Private and Public land Turkey Stories

Show Notes

John has been chasing turkeys all over the place the last two weeks, but finally takes a break to sit down and record a few of his top Stories. On this episode of the Oklahoma Outdoors podcast, John shares three separate hunts that took place in an 8 day period. John headed to the complete opposite side of the state from where he normally roams to chase public land Rios. Even with what seemed like an unusually early start, he still managed to be the second person to his spot. After that hunt, he joined up with the Oklahoma Outdoor Outreach Foundation for a one of a kind turkey hunt with a 9 year old boy named Brock.

After heading home and getting back to work for a few days, John then headed to his buddies place in west Texas to once again try to get a Rio Grande turkey in shotgun distance. Unlike his other hunts, this one happened extremely fast! Though he had his gopro rolling, John would have loved to have had a camera man along on this hunt. Give the episode a listen and find out why!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys and gals, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, brought to you by Arrowhead Land Company. Here you'll be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

Let's see here. We working now? Yep. All right. I think we're working now. Hey everybody. Welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. My name is John Husk and I will be your host. This week and every other week. So welcome to the show. Have been having some microphone difficulties. My little girl who is almost 10 months old, actually when this drops, she will be 10 months old.

She's extremely mobile now. She's crawling everywhere. She's pulling up on furniture and stuff, standing. She's even letting go and, [00:01:00] balancing for a second. So she's gonna be walking. Any day now. But anyway her favorite thing to do now is to crawl into our bedroom where I have my computer set up and grab a hold of the microphone cord and shake it all around and try to eat it and all that stuff.

Yeah, I went to start recording and the mic wasn't working. Think I got it. Now, hopefully there's not a short in the court or anything like that, but. I think we're rolling according to the little beeps showing up on my computer. So anyway, all that to say, welcome to the show. We are back for another great episode this week.

We're gonna be talking all kinds of Turkey hunting this week, and not necessarily any strategy or skill or anything like that. It's mostly just gonna be stories cuz I've actually done quite a bit of Turkey hunting the last I guess two weeks. And so I've done basically three different Turkey hunts throughout the last two weeks.

And so I'm gonna talk a little bit about some time I spent on public land. Some time I went, I spent with the Oklahoma Outdoor Outreach Foundation and [00:02:00] then I went to Texas this most recent weekend and had some success. And so that's what we have for you guys. Man, I feel like I have so much to update y'all on just cause I feel like I haven't really done a life update in a while.

But I also haven't really done anything that important lately either. I think I mentioned my wife and I went on vacation. We got food poison at the end of it, which was absolutely terrible. We got back from vacation. And just went right back into work and all that good stuff. I have not been to the ranch in at least a month.

Yeah, I ran up there when the guys came down for the hog hunt. After they left, I planted some switch grass for screening cover and I have not been back since. So I have no idea how that screening cover's gone. We've got a couple good rains. So it should be growing. I just haven't really got to see if it's raining or sorry if it's growing.

I am planning to head up there, not this weekend. This weekend my wife and I have a wedding, but the following weekend my wife is taking the baby [00:03:00] to go hang out with some of her friends for a girls' weekend. So I am headed to the ranch and it is food plot time, so gonna be picking up some soybeans.

We've had quite a bit of moisture lately, which is good. Ground should be nice and moist. I'm getting a lot of winter wheat popping up from, last fall. And so I think the plan is to go ahead and spray that, terminate that. And then I'm, I've mentioned it before in the past we got that new finishing plow, and I don't need to plow I'm like, the point of the plow is not to, turn the ground over or anything like that.

But when I first made this food plot way back when we had a big plow that I went back there, I'd sprayed the grass and I was just using the plow cuz it was a brand new plot going into old grass and everything. But when I plowed it up, it was pretty wet and I made huge ruts.

It's pretty sandy soil and those ruts have just never gone away. So even though that was like, Three years ago, three or four years ago I've planted it [00:04:00] multiple times, sprayed it multiple times, and it's just a pain cuz I have these giant ruts everywhere and yeah. So I'm I'm gonna take the finishing plow.

Not to really turn the ground over, but more just to try to smooth it out, make it easier to drive across, walk across. I've even seen deer actually walk around these ruts because the ground is so uneven. So yeah. All that to say, gonna plow it real lightly just to try to level it out, smooth it up, and then I'm just going to immediately go back and plant soybeans.

So this is my first time planting soybeans. I think I tried once. Years and years ago when I didn't really know what I was doing, didn't have very good success, I was also putting 'em in a really small plot that was probably not big enough. And so they just got what little bit did come up, immediately got hammered and they didn't do me much good.

So yeah, this time I'm gonna be planting about five acres worth of soybeans. Three acres and one two acres and another. And yes very excited about it. Depending on how those soybeans do, I may hold some of 'em to the [00:05:00] fall. I may, throw some stuff in there on top of it. I don't know.

We'll see how it goes. But I was talking to my, oh gosh, my sister's father-in-law when I was in Nebraska and asking him, cause they're, they farm for a living, corn and soybeans, and, I was basically asking him how late I could wait to plant 'em because I do want them to hold over into fall.

And he basically said, you can plant 'em as late as you think you have moisture. And part of the reason I've waited so late is because I haven't had a chance. But also I'm holding out because I want to try to wait until. They are maturing a little bit later to hopefully have some forage left, October 1st when the deer season rolls around.

So that's my plan, crossing my fingers that we continue to get some moisture, cuz I don't know, it seems like things are slowly drying up. All of a sudden this weekend it's like super hot. I think it, it's gonna hit 95 today outta nowhere. So hopefully there's some moisture left in the sky.

