here we go. And so, yeah, we ended up, we had, uh, there was five times and a pack, and then there was two more times that were separate off of them.

Well, the five times kind of hung up on us. They didn't really want anything to do with us. They came within about 50. And you know, [00:29:00] if, if I had some shooters that had that t s s, I'd be willing to let them take that, take that reach. Uh, but they were, you know, they didn't have that kind of stuff. And so I'm like, man, I'm not trying to wound a bird.

And so the, these two other times off on the side, all sound, look over and I mean, these things are hauling right to us. And I was like, Hey guys, get ready. Get ready. Here they come. And next thing I know, I mean, now I'm focusing on these other two birds and I look back over. And sure enough, dude, there's five times like 10 feet from me and I'm like, Hey, hey, hey.

I'm like right here, right here. And they're, they're, they're thinking I'm still talking about the two times. And so it's like right in front of you. And they heard, obviously they heard that, you know, and, and they all turn around and went to run away. And all I hear is

not a single bird went down. And I'm like, what? I'm sorry. There's no way, man, that that just [00:30:00] happened. I was like, I don't, I can't, there's no way I can get him closer than that. So it was, uh, it was definitely like a, a bat your gun against the tree moment. But yeah, I wasn't shooting so it, if I was shooting, I couldn't tell you.

It'd been a different story. Three. So three guns going off trying to get two guns. Oh, two guns, okay. Two guns going off. Trying to hit five, one of five or two of five birds and nothing, no bird dropped. We're pretty, we're pretty confident that one got hit, but I don't know, man, he, he took off, I mean, looking for, you didn't find him, so you kind of just hoped Yeah.

That it was a total whiff and especially at that range. I mean, yeah. You know, you're shooting that, like you're hitting it with one bb, you're hitting it with a whole lot and Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, he said he thought he hit him. Um, but man, I watched all those birds take off and to me, [00:31:00] I, I mean at this point I, I really, I know what a wounded bird looks like and none of 'em looked like it.

So, I mean, we gave it our, we gave it our, our, our try and we went looking for 'em, seeing if maybe we couldn't see feathers. And there, there wasn't nothing around. So when people say like, dude, I know I smoked that bird. And it's like, okay. Did you see any feathers? No. Okay, well, when you have dozens and dozens of bbs flying at this thing and there's a thousand of feather feathers on it, you know something's gonna go poof.

Right? Yeah. And when there's none of that, yeah. I mean, I'm sure somebody's gonna be like, oh no, dude, I shot a bird. Not a single feather dude. I shot a bird. The follow up shot on the bird, this was last year. We had stocked it. We had reaped it behind that Turkey fan. And we had stocked this thing for like 400 yards.

And I'm not talking like we were just working through the field towards it. Like it was 80 yards in front of us the entire time. And it [00:32:00] was just slowly working. We're crawling hands and knees after this bird, and finally it's getting close to the property line. And I'm like, dude, we gotta shoot this bird.

So me and Drew both pop up, boom. And I mean, there's feathers, but it's running like nothing happened. And I'm like, what in the world? Like it's not, it wasn't that far away. We've got two guys both shooting, you know, however many bbs at it. And, but I knew it was wounded and I'm like, dude, it literally was a couple feet from the fence line and it's just a barbed wire fence along the woods.

And I pulled up my second shot and, and when I shot, It looked like I shot that thing point blank. I mean the cloud, it looked like I just dumped out a down pillow in the air and it was just like everywhere and pillowcase. I was like, holy cow man. And it dumped. I mean it just flopped [00:33:00] a little bit. And Drew was like, dude, stay where you are.

I'm gonna go over to that bird and work like, I want you to range it. Cause I had my range finding binos with me. He goes over there and I can't remember exactly, but I think it was like 72 yards and it looked like I shot this thing point blank and it died on the, like literally on the property line, it's head and like basically beard and up was underneath the fence on the neighbor's property and the rest of the body was still on our property.

I was like, no kidding. Slowly grab the leg and drag it back over. Yeah. Just whoop. Um, but yeah, it was, it's crazy man. Like the technology and bullets and, and chokes and shotguns these days, like I keep hearing people. It's wild. I said I was gonna hunt with a four 10 this year. I didn't end up doing it. I did get a four 10, but I didn't hunt with it cuz.

