This week on the Pennsylvania Woodsman, Mitch sits down with Jason Miller from JMiller Custom Calls. You're in for a good ol' fashion B.S. session swapping stories and pulling takeaways for the upcoming season. Jason is a diehard turkey hunter who continues a streak since the 90s of filling a tag in the Keystone state. Jason is extremely persistent, scouting constantly. Nearly every morning leading up to opening day and throughout the season Jason is up watching and listening to what the birds are doing in his area. Then, the plan is simple - be aggressive and get as close as possible without spooking!
With this insane passion for turkey hunting, Jason has begun cutting his own mouth calls. What started out as a hobby to pass the time simply to fine tune the sound he likes, has now turned into selling these calls for a little more turkey hunting opportunity. Jason discusses this journey and relates back to many of the experiences he has had since beginning this call making journey. Jason's passion is contagious - you should be ready to chase those thunder chickens after this episode! You can reach out to Jason for more information on his turkey calls through Instagram @jmillercustomcalls. #radixhunting #huntworth #vitalizeseed
[00:00:00] Hey everybody. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Pennsylvania Woodsman Podcast. I'm your host, Mitchell Shirk, and this. I am coming off of doing some crazy jobs here. I'm I think I mentioned it before. I'm doing a bunch of spring projects and just, gosh, some stuff that I've neglected for a while around my house and I was building I rented a skid loader at my house and built a wood shed a a.
Cleared an area out that I wanted and flattened it out and put some stone there. Placed some posts, which doing all that myself was fun, but got it in the works. It was also fun with the skid loader cuz it was the first time I ever ran one with case controls, which are all at your hands if you guys never ran one.
So it was slow go for me just because [00:01:00] I am definitely not an operator. But we got it done. We got it done safely and that's what matters. I I wanted to do this woodshed. Cause like I said, I have all this wood to my property, all these dead ash trees falling everywhere. And I wanted to clean 'em up so that way I could, not have to worry about trees falling on trails that I had cut and designed a way to, to steer deer.
And I also have have trees that I'd like to plant. Don't want to worry, worried about, dead trees falling on 'em and damaging them. And I figured it'd be a great opportunity to use the skid loader and get that wood cleaned up, clean my wood up and get it going. And I gotta tell you guys this story, what this happens.
So one of the things I've been working on, so there's a property in the neighborhood. That it's not too far from my place that I've been eyeing up and I've been making some connections and I'm trying to see if I would be able to bow hunt there and it's got potential for food plot options.
So I was like, you know what? I'm going to use this whole ash [00:02:00] tree in the neighborhood dying opportunity to, reach out to this landowner again and say, Hey, I see you've got these. I'd be willing to clean them up for you and just get my foot in the door thinking, man, that might be an opportunity for deer hunting.
And it is just absolutely crazy the things that that happen in life sometimes and the stories that happen. And to make a long story short I didn't reach, I wasn't able to connect with this person face to face, but I left my number in a note and they reached out and said we'd be more than.
Willing to have you do that, and we appreciate that. I unfortunately am hard to get ahold of because I'm a single mother that is working multiple jobs, very busy and running kids around. And this is the kicker guys. This is literally like you can't, I can't make this up. This is what she said verbatim in her message to me.
I don't have help from my [00:03:00] husband since he now lives outta state and decided to try to be a woman or decided to become a woman. That, I'm not kidding, I'm not making that up. That is literally in my neighborhood, somebody experiencing this craziness. I felt so bad for this woman. I knew she was I could tell that, like yard work and stuff was getting neglected and, they were hiring people and unfortunately she had hired somebody to cut a bunch of these ash trees down and, paid somebody thousands of dollars and they didn't do a very good job and didn't finish the job.
And it's just an unfortunate situation. So something as simple as me wanting to try to go out deer hunting has turned into Something bigger. And I'm not sure what, but really what my thinking is now, my goal is now is there any way that I can help this person out? Is there anything that I can do?
Even though [00:04:00] let's face it I'll be the first to admit it. I've got plenty on my plate, but it might be an opportunity to help somebody in need and help a neighbor in need. And that's really more important than anything. So I just had to share that cuz it was just a really weird thing that happened.
But, speaking of food plots and planting trying to plant this new food plot location I think that's a really good segue into announcing something really exciting. God's done some awesome things for. Myself and for the Pennsylvania Woodsman podcast here and put some really great people in my life and introduced me to some great people to work with.
And I'm really excited to announce that the Pennsylvania Woodsman has partnered and is gonna be working with Vitalized Seed Company. And guys, if you haven't checked out their company I had Al Temeco, he's one of the co-owners of [00:05:00] Vitalize. We had him on the show a couple weeks ago and I think the name of that episode was something along the lines of food plot and soil nerdy.
And I said that joking around a little bit just because, it's the type of things that as an agronomist I'd love to talk about. And I understand how it relates. And Al does too. And I say that cuz in a sense, I, I. I, I bring it up for this point. Al is so passionate about soil health, conservation and bringing together quality across the landscape for hunting and wants to learn and grow.
Al is somebody that is constantly researching, picking people's brains and learning, and I'm learning a ton from him too. And it's been a great friendship that we've developed. And I think it goes without saying that the mission that they have to Sustain quality soil and build back [00:06:00] quality soil in the wildlife world.
And food plotting world is something that is very near and dear and passionate for me, and doing it in a system that is natural and is something that can work anywhere. It goes without saying that I was excited to, to work with these guys and, I'm looking forward. Using some of their one two system this year.