Hopefully the soybeans make it and yeah, that's that's the hope. So [00:06:00] got the screening cover. Hopefully I'll have some soybeans and hopefully this coming deer season is going to be one of my best ever. Not gonna lie I broke the story of the 2% buck this last fall. I've never really talked about him much in the past.

Just cause I didn't wanna draw much attention to him. But it's, it. Cat's out of the bag, and it's no secret that he is definitely going to be one of my main targets this coming year. But as I've mentioned, he's just a ghost and I do not think he lives on our property. I'm pretty sure he lives on the neighbors.

Just kinda always came over at night. And like I said, I'd be lying if I said that these food plots were not with him in mind. I'm just trying to give him a reason to hang around more. He's usually on us a lot during the summer. I typically get several velvet pictures of him, although this previous year, I think I only got one or two.

But yeah, just any reason for him to spend more time on our property I'm gonna do it. So yeah, that's the goal. That's the life update. I still have yet to go fishing. I [00:07:00] think I might go fish a farm pond this evening or this weekend sometime. Just here around local, but I've not taken the boat out.

Haven't really done much fishing at all. Let's see. I updated my daughter, updated y'all on the food plots. Updated y'all on the lack of fishing. I guess that's it. I think we're ready to jump into the episode. So that's gonna do it for this intro. We're gonna hear a quick word from a few of our partners, and then I'm gonna be telling all kinds of Turkey stories.

So that's what we got in stock today. Hope y'all are ready for it. And I'll see y'all right on the other side of this quick ad break. There is truly no place like the great outdoors in Oklahoma. When you're out in the wild, you want your wireless devices to work unlike other carriers. Bravado Wireless believes that coverage in rural areas is important so that you stay connected with competitively priced plans and coverage where you need it.

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Also, check out Arrowhead Land Company for all of your land buying and selling needs. All right folks, let's get after these stories. So all of this kind of started a few weeks ago or really before that back at the Backwood show. I met the guys from the Oklahoma Outdoor Outreach Foundation had Tim on the show.

Hopefully y'all listen to that episode. And the weekend I believe was the weekend of the [00:09:00] 21st was their spring Turkey hunt. And so had Tim on the show, was saying how I wanted to get involved, but I had some work stuff going on and I, it's the complete opposite side of the state and so I was afraid I wasn't gonna be able to get up there in time.

Cause they, they start the hunt at noon on Friday. And so I was talking to Tim and he asked if I would be willing to lead the church service Sunday morning, and I said, absolutely. And so he's Hey, if you just wanna come up, hang out Saturday afternoon, lead the service on Sunday, that'd be fantastic.

So I was like, all right. And So I immediately got on OnX and started looking around for some public ground close and found two places and so did some research narrowed in. And so I wasn't able to leave early on Friday, but I left after work, drove up there and my plan was to hunt public Saturday morning and then go hang out with the, the guys at the foundation.

Got off work a little bit early. Not much drove all the way across the state, and I thought that I was gonna be up there with a little [00:10:00] bit of time to scout Friday evening. But end up, when I was going through Oklahoma City I don't know what happened. I just. F did what, the map told me to do.

But somehow when I was on the other side of Oklahoma City, I had somehow lost like 30 minutes. I don't know if I accidentally missed a exit. I didn't really hit any traffic or anything, but just all of a sudden it was like somebody snapped their finger and I was 30 minutes behind. And those 30 minutes ended up being very important cuz I did not make it up there in time to scout.

And originally I thought maybe I'll still drive. Out there to, just to see if like the parking area is, available if the gate, if there's a gate or not. But I was just tired. I knew I was gonna have to wake up super early cause I was staying like 45 minutes away from, the hunting area.

And so ended up, didn't even drive out there to see it the evening before. So just went straight to Fairview is where the, the area where the hunt was. So I stayed in a hotel there, got maybe five hours of sleep. I woke up, gosh, at 4:00 AM something like that. I wanna say I was on the road at four 30.

So I [00:11:00] woke up super early. Just punched it into the gps, a spot that I had scattered online and drove out there. Pull up again, never laid eyes on it, done nothing but look at the map on OnX. Looked at the state map, made sure I was in a clear open hunting zone and everything.

This this area did have some non ambulatory, however you pronounce that word, spots. And so just wanted to make sure I was all in the clear. So get to where I was planning to go and there was actually already a truck in the parking lot and I got there over an hour before daylight. And so whoever was there, like my hat's off to you.

You are obviously hardcore Turkey hunter. So anyway, I meant this big area. The whole area is thousands of acres. The little place where I had parked you're gonna be able to access a couple thousand acres from this one parking area. And so I'm looking at this other truck, he's parked on like the left side of the parking area.

And so I'm like, all right, then I'm guessing, just guessing, he probably went left. The spot that I [00:12:00] had scouted out was to the right. And yeah, got my back backpack on, had my decoy, had my little bitty it's not really a blind, it's just kinda like a little camo netting cover thing. It's actually, I bought it last year when I went to Nebraska to deer hunt with, and I thought it'd be perfect for, this kind of running gun Turkey hunting.

Had that, Shotgun, obviously, and and took off. And so again, never stepped foot on this place. Had no idea what I was getting into. I tried to zoom in and look at the vegetation, but just couldn't really see. I knew it was gonna be more air arid. I was really afraid of rattlesnakes. But anyway, so yeah, so I just, I had my headlamp on.

I'm literally looking down at my phone, basically just like walking, looking at the little blue dot on my phone and going to this X that I had marked. And so follow the road for maybe 200 yards. Get off the road and I'm like, brush busting. Going through I don't, not really mesquites. I don't know what they were.

It was dark. Got into some really tall grass ended up having to walk around like [00:13:00] a little wetlands area. And I finally got to this kind of field edge and I'm walking towards this tree line. Getting closer and I can see that I'm getting close to where I want to be and I'm like, yes.