To be honest, I couldn't find [00:34:00] Turkey Mo for it. Um, it's tough. It's definitely tough. Yeah. Um, I can, I can send you where I get mine, um, so I get a discount from Federal and so, um, I can send you a code where you can, you could probably get a discount through 'em as well, um, or at least get something off of it.

But, you know, TSS for four 10 for me is probably like 24 bucks. Yeah. Um, So, I mean, you're still looking at a little over $2. Well, actually, what am I saying? A little over $5 a shell. Dude. Um, how crazy is that though? Like how much Turkey ammo is because didn't I talk to you, I think I talked to you last year around Turkey season and you said that you, uh, for a long time you were just using target load.

Oh yeah, yeah. The only Turkey loads that I use, um, is for my four 10. Yeah. And actually I just bought some. Some duct loads for the four 10. [00:35:00] So I don't know how much longer I'll be using jerky loads, but if, I don't know. I'm a little iffy on the four 10, just cuz it is so small. But yeah, I, when it comes down to any other shotgun and it's, it's trap loads.

Yeah. It's just a, it's just a, it's another challenge, you know? I mean, get 'em in close enough. I mean, you, I've still killed turkeys at 25 yards, you know, with a tur or with a trap load. Yeah. Um, I mean, their bodies themselves are super tough, but that head is nothing but jelly Man. Yeah. You'll, you'll punch through it, I promise, dude.

Yeah. I mean, you, you think about it and you're like, okay, a Turkey head, you know, it's probably weaker than a goose or a duck, you know? Yeah, yeah. Like their body. Like you said, it's tough, man. That's a lot of armor on it. All those, well, you guys overlap, but that's exactly it. Those feathers, those feathers are, are super thick [00:36:00] and there's way more layers of them.

And not to mention, I mean, I feel like the skin itself is just a little bit tougher. I mean, yeah, maybe, maybe not as tough as like a migrator, um, when they've got all that extra fat on 'em. But they are, I mean, they're tough birds, man. I, I've watched people pillowcase birds and they actually, I just had a buddy this year that he rolled it.

They took off running, he shot and rolled it. They got back up and took off running again. They never found it. Geez. So, I mean, like it's, they're tough birds. I mean, that's why. Um, every time I take somebody out, I just kind of walk, walk it through 'em again. I'm like, all right, look, like, don't forget, you know, you've got three big balls at the base of their neck.

That's what you put that beat on. Um, don't put it on their body. Don't shoot for center mass. Um, don't put it on their head because nine times outta 10, you're gonna shoot right over their head. Um, put it right on that neck and. I just, I took my nephew out this year for the youth hunt. Uh, it was like, it was the first first hunt of the year and I mean, he, he used the four 10, I mean, and he absolutely [00:37:00] swamped that bird at like 18 yards.

I mean, he, I don't know if more bbs hit my decoy, but he definitely got both. That's a video you sent me, isn't it? Yeah, probably. It was the first bird that de that decoy ever, ever brought in. Dang. That's sweet. And then just got peppered. How many, how many of these video, or how many of these hunts have you gotten on video?

Uh, that's a good question. Um, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I'll play it safe and say maybe like eight or nine. Okay. There's, there was quite a few where it was like, Textbook hunts. And I'm like, you've gotta be kidding me. I left my phone in the truck, you know? Oh dang, dude. I mean it, you would think that doing the same thing over and over and over for a month and a [00:38:00] half straight, that you would build some type of routine.

I'm telling you, there's been times I was walking out actually for, for Uncle Charlie Bird. Okay. And I was taking, hi, it was me, him, and, uh, and my buddy, uh, gage. And we were, we were. We decided to put a stock on this bird and we get maybe halfway, halfway there, so maybe like five, 600 yards from the, from the truck.

And my buddy Gage looks at me. He is like, dude, we're, weren't you gonna bring the decoy? And I'm like, oh crap. Like, well, I guess we're gonna try and do it without a decoy then. So, yeah, we just, we snuck up as close as we could. Did a little bit of calling and got 'em interested. And that was, that was night.

I mean, it was over for him, you know. Speeds, man. No decoy, no phone. You just go out there and smoke birds tv. I had, [00:39:00] I had my phone that time, that one I got on video. Oh, okay. So, yeah, I don't, we had, like I said, man, we had a phenomenal year this year. Um, I had a good buddy from Arkansas come up and, and you know, it was crazy.