It's still a good ways till daylight and everything. I'm keeping my ears open listening for gobbles, and I'm getting closer. And then all of a sudden I thought, I saw like some light, and I was like, what the heck? And I kinda look and stop, don't see anything, put my head down, keep walking, and then bam, somebody's headlamp comes on.

And I, I assume it was the other guy in the parking lot. And guys, like, when I say. He was where I was gonna go hunting. I'm not talking like close to the area. I'm talking like he was on the X. Like it was as if I had sent him my pen and be like, Hey, this is where you should hunt. That's where this guy was.

And I, I don't, gosh, I don't know. I'm always confused when you're on public land, if you're supposed to like, go up and talk to the person or not. I tend to shy away from it. And so I turned and started walking the other direction and I, I thought I [00:14:00] had a backup plan, but when I got to looking at my map that, that spot was really too close to all my backup plans, with another hunter in there.

So trying to figure out if I can walk past him cuz there's some really good looking stuff past him. But I just felt weird. I didn't want to mess up his area. And then I was also just afraid that I would wind up close enough to him that If I heard a gobble, I would think it was him, if I heard turkeys or whatever.

And so I just decided, you know what? Screw it. I'm just gonna go the other way. So I ended up walking all the way back to the truck through, I had already, I had walked off the path enough that I didn't walk back the same way and I was trying to get back on the road. And so I walked through some super thick stuff.

Found some awesome deer beds, actually. Like I was walking through. I'm in like chest height grass. There's little saplings everywhere. And all of a sudden there's just yeah, little open spots in the grass. There's rubs everywhere. So yeah, I found an awesome buck be area. But anyway, get, make it back to the road, go back to the truck and take off the other [00:15:00] direction.

And so I actually headed towards the river and get to the spot that looks pretty good. And I was like, you know what? This might be worth setting up. Pull up the map and kind of zoom in a little closer. And I realized I had made a mistake. So I was hunting along a river, but about a hundred yards off the river.

There was like this big slew and I had basically put myself on the opposite side of the slew of the river. And so I'm looking above me. I'm looking at like the trees and everything. And I just realized like a turkey's just not going to be where I am. And the chances of me being able to call a Turkey over that slew, I feel, felt were pretty slim.

And so I just feel man, I gotta get around this slew. And so I basically take off parallel to the river further from the parking area. And I walk and I walk and it's like, all right, probably good here. Pull off the phone. Still not around the slew. It was longer than I thought.

So walk and walk some more. And I [00:16:00] finally make it around the slew, and by this time it's starting to get a little bit of light. Like I, I can't quite turn my headlamp off, but it's getting bright. And so start setting up, I take my backpack off and stuff. And again, it's kinda getting line enough to see, and I started looking around and I'm just not liking what I'm seeing around me.

I got away from the big tall cotton woods. It was all shorter, like post oak type stuff, and I just didn't feel confident in the area. I went ahead, I pulled out my, I don't know if I tried to do a hen call or I brought a crow call but did like a locator type call and didn't hear anything answer it.

And so that just drove my confidence down even more. And so pulled out the phone again, and I wasn't too awful far from a wheat field that was on the public area. And so sprinted over there, it was probably two or 300 yards and basically just got to the wheat field. It's getting light. I was like, I'm just gonna set up.

I just feel like I need to do something. Tucked into the brush surrounding the wheat field, threw my decoy up [00:17:00] out in the wheat field. And let the sun come up. So I was thinking it was a big wheat field. I didn't measure it, but it was probably 10 acres, something like that. And so I felt like even though the area didn't look super good, that, maybe there'd still be some turkeys around.

I think this was one week after the opener, and so I'm sure all this area got hit pretty hard on, opening weekend. But I thought, with the big open area that I might at least be able to see some and then maybe either work my way closer or, call 'em in, whatever, and it just didn't work out.

I sat there for 45 minutes, never saw anything, never heard anything I was calling. Before long, couldn't take it anymore. I just, I realized I wasn't doing any good, so I went ahead and picked up moved closer to the river, actually went all the way and walked to the river. Calling along the way, but I think I had just gone too far.

To the west, basically from the parking area. The stuff that I was looking at the east, it was your big cotton woods. It was more [00:18:00] native grass not as brushy and stuff like that. And so I think in my haste, trying to get away from that oth other hunter, I ended up just going too far away from the good stuff.

Went back to the truck. I did stop by off at one other area, by the time I got there and everything, it was like, Eight 30, the, that primetime fly down time had already passed. Did a little bit of exploring, did a little bit of calling, but again, didn't hear or see anything.

So yeah, that was my public land hunt. Short and sweet again. I just had one morning, I'd never stepped foot off, on that property. So it's hard to complain too much. I did find a little bit of satisfaction in the fact that other hunter was in the spot that I was going to hunt because that guy, he was.

Most likely a local, he was out there, he was very, he was obviously knew what he was doing. He was a hardcore Turkey hunter, and I was, ended up in the same spot as him. So that, that part was cool. It was definitely adventure and I just love walking around on new properties. Obviously, I was looking for deer sign the whole time [00:19:00] looking for sheds.

So yeah, no, no sign of Turkey whatsoever. But it was still fun and it was awesome and I'm glad I did it. So headed back to the hotel took a quick nap, cleaned up and headed out to the Oklahoma Outdoor Outreach Foundation. Guys, I need to figure out a quicker way to say that. I'm just gonna refer to them as the foundation now.

So yeah headed out there. Showed up at camp right after lunch. And so they had already done a evening hunt on Friday, a morning hunt on Saturday, and then they were all eating lunch. And so walked in there, had never met a soul of these people. Nobody there. I guess one guy, Keith, who I believe is Tim's son I, he was the guy that I talked to at the booth.