This was his first time hunting turkeys in Wisconsin, and he's like, he said, the, the, the differences between my hunting in Arkansas and your hunting here is night and day. He said, it is, it is. So the complete opposite of what I do. He's like, it's insane. He goes, first of all, There you wouldn't even see, like there's no chance you would even see somebody walking through with a decoy in their hand.

He said, 0% chance. He goes, there's so many yahoos that are walking around the same public woods that, you know. He's like, you almost like, he's like, there's times where I even thought about worrying some bright colors walking through the woods because you just never know. I mean, these guys shoot at sight.

They [00:40:00] shoot at sound, so he's like, the fact that you're carrying. A stru decoy in your hand. He's like, and it, you know, and it's that. It's that avian extruder. So I mean, that thing is, oh yeah, that thing is realistic looking. I've had plenty of those moments where I'm like, should I be doing this right now?

Like, I've got these properties locked down. Nobody else is supposed to be hunting out here. But in the off chance, because we've had that, I mean like sole permission on properties. And I remember a couple years back, we were sitting in a ground blind and all of a sudden I look over and some dude's walking along the fence line.

I'm like, where'd he come from? Who is that guy? So I got out and I'm like, Hey dude. Hey, how's it going? I just live right behind this. Like every now and then I'll walk through and see if there's any birds. And I was like, dude, you, you can't do that, man. Like this is private property? Yep. Oh. [00:41:00] Yeah. Yeah. I just didn't, I didn't think anybody hunted here and I'm like, doesn't matter.

Like, you don't have permission, dude. It, it's, it's honestly crazy. How often that happens. All right, guys. If you've been listening to the podcast, I'm sure you've heard me talk about the helicopter hog hunt that I did down in Texas. Now. I went down there with rope Texan Outfitters and Landon and Brandon, the owners put us on the animals.

We killed 150 pigs in 19 coyotes, just from the air. On top of that, we went out thermal hunting at night and got up close and personal to more hogs. I didn't have to worry about bringing guns or ammunition because all of that was provided for me, and it is to this day, the most action packed day of hunting I've ever had.

I stand by what I've said in the past, and that's that helicopter hog hunting is the funnest thing that you can do. With pants on. In addition, they offer Sandhill, crane hunts, and predator calling. So if you're looking for the most exciting hunt of your [00:42:00] life and something that you're gonna want to come back and do year after year, go check out rogue texan.com and book your hunt.


I talked to, I talked to so many landowners throughout a year for Turkey hunting or deer hunting, waterfall hunting, whatever. I talked to so many landowners. And not only do I get told no quite a bit just because, I mean, I get told no way more often because somebody else screwed it up. Yeah. Versus it being like, oh no, we hunted.

You know? Um, I can't tell you how many times that I hear about, um, hunter's trespassing. It's like, And don't get me wrong, I mean, accents do happen. Like I just, I, I had a, a, it was like earlier in the season, it was like the second week of the season I was taking a buddy out and this bird was on the other side of this woods.

And so I just needed to keep the [00:43:00] woods in between us and that bird so he couldn't see us. Yeah. And so it never even crossed my mind. Um, I was just, I guess you could call it like tunnel vision. Just so focused on that bird. It never crossed the, my mind that I was walking on the edge of somebody else's property.

I mean, it was right next to the property that I had. Yeah. But I, I parked in the field service lane of, of this other person's field. And, uh, and like dude, they took, they took pictures and they took videos and they took, I mean, they called the police on me. They, it was like, They tried figuring out who I was.

Apparently I was already gone by the time the cops got there, but I hunted that spot again. This lady came out and she's like, Hey, are you Jordan? And I'm like, no, I'm Sam. And she's like, oh, okay. She's like, cuz there's a guy that has like a truck that looks just like yours that was trespassing our land.

And I was like, oh yeah, definitely not me. You know? Yeah. And then she's like, [00:44:00] what's your license plate? So I tell her my number and she's like, no, it was you. You are Jordan. I was like, No, I promise you, I'm Sam, you know, I'm like, here, here's my id, you know? And she's like, well, that matches the license plate.

Well come to find out. For whatever reason it's showing up as somebody else's name. And so I was like, well, ma'am, I wasn't trespassing on your property. And she's like, well, were you parked right there? And I'm like, yeah, but that doesn't mean I'm trespassing, you know? I said, yeah, I walked the edge of the field line.

As soon as I said that, I was like, oh my gosh. I was trespassing. And so I was like, oh my gosh, no, you, I was like, you're absolutely right. No, I was, I said, I'd never even until now, I never even thought about it, you know? And, and so dude, we talked, I talked to her on the side of the road, super cool lady.

Talked to her on the side of the road for a good hour and a half. I mean, we talked about everything under the sun. And she's like, you know what, look, she's like, I could tell. Um, you know, and she's like, I can tell you're apologetic. I can tell this isn't [00:45:00] something that you do. Um, and I, I understand like just kind of being in the zone of things and not really thinking it through and just doing the first thing that you think is like, okay, that's what you gotta do to get that bird, you know?

Yeah. And, uh, and so I, I made it, I made her, you know, made sure I gave her the assurance like, Hey, I, I only walked in it and it was not hunting on it, you know? And so, okay. Again, I mean, I got, I got. Lucky, uh, because she could have nailed me. I mean, she could have slammed me the book. Oh yeah. Um, but she's like, well, I'll tell you what.

She's like, you know, you can talk to my husband and, and see if you can't get permission. And he's super nice guy. He'll probably give you permission. She's like, I'll give you a little pointer. Like, don't bring him any alcohol. But he loves chocolate chip cookies. So I was like, that is awesome. See, I was like, sounds good.

Awesome. Thank you very much. So yeah, I went and got permission for that and now I have that whole country block locked down to my, or not down to myself, but [00:46:00] locked down for permission. So, dude, that's a good, that's a good tip for people trying to get permission, how many food selfies people take. Just get on their Instagram and look at like what they're most excited about, like whatever they put the most emojis behind.

Like wife just made banana bread, like a bunch of hard emojis and like smiley face, you know, man, I need to bring some banana bread or something. Yeah. I, uh, one of my, one of my biggest things, dude, is I, I, I mean, we're in Wisconsin, so 99% of people drink here, so, yeah. You want a little bit of permission, show a little appreciation, get 'em a case of beer.

Um, or like this here, I, I plan on making a bunch of Turkey jerky this year with all the birds we shot. And I'm gonna go out to these farmers and I'm gonna give 'em a bunch of Turkey jerky. Heck yeah. Heck dude. So to bring something and just be like, Hey man, here's this for you. Even if, even if I can't, [00:47:00] you know, just the thought that goes behind it, I feel like would be.

Would be beneficial in hopefully helping securing more permission? Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Okay. Back to our scenario. So say you get into a field, you know, there's birds in there, but the Tom just doesn't seem to be aggressive. Like he's not wanting to come and beat the crap out of a Jake decoy. He's not, you know, super territorial.

Or maybe it's just not kicked in yet. You know, maybe they're not in full swing. What do you do in that scenario? Because that's exactly what I had happen this year. This Tom just didn't really seem interested. None of the birds came in like wanting to fight. They just kinda all came in nonchalant taking a look at things.

And the one big Tom that I kept going after, he just kind of hung back. Like I had, I had two Jakes and a hen all within 15 yards, [00:48:00] and he was still at 70. What, what? Tips or tricks or calls, or like, what would you do to get a bird like that, to close that distance a little bit more? Uh, there's a f there's a couple things that I guess I would try and do.

Um, you know, a, like I was saying before, I would, I would definitely get up and kind of move around a little bit, do some calling and then sit back down. Um, but another one that I do with birds that just aren't really fired up, I will mimic a boss hen. Um, okay. Because even if that, even if that Tom isn't really looking for love, like he's still just kind of like, not really even getting in the swing of things of the spring yet.

He's just there. Um, he's not trying to show off or nothing I'll mimic as a boss. He, and I'll start getting really loud with my, uh, or really loud and aggressive with my Yelps. Um, sometimes even with my Clucks, and I call 'em, I call [00:49:00] 'em hyper yelps or hyper clucks. Um, And yeah, so I'll get very vocal and especially if there is a boss hen with them, it's game over.