I figured that out and he, remembered me and everything. But right away they made me feel at home. There were some awesome people there. Hunters were great. The guides were great. The guys running it were great. Very well run program. I think I talked about it last week, but guys, I cannot [00:20:00] just brag on these guys enough and they need help.

They need. People to volunteer, they need money. If you're listening to this, if you love this show, you would love this organization. And I'm gonna tell a quick story here to go with that, but like I said, right away made me feel at home. The. Food was fantastic. They were staying in like an older gym.

It was old enough, I did laugh about this. It was old enough that the basketball court did not have a three point line. So it was that old, but it served the purpose. A lot of people brought campers. Some people were intense. A lot of people like myself were staying in town at the hotels.

So yeah, but. Awesome. And so just hung out with everybody and Keith was like, Hey I'm taking a a youth hunter out if you wanna come with us. I was like, yeah, that'd be great. And so I unfortunately it, it ended up getting cold that evening and I had not come prepared to hunt because I just thought I was gonna be hanging out.

So luckily I had a spare sweatshirt. I brought my coat and I had a spare sweatshirt in the truck. Had nothing to layer, on my legs or anything like that. [00:21:00] Turned out we didn't need it, which was good. But anyway our hunter's name was Brock. I posted a video of him on Instagram.

Hopefully everybody saw it. Brock was nine years old. His mom was there with him and then her boyfriend was there with his son also. But they were going with a different guy to try to get him a Turkey. And me and Keith Brock and his mom all jumped in the truck and drove off and we were one of the later ones to get out.

So as we were driving around, Keith was pointing out the other hunters and where they were and everything like that. And so it was cool cause we got to see the whole area and We actually drove by where we were gonna go hunt by the blind and went to scout out this wheat field.

He was basically, he didn't want turkeys to be in that wheat field because it would mean that they probably weren't gonna come to us. So we went and checked it out. There actually was one HN out in that wheat field. She spooked a little bit, but he's like, all right, that's good. So we turned around, go through the gate.

We park, we get outta the truck and as we turn to walk towards the blind, we actually see some turkeys [00:22:00] kinda working their way away from where we're about to sit away from the blind up on top of this ridge. And so Keith's oh man, that's not good. They beat us here. I don't know if they'll come back.

So we start walking and little Brock was so excited and he was a firecracker. He was full of energy. And Keith actually asked if his mom would pick him up and carry him just to keep him contained. And she made it about, three steps. And he's, hitting her and stuff.

And one down, he's too excited. And so she set him down. I don't blame her. And so we're trying to like, keep him calm, keep him, under control and he's running around and wanting to climb up the hills and everything. And we keep walking and our blind was set up on the bank of a creek and it was dry.

And so we dropped down into the creek bed and we had watched these turkeys make, they made it into the trees and were headed up the ridge. Keith was like, we might be able to calm 'em back down. So we. Work all the way through the creek. We pop out of the creek and just go straight into the ground line.

So we get set up in there. I had brought an [00:23:00] extra chair. They already had their chairs and geared in there. And they have they have all kinds of equipment for these hunters. And the way that it was working with this younger kid Brock Keith had a gun. And he was gonna hold it and everything.

And then they have a trigger system that is actually connected to a battery and it goes to a button. And Brock's mom had one and Brock had one. And the way it works is one of them had to hold the button down and then the other one would press the button and that's what made the gunfire. And Keith makes sure they're good on that.

Make sure everybody's set and starts calling. And I actually learned a ton. I was really glad I went with him. We were hunting Rios, we're out further west and Keith was extremely aggressive with his calling. I feel like everybody always talks about. The fear of overcall don't overcall.

I, that's all that I've ever heard is, you gotta be careful, you gotta be patient. Dude. Keith had a slate call in his hands and then had a mouth call in his mouth and he'd be doing those suckers at the same [00:24:00] time. He'd start with the mouth call, then he'd hit the slate. Vice versa. He was making some serious noise not pausing very long between the calls.

And these birds just immediately started gobbling back. First call, they cut him off. Like they were fired up, even though we assumed we'd spooked him. But I'm thinking they just saw the truck pull in. They didn't really see us. I don't know. They weren't hard spooked somehow.

So he had said a decoy out there. He's calling, he's hammering, and eventually one of these turkeys comes down the hill and we see it pop out, but it's across the fence and we need them to be on our side of the fence, obviously. And so he's calling, and of course, this gobbler's hung up. And we can see it.

Brock can see it. He's all excited. It's, strutting around and stuff. It's not really coming out in the open. It's hanging close to cover, but we can see it. And so we're all just please cross that fence. Please cross that fence. And so Keith calls once and I hear a gobble, but I'm watching the gobbler that we're [00:25:00] looking at, and it wasn't him.

And so I'm like, okay, now we got two gobbler. And so we're, again Colin, they're gobbling. Sometimes they gobbled together, sometimes they gobble separate. Eventually the second bird comes out and it's even bigger. It's got a big, nice beard. And so we got these two gobbler here. But they just, they're hung up on the fence as turkeys tend to do, for whatever reason, they just don't wanna cross this fence.

They see the decoy, they just won't commit. And so we're sitting there and we're trying to figure out what to do. We're trying to be patient and I, I. Turned my head to the left and we had a window where the, like the screen was closed, but the solid part was open and that hin that we had cared on the road.

I see her come around the corner and I was like, Hey, we gotta hi to our left, and he's like, all right. It could, this could be good or bad. If the hen comes to us, it's good. But if that hen goes to these gobbler, they could, very easily just take her off into the thick stuff and we're toast.

And so I say a quick little prayer. I'm like, Lord[00:26:00] please let that hen come to us. And so we're watching and he's still calling, they're still fired up. They're looking at the decoy, they're looking at the real hand. They're going back and forth and and I hear Keith whisper Lord, please let that hand come to us.

And so I very carefully turn my head again and just as I, find her, she's coming underneath the fence and I whisper to Keith. She crossed. And so he calls, And and just immediately, as soon as that hand came under, she walks, right? She probably walked within seven yards of us right there.

And we see the gobbler put their fans down and they tuck under the fence. Keith gets ready, he's, picking out a bird and I hear him, whisper to, to Brock get ready. And I see him take aim and I hear him whisper fire and boom, gun goes off. Turkey drops. And guys, if you haven't seen the video, I didn't video the shot.

I, I had my phone out and I was videoing Brock, please go to my Instagram and watch this video cuz that shot goes off and it takes [00:27:00] Brock a second to, to register what happened and then he loses his mind. And it is awesome. It is amazing. He's jumping up and down. His mom's freaking out.

He's freaking out. Keith grabs him and bear hugs him and and yeah, and he's ah, shot him in the head. I shot him in the head because that's, what they preach to him and stuff and it was just so cool. We, we get out of the blind and we had to hold Brock by the collar to keep him from running up there and getting spurred by the Turkey cuz he was so excited and, Eventually the Turkey, they always do the death run or not run, they're kicking their legs and flapping their wings and we didn't want Brock to get hurt, so we're holding him back and finally he gets that out of his system.

And guys, this Turkey was massive. He ended up actually winning the largest Turkey competition. I think he was 22 pounds. I think he had a 10 inch beard and his spurs were almost an inch and a half I think. I think they measured out at an inch and three eights. Huge spurs. Huge bird.[00:28:00] We love, we kept holding the bird up next to Brock and it was ba, it was like bigger than him.

His mom is just immediately calling everybody she knows. She called her dad and her mom and, all aunts and uncles. And she just kept getting all these texts and stuff and she was sending them pictures and Brock was just so excited. He kept holding the bird. He kept picking up the legs and looking at the spurs and stuff.

Just made your heart melt. One of his first hunts ever, his first Turkey. I'm tearing up a little bit just thinking about it. Keith lost it. I'm gonna throw him under the bus. He started crying. Yeah. Just I can't explain the emotions that, that went on this hunt. And I am all for it.

I want to go back. They do two deer hunts in the fall. They do a youth only hunt, and then they do an everybody hunt. And and guys just, again I can't brag on these people enough taking the time to do all this stuff. They're out there ahead of time scouting, setting up blinds, in deer season they're running feeders.

And I think I think [00:29:00] on this hunt there were 13 hunters. I think six of those 13 were in wheelchairs. And they, so they have to make all the accommodations for that. Be it ground blinds or whatever, deer blinds and stuff. A lot of 'em have to be wheelchair accessible.

It's just a fantastic organization. So once again, I'm gonna plug it again if you have some time to volunteer. It's usually three days. Usually the hunts start at noon on Friday. They hunt Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening, and then Sunday morning and that's it. So it's really only two days.

If you find it in your heart and you want to get involved in something that is a, an awesome, good cause. Look these guys up and I'm gonna be promoting them more as we get closer to deer season. If that's not your thing, maybe you don't have the time or you don't feel like you could be a guide or help cook or anything.

Man, think about writing them a check. Every little bit helps. The cost of all this stuff, all the feeders and the blinds and they like to give all the hunters gear, bags and they were given, the kids Turkey [00:30:00] calls, they did a kids Turkey calling competition Saturday night.

Just think about it, pray about it and help these folks out because it's, yeah I just can't brag on them enough. So that concluded the hunt up there Sunday morning. Sunday morning. They did, took some more hunters out. I wanna say they ended up killing eight Turkey, eight outta 13 hunters got a Turkey, which is pretty darn good.

They're running all over the place. The landowners is a huge part of this being willing to let these people come and hunt on their property and take their animals. Yeah, so I did my talk Sunday morning. And then headed home. And that finished out that weekend. So that was the Oklahoma portion of my hunting season.

And then this last weekend I made the trip out to West Texas to, to my buddy's place, had the place all to myself and and had a grand old time. So it was it was clouded and a little bit of sadness. I haven't mentioned this on social media or anything like that, but that Thursday before the weekend that I went to [00:31:00] Texas my eight year old cousin was killed in a car accident.

His mom and him were in a vehicle with one of his friends and his friend's mom. They were driving home from a field trip. And just complete freak accident. A wheel came off, an 18 wheeler bounced across the median and hit right there where my cousin Baron was sitting. Shattered the glass killed him instantly.

Nobody else in, in the vehicle was hurt. But but poor Barron. Eight years old. Eight year old, eight years old, went to be with the Lord. So that happened on Thursday. Another reason that it made it tough on everybody was it was a fairly similar incident to when my brother was killed, which has been 12 years ago now.

It also was a car accident involving an 18 wheeler. So it brought back a lot of bad memories. It brought back some sweet memories too. Anytime we get to reflect on my brother, it's it can be a sweet time also, but, so that happened on [00:32:00] Thursday. The family asked that we, stay away, let them have some time on Thursday, and then Friday we all went over there and hung out as a family, extended family and friends and everything.

So yeah, I went over to my uncle's house, aunt and uncle's house on Friday. Hung out with them for a good long while, and then as everybody was leaving I headed out to West Texas and went ahead and drove all the way out there Friday night. Similar to the Oklahoma deal where I got there super late at night.

I, I wanna say I got there. Around 10. But my, my buddy has a Nissan Frontier that he keeps out there truck and it's got, mud grip tires on it and everything. And I knew it was gonna be fairly wet cause we had some reindeer in the week. And so I thought ahead and went ahead and turned it on just to make sure one, that it would start and two checked the gas gauge.