If, if I know that there's a boss hen in that flock, it's game over because I will mimic a boss hen and then that hen is gonna be like, uh, hold on a second. I'm, I'm the boss hen in this woods. This is my area. You're in my area. You're gonna listen to me. Yeah. So she's gonna start voicing up and yelping back at me.

Telling me like, no, no, no, no, no, you, you're gonna come over here. And so obviously I'm not gonna come. Right? So I'll just keep, you know, and a lot of the times when she starts yelping, um, I'll do like a quick hyper clock and then I'll Yelp right after. And. I'll cut her off, kind of like with elk bugling.

I'll cut her off and I'll start talking over her. And I kid you not, I mean, dude, these, these hens will come in wanting to fight just like the Toms do. And so [00:50:00] when she comes in trying to be figure out like, all right, who do you think you are that you're gonna test me? Um, those Toms are right there to follow.

So that's, that's probably the best one that I can give. Um, a lot of the times if a Tom is shut off, he's shut off, man. I mean, there's not. There's not really all that much that I think you can do. At least not that I figured out. Um, I mean, if they're not ready, they're not ready, you know? I mean, you can't really force 'em to be ready.

Yeah. You can, you can, you can try to change their mind, you know? But then after a while, it's almost like if, if they're just absolutely done, like they're not having it, there's no way that they're changing their mind. In my eyes, I give up. Then they win. I'll give up because then I feel like the more that I try to convince him, the actual more problems that I'm going to cause for myself in the future with that bird, um, yeah, you're just educating him more.

I'm just [00:51:00] educating him from here on out. So I'll just shut up. And a lot of the times too, you start calling and stuff and you shut up. Then they're like, okay, where'd she go? What happened? Yeah. You know? So then all of a sudden, then it's like, okay. Well, she was going off like crazy and now she's just be, she's quiet now, she's not saying nothing like, and it, it'll kind of grab their attention a bit and it's like, okay, well let me go see what's going on over here.

Why is she being quiet all of a sudden? Yeah, that makes sense. What, uh, what are you using for a decoy setup typically? Uh, my favorite is, uh, I call it the, the pyramid. Um, And so really all it is, is a triangle, but I'll have, uh, a hen lookout or a feeder, and then I like to put out a, if I have the a lookout hen, then I'm gonna have a, um, uh, what's it called?

A breeder hen. Okay. [00:52:00] And then I'll have my Tom decoy fairly close, kind of making a triangle if I have, um, If I have a a, a feeder decoy out, then I'm also gonna have my century, and I'm just gonna have that Tom kind of looking like he's just hanging around. So, but I always have two, two hens and a Tom. I never really mess with the Jakes.

Um, I've never really had, I mean, I've had some luck with him, but I, I don't have enough luck with, uh, Jake for me to just go out and buy a specific Jake Decoy. Yeah. Yeah. Do you feel like. Toms just react better to other Toms, like it's a territorial thing. Like, dude, what's this guy doing in here? Whereas Jake might not be as opposing or as threatening to them taking the hands or what, what do you, uh, to that?

Yes and no. A lot of the times, um, you know, when it, when I was using [00:53:00] Jake Decoys, I do feel that there's a lot of times that they don't. Really care too much cuz they're like, there's no way that that Jake's breeding that hen. And if you watch too, there's so many times you'll see the mature Tom a hundred yards or 80 yards or whatever from the hen.

And then there'll be a Jake or two Jakes that are within 15 feet of her and they're just kind of hanging out, let, they're like, all right. You know, like, let the Jake do its thing. And, and even hunting. They'll let the Jakes come in first and then they'll like slowly kind of ease their way into it. Um, So I do think that there are times where they're just not as, uh, threatening.

Yeah. Versus a Tom Decoy where it's like he's trying to take her, he's trying to take her away from me, and that's not gonna happen. Um, I think a lot of the times that we have Toms charge us charge the decoys, I don't even really think that they're coming to fight. They're just coming to make them know that they're there.

I mean, I'm here. You're not the only one here. Yeah. [00:54:00] You're not the only one here. So if you want her, like, you're gonna have to come through me, um, type deal. Um, or I was here first kind of thing. So there's, there's a lot of scenarios when it comes down to this. There's, there's, and you know what, out of all the birds that we have harvested my whole life, um, I have yet to know every single scenario.