And sure enough, it had less than a quarter tank of gas, and so he keeps some gas tanks there. And so I threw the gas tanks in my truck, drove back to town, which was about 20 minutes filled the gas tanks and headed back, filled the truck. So all that to say I didn't get to bed till [00:33:00] 1130, something like that Friday night.

And as I mentioned before, we don't, we stay at a house that's not actually on the property where we hunt. So you have to drive down the road a little ways and then weasel your way back through some other landowners. So it's a long haul to get out there. And so got out there nice and early.

Had my same little popup. It's not a popup blind, but my little short blind so took it out there. I had a, I have hunted this property before. I killed a Turkey out there last year, so I had a good idea of where to start. And my buddy this last summer dozed in some new wheat fields stuff like that for the deer, but I figured they'd be good for the turkeys also.

And it's again, pretty darn dry out there, but there's two big creeks and along those creeks you have some big cotton woods and some thicker stuff. And so it really. It helps you narrow down where these turkeys are gonna be. Cause those are some of the only roost trees in the area. So get there early, before sun up and everything.

I have my blind with me and this time I just feel a [00:34:00] little I learned it from last year instead of just setting up somewhere. Usually you can hear a Turkey gobble on the roost and you can work your way in set up. So I get close to one of these wheat fields. Go ahead and hit a call and get a response like around a hundred yards.

And so I'm like, there's no reason to get any closer. No reason to spook this Turkey. So I ended up setting up, actually on the edge of that wheat field threw my decoy out there, stepped it off. I think I put it at 18 steps, something like that. 16, 18 steps. Found a suite setup where there was a big mesquite tree that had another pretty large like post oak or something, fall in front of it.

And so I was able to tuck up against that mesquite tree. Had a, basically an already built blind in front of me. Went ahead and put up my little cover thing. I had a place to set my calls and everything. The one thing, my one regret on this hunt is I brought my GoPro. I'm trying to be better about filming all this stuff, but I didn't have a good, a very good spot to [00:35:00] attach my GoPro to film like in front of me where I could control it.

And so I basically had to put it up above my head. On a tree limb looking down, but I didn't have a way to move. If a Turkey got in close, I, it's not like I could reach up there and move it without being seen. So I had to guess on where the Turkey was going to come from.

And the turkey's still gobbling a couple other chirping at this point, and so I haven't made any other, any more calls, I'm just kinda letting them do their thing. Make sure I'm good and set up, make sure I kinda let everything die down. The sun's coming up. And so when I knew it was starting to get closer to fly down time I started giving a few yelps, just real soft, real easy, nothing aggressive, just to let these birds know where I was at.

And by the time it, got more light, I actually had three gobbler. The original one that I heard was off to my right, about a hundred yards. There was one even closer, straight in front of me. And then there was one pretty far away to my left. And so I was feeling good about it. Didn't think I was gonna have too [00:36:00] much trouble.

Turns out I didn't that's getting more light. I, they flew down really late. I felt I can't remember, gosh, I don't remember the shooting times. I wanna say it was like six 40 by the time they flew down. I think sunup was like six, 10, something like that. So it was pretty good in light.

And sitting there, giving a few Yelps over now, or every now and again, the burden in front of me is fired up. He's responding to me. The burden to my right was also very fired up. I know he was close and could hear me and everything. The burden in front of me actually shut up for a little while, and then about, 6 35, somewhere in there, he got real fired up.

And so I knew he was gonna be flying down soon. So I reached up, turned my camera on. And was just sitting there ready and sure enough, a few minutes later, it was about six 40. Like I said I hear him fly down and actually got a quick little glimpse of him as he went between the trees.

So he flew down straight towards me. He was probably roosted less than a hundred yards from where I sat up and, or sat up. [00:37:00] And when he flew down, he probably landed within 50 yards, pretty darn close. He actually walked through a pretty decent gap and he was like, he was a little far, but he was shootable.

He was probably in the 45 yard range, something like that. But I, the grass was just tall enough that I couldn't really see what he was. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't shooting to Jake. There, there's enough long beards out there that it's worth waiting for. And so he was all puffed up and strutting.

But I couldn't see his beard. I just couldn't tell. I just wanted to make sure he was a mature bird. So he made it all the way through. The gap kind of disappeared again, and I'm watching 'em ready and I hadn't seen him yet, but actually two hens popped out in front of him that I guess were with him.

So they're out in the wheat field to my left, and then sure enough, he pops out. And he just immediately puffs up struts. I was surprised. He basically ignored the two hens that he already had with him. He was all into my decoy and [00:38:00] I guess my calls And so I didn't even call to him or anything.

I just he came out, I had my, the gun ready. I could tell he was interested, had the GoPro running. Of course, I had set the GoPro up more to the right, and he had circled around to the left. Guys I think I made a post about it. I would've given anything to have had a cameraman with me. It was a short hunt.

Wasn't necessarily incredibly exciting, but when he popped out into that wheat field and puffed up, shredded, he did not let down a single time and he just looked like a bodybuilder out there. Puffed up. He turned sideways. He like side stepped in the entire way. Didn't stop. He made, he went from 40 yards to 16 yards and just a snap wasn't really a run.

Like I said, he was strutting the entire time, but just side stepped in, just showing off just putting on a show. It was so awesome. Walked right up to the decoy, stopped about a foot from it, just staring at it like, Hey, look at [00:39:00] me. I'm right here. And I was trying to let him uncuff because, I didn't wanna mess up his feathers or anything.

I could see his, he had a nice long beard and everything. But I was just trying to, his head was tucked into his chest and everything, so I didn't have a real great shot at his head. He's standing there and he, he never did let down. He stayed streton the whole time, but he kinda worked around, he basically started sidestepping, did a little half circle around the decoy, and basically I got afraid that he was gonna figure out that it was fake and he was gonna, Hit her, touch her or something and realized it was a decoy.

So went ahead and shot him while he was puffed up, but he didn't take a step. He didn't know what hit him. Didn't mess him up too bad. I was surprised. But that was it. It was 6 45. It all happened in five minutes from the time he hit the ground to the time he was dead. It was literally five minutes.

He just circled around, came into the wheat field, shrugged his way in and I killed him. Like I said, not the craziest, most exciting story. The [00:40:00] story's not quite over. But yeah I did go back and watch my go GoPro footage. He comes into the frame for maybe three seconds before I shoot him, and it's like way over on the side of the screen.

It's not centered or anything. Yeah, I just knew he was gonna come straight in, from the right. And it would've been beautiful footage if he would've come from that way, but he just didn't cooperate. So I apologize again for the 18th time. I keep saying I'm gonna be better about filming stuff.

When I just, when I finally get to go out there and do some hunting, the idea of, lugging a camera around is just usually not as exciting. Especially Turkey. It's really hard to sell film at Turkey hunting Turkey hunt. They're just so on top of it. You're usually on the ground with them.

They have really good eyesight. So it's just really tough. But anyway, so pull the trigger. Turkey's dead. And I'm I'm excited. But there's another side of 'em. It's man, I could kill another Turkey right now. This part of Texas, they haven't reduced their tags or anything, so I had four Turkey tags.

Four four this [00:41:00] weekend. And so I didn't even stop to take a picture. I pulled my decoy up and I figured the other gobbler that had been close to my right, I figured the shot probably would've affected him. I never heard him fly down. I don't know if he was still on the tree or down. But anyway, so I decided to go to the left, to the gobler that was further away, just cause I figured the shot wouldn't have bothered him as much.

And so I take off running about, I'm gonna say probably went 200 yards or so. And staked the decoy, found a little spot to hide and I hadn't, he had shut up. I hadn't heard him hit the hen call. And and I heard him gobble. I got a response, but he was a pretty good ways away. I think the shot had affected him.

I think he had definitely turned the other way. He was definitely on the neighbors. I was probably 60 yards or so from the fence, and he was a good wave on the other side of the fence. And I decided it would be better. It was still so early, it was like six 50 or something at this point that I'd be better off just picking up and going to a completely different spot instead of trying to work these turkeys that had been spooked.

So yeah.[00:42:00] Still didn't really take any good pictures. Took a few quick pictures. And I threw everything in the truck and took off. And I think I know I've talked about this before, but just in case people are new listeners this lease is really cool. It's really unique and I can't give too many details cuz it's not mine.

My buddy would kill me. But it's really narrow. There's spots where it's only a hundred to 200 yards wide. But it's really long. And so you're following this kind of windy road all the way through. But I say all that to say you're never that far from the neighbors, so you gotta be careful and watch what you're doing.

But anyway, so I go around that creek and I'm following the road and all of a sudden a long beard is flying across the road in front of me, and I'm pretty sure it was the other one that had been close along the creek. I think he had flown down the other direction to the other side of the creek after I shot.

And so he goes flying off and I'm watching he go I know there's probably not a very good chance I'm gonna be able to call him in, but he ends up going across and landing on the neighbors. And so I was like, all right, that [00:43:00] one's done with so keep going. And I went on back to the next creek, and this is, we call it the back.

I, it's the furthest from the road. I wanna say. I wanna say it's seven miles from this area all the way out to the road. Again, just through not even a road, not even a gravel road, just a two track, like ranch road. And parked pretty good ways from the creek walk up. And and again I'm figuring hopefully, birds will still be talking.

I don't think I had to call, I think I was just walking along and heard to gobble, which was very encouraging. And so I was like, you know what? Time to get close, time to get aggressive. So I walk all the way back and I walked basically to the very end of the lease. And I can see the fence. I make sure to stop, short of it. I'm already thinking like that fence could be a pain, cuz I know turkeys always get hung up on the fence. But I didn't have a choice. I couldn't cross the fence. So yeah, so I'd go ahead. I get set up, I set my little blind up, set my decoy out there. I hear him gobble every couple minutes and so I know he is [00:44:00] still there.

Get set up and and make a few yelps. And right away I hear some hens, like straight to my right on the neighbors, like fairly close. And I was like, oh man. There's turkeys everywhere. Like I, I got a real good shot. And and the gobbler also responded. And so I was like, sweet man, like I'm about to double.

Like this is gonna be sweet and I'm gonna double in 30 minutes. And try not to be too aggressive, even though I'd just watched Keith, a week before be ultra aggressive. Wait a few minutes, a few more Yelps and the Gobbler gobbles. And then I hear the hens again, and something about it just wasn't quite right.

It was really loud. The cadence was just a little too perfect and I was like, man, I think that might be a hunter over there on the neighbors. But I wasn't sure. And wait I hear them, I hear the hens again. I was like, okay. Like maybe it's real. Maybe it's not a hunter. I call the gobbler still gobbling.

So we're just kinda like in a little [00:45:00] triangle of turkeys here. And and then I hear the hens again. I was like, man, that has to be a hunter. And I even stood up. I was like standing up looking through the mesquites and stuff, trying to see if I could see somebody. Couldn't see anybody. They went quiet for a while.

I was like, man, like what is is it turkeys? And then I heard 'em again, but it sounded like they were in a different spot. And so now I'm like, all right am I crazy? Are these hens, are these just, is this just another Turkey hunter that you know is moving, trying to get this GoBoard to come in or what?