Every time I go Turkey hunting, I learn something. Whether it's, whether it's something as small as like, okay, so this is how they act when there's mosquitoes in, in the woods, or this is how they act when, um, it's 20 mile per hour winds, you know? Um, shoot, I had a squirrel one time. Screw up my hunt. How'd the heck?

I mean, I, uh, this little red squirrel kept running down the tree and he would keep barking at me and barking at me and barking at me. And then all of a sudden, I mean, the Turkey didn't care. I mean, he was [00:55:00] 50 yards coming in and all of a sudden this thing went psycho. And I mean, it was probably 20, 30 feet off or up in the tree, jumped out of the tree.

Onto the ground, snapped a twig and took off running right through the right through the decoys and that thing put its fan down, its head up and took off. Geez. I mean, you gotta think something dropping out of a tree like that. It would probably think it was a hawk or some type of bird, you know, coming down.

Yeah. But yeah, I've seen, I've seen turkeys interact with so many things. In fact, I thought I was gonna see a hawk, take out a Turkey this year. And I've seen a Turkey, like all of them, clear the field. When a hawk flies over this year, I had a Turkey, or I had a hawk that flew down out of a tree. There were like four birds in the field and it just buzzed 10 feet over the top of these birds.

And they never did anything. They didn't crouch down. They didn't book for cover, [00:56:00] they just kept going about their day. Yep. And I was like, what in the world? Surely, surely they'd be scared of that thing. But didn't even fix. Yeah. But you'd be surprised at what they see on a day-to-day basis out in, out in nature, you know?

Oh, yeah. Uh, just giving you a heads up, I'm actually having to leave the host right now, so my tires are pretty loud. They hump. So if that's what you hear in the background, that's definitely it. Oh, no worries. We can wrap this one up. Um, so before we, before we hop off, where can people go to find you, follow along, maybe see some of your videos and some of your success?

Yeah, so my, you can look me up at Sam Med Key on Facebook. Um, med Key is spelled m a e d k E. Um, you can look on Facebook, you can look on Instagram. My Instagram is shot caller dot sam. Okay. Um, I think TikTok is Sam Mewell. [00:57:00] Um, so I mean, I post a lot of my stuff on Snapchat. Snapchat name is Sam, me sam.med Key.

Um, nine times outta 10 my Hans get posted on Snapchat. Um, I do have a few of them that make two, uh, Facebook, um, not too many to Instagram, but quite a few to TikTok as well. If I get a good hunting video, I'll post it on TikTok. Nice. So if you want, if you guys wanna get a hunt together or even just talk about it, uh, phone number is (920) 645-3115.

Dude. Well, I appreciate you hopping on sharing the stories. I'm coming up next year, man. I gotta do it. We keep talking about it. Yeah, you have to. I just have to remember, I need to set an alarm for December to put in for my tags and then dude, with the success that you've had, I might be bringing my bow and my shotgun and trying with my bow, cuz that's, that's a goal of mine to get a Turkey with a bow.

Yeah, yeah, we can definitely get, get that happening too. [00:58:00] Um. I feel like we would have to probably set up a few ground blinds. Um, but I mean, that's not, that's not hard to do. I'll just figure out where some birds are hanging out every day and sneak in there and put a ground blind up for you. Sweet, dude, that sounds good, man.

Well, congrats on all the success and hopefully for the future years I'll be up there over your sain birds with you. Oh yeah. I'm, I'll tell you one thing, dude, you come up here like, I've been trying to get you to come up here. You come up here one year and you see the amount of birds that we can get after, and you're like, yep, this is gonna be a yearly thing.

Oh, yeah, yeah. All the, well, every time you send me videos, I'm just like, dude, why am I not up there? Why am I not up there? And it's always because come December I forget to put in and then my schedule gets busy and it just doesn't happen. But next year, deed 2024, I will be there even if you forget to.

Yeah. Even if you forget to put in for it, you can always buy 'em more of the counter. Yeah. Yeah. I [00:59:00] just need to do it, man. I need to quit talking about it and finally do it.

It'll happen sooner or later, man. You'll listen to me one of these years. I know I will. Well, dude, thanks again man. Sounds good, man. We'll, uh, we'll talk here shortly.