So I kept going back and forth on whether I thought it was a hunter or not. And but I'm like, Hey I'm not giving up. This is a wild Turkey doesn't necessarily mean it's his. So I call again, and the gobbler goes quiet for a pretty good while. And I'm not hearing the hens, not hearing the gobbler.

I'm calling every, couple minutes not getting any responses. And so finally I'm like, man, I don't know what's going on around here, but I think whatever was happening is no longer happening. I'm trying to decide whether I'm gonna [00:46:00] pick up or stay. I went ahead and threw a couple more Yelps out, and the Gole responds.

This has been like 20 minutes since the last time he had called. And so I was like, okay, like maybe I am still in the game. Maybe the other hunter left, maybe whatever. And so call again, GABA responds again. I was like, all right, sweet. And then I hear the hens again to my right what the heck is going on here?

And wait a few minutes trying to figure out what's going on. And and then out of nowhere took me by complete surprise. All of a sudden I hear, boom to my right and I was like, ah, it was another hunter. But I look over there and I see a Turkey fly. And then I hear two more quick shots. And so I think what had happened was that the other hunter basically figured out that I was also a hunter, not a Turkey, and he knew that he was in between the gobbler and me.

And so I think he just shut up and let me call to the Turkey. And I think what happened [00:47:00] was, he ended up seeing the gobbler, but it was a little further than, what he had hoped. But he just didn't want the gobbler to come to me. And so he basically just took a pop shot, hoping.

But I'm pretty sure the Turkey got away. I did see some Jakes after that and I think two hens so there were some b other birds in the area, so I don't know, maybe he did kill one with the first shot and the other two shots were him trying to get a second one. I don't know.

I didn't go over there and try to find out. I was kinda I had my pride hurt a little bit, to be honest that I got tricked. So yeah, so ended up, did not get a second bird. Came very close. I actually, and I had a thought. I was like, man, I think that's still part of Randy's lease because there's a corner post where the fence jets out to the west.

And I thought where they were was still Randy's, but again, there was a cross fence and I wasn't sure, so I didn't want to go over there, but I called Randy later to tell him the story and come to find out they were actually on his property. They had crossed off [00:48:00] of their lease and got onto Randy's.

So then I wished I would've gone up and, confronted them and talked to 'em and they stole my Turkey. Cuz it turns out the Turkey was on Randy's lease and they were not. So anyway, all of that to say, got one Turkey, was super excited about it. Did not get the second one.

I went ahead and went back to town or went back to the house and tried to take a nap, but the neighbors were mowing the yard. I did go back that evening set up in a different spot. I took the full ground blind this time. But I don't know what, I don't know how, I did not hear a single thing after the crazy morning that I had, but I did not hear Turkey.

Did not see a Turkey. Absolutely nothing. And Sunday, because I'd already gotten a bird my, my wife had some stuff going on Sunday, so I went ahead and did not hunt Sunday morning got back and was able to go to church with my wife and hang out with our little girl and stuff. So yeah, that man.

That was like three different stories really quickly. I think I did all that in one [00:49:00] stretch. I have not talked this long in a long time. I haven't been doing a ton of episodes these last couple weeks. And so yeah, that is my 2023 Turkey season. So just a quick recap. Went to Nebraska.

Had a couple close calls, called him Miriam's into 10 steps, but was not able to get it killed with my bow. Tried some Oklahoma public land. Did not he hear sea or anything else of a Turkey. Went with the foundation, had an awesome time. They had turkeys everywhere. That was also pretty encouraging to see.

They kept excuse me. They kept talking about how numbers were down compared to the past, but there were still quite a few Turkey, we saw plenty from the road. They still killed several. We're hearing a lot of bad things about Turkey numbers, but there are still birds out there, so that's encouraging.

And then, yeah, went out to Texas, killed a bird in five minutes, almost got a second bird. And that doesn't sound like a ton of hunting and it's not, but I think that [00:50:00] might be the most Turkey hunting that I've ever done. I've definitely never hunted three states before. I think I hunted three days in Nebraska.

I. Two days in Oklahoma, and then one day in Texas. So six days that's, not too shabby. At least for me. Man, I, I talked about how excited I was for Turkey season this year. I was way more excited than I ever had been, and I think it made me even more excited for next year.

I'm definitely gonna go back to Nebraska next year this way, just the way it fell with work and with my wife being out of town. I ended up going to an archery season. I don't think I'm gonna do that again. I think I'm gonna wait. And go during gun season. Actually, I just saw my, my sister and brother-in-law came into town for the funeral and I was talking to him and he said after I left like a week later, there were just turkeys everywhere, even in their yard.

And yeah, I think going a week or two later would help. And then also just taking a stinking shotgun instead of a bow would be a huge help. So yeah, probably do Nebraska next year. I'd love to go hunt with the [00:51:00] foundation again, or, be a guide. Do some Turkey hunting in Oklahoma. And then I always have the place in West Texas where there's actually turkeys and so that makes it really fun also.

Yeah, that's gonna do it for Turkey season 2023. That's also gonna go ahead and do it for this podcast. I don't think I'm gonna do a separate outro. I'm just gonna close it out here so yeah. Thank you guys for tuning in. I hope y'all enjoyed all the Turkey content. I don't know what we're gonna get into next.

I gotta figure that out. But man, it's already what? May? Yeah, it's already May. So let's see. May, June, July, August may, June, July, August, September. Yeah. Four months basically from From deer season. So we got a lot to cover. We got a lot to do. My throat is killing me. I just talked for 58 minutes straight, so I'm gonna shut this thing down.

So thank you guys for listening. I love you guys, and until next week, I will see y'all right back here on. The Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.[00:52:00]

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