I've got some seed ordered and I'm looking forward to trying it in a couple different situations. Some different deer density, some different soils, some different soil fertility levels, different planting methods and putting it to use and taking information and hopefully doing some data collection and analyzing it and just trying to figure out how is this system going to work across multiple different areas that I hunt and I get to plant food plots in Pennsylvania related back to you guys and apply it for quality hunting and quality [00:07:00] soil.
Quality soil is hand in hand. It goes hand in hand with quality food plots and optimizing nutrients. Like guys, plants are nutrient exchange organisms that. For the deer and the wildlife that you hunt. That's all it is. It's a nutrient exchange organism f from one to the next and the denser the nutrients and the better they cycle through soil health practices.
Things we've talked about, things like Dr. Grant Woods talked about a couple weeks ago on our show and things that Al talked about and I've talked about, the. More pronounced, you can put your you can make your soil biology the better off that it's going to be. And this system and the seed types that are in that, their system is really important for making that happen.
And we'll be talking a lot more about it and I'm sure, talking the strategies and how-tos, but I wanted to bring that announcement up. So [00:08:00] guys, check out Vitalize seed when you get an opportunity. And I I think it's a great opportunity to go into chatting about this week's episode and this week we are, we have a good old fashioned Turkey hunting BS session.
We are chatting with Jason Miller. Jason is a guy I met locally. Turkey hunting fanatic. He takes his Turkey hunting as passionate as I take my whitetail hunting and maybe even beyond that. And he has gone on to start making his own custom mouth calls. And I must say I was able to get my hands on a couple of them.
All of them sound great. I had a couple in particular that like just fired me up and I'm really anxious to try this coming spring. But he's a knowledgeable guy and has a ton of experience and we don't really get into any [00:09:00] specific topics per se. We bounce a co I bounce a couple questions off of him and let him roll on it.
It goes into a lot of stories and there's things from those stories and those experiences, whether it was his recent trip to Alabama or seasons past that. There's things that I took away just within the stories and his strategy, if you listen closely enough that I think are a little bit outside the boxer, they're just helpful.
And I the big thing, and I said this before and I'll say it again with this episode and with all the other people who are die hards and passionate about what they do is they never give up. And they're constantly out there and they've got that constant drive. And, he's somebody that has that with Turkey hunting and, it's a big reason why he's successful.
He doesn't he said this to me, outside of our conversation on the podcast that, it's not that I feel like I've, I'm given any kind of [00:10:00] extra gift as a Turkey hunter on that. I'm just that good. He goes, I just put in my time. No, he said, nobody sees the.
The 27 days, if it's a 28 day Turkey season, nobody sees the 27 days that I don't kill one. He said it's the every year on the day that I do kill one and nobody sees the hardworking time and effort that I put into it. And it, it's like I said, this is just, it was a conversation that just when I was done I was like, man, I want to just start doing everything and try to kill a Turkey.
And I really enjoyed this conversation. I think you guys are going to, as we're getting up, hey, tomorrow is opening day of the Youth Hunt. I hope you guys are able to get out and take somebody out. I. I'm not, I'm gonna be working on a roof that doesn't sound fun. I'm gonna be ripping my roof off and replacing it, but hopefully you're getting out there.
It'll get you your spring jitters out for the following week when we have our state wide opener in spring gobbler, which I will be participating in. And I'm really looking forward to [00:11:00] think I'm gonna be heading up to Northern Pennsylvania and Potter County brand new area. I've hardly ever hunted plan to just turn my phone off.
Actually I like put it on airplane mode, but use, use my mapping, my, my GPS maps to access places, the way I have my pins and stuff that I've had, but turn it off from social world and civilization and just go hunt and enjoy the mountains. So that's enough with me rambling.
Before we get to this show we gotta make our shout out to our partners. We're thankful for the companies that support us. And, one of those companies that we want to talk about is Radix Hunting. Guys, if you are looking for trail cameras, if you're looking for putting some cameras out yet this spring, it's not too late if you're gonna use it for your Turkey hunting strategy.
Check out Radix trail cameras, guys. They've got conventional cameras that have image quality and video quality that are top end competitively priced, and they also have their MCO cell [00:12:00] cameras. Check out the stick and pick trail camera mounts and accessories for those locations that just need a little bit more fine tuning for that perfect camera angle.
They've also got monarch hunting blinds. Guys, I didn't talk about these too much in their monarch hunting blinds. They've got soft sided and hard sided blinds and I think blinds are something that are underrated in so many cases, especially in the Turkey hunting world. And I think you are really check out these products and.
They are things that I'm gonna be utilizing here throughout the coming year and I think they are worth your time looking up and utilizing. And hey, with that, let's get to this episode.
So now when you look back at that, we're wondering if something was already happening. Yeah, because. A matter of fact, I was at his house when he got home from the hospital and he says, let's get this gun up. He puts it up clear. So I think something was going on already. Yeah. It's so scary because it was [00:13:00] it was crazy.
Cause I'm like, I just hunted with you the week before. Yeah. He was up at camp with us and Yeah. That whole thing was scary. But man, let's we can get rolling here. So today I'm chatting with Jason Miller. We got one of those days is a nice day, weather day. Finally can get out and enjoy join outside podcast here.
But Jason, thanks for coming up. Meet me and chatting. I know you said you'd like to talk Turkey, so perfect time of year for it. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Yeah, absolutely. So you just came back from Alabama? Yeah, I was down there two weeks ago. We only went for we left Thursday.
So we hunted Friday, Saturday, and then left early in the morning Sunday. That's a lot of driving. It was a lot of driving, but the people we met down there were fantastic. They had a camp, I don't know if they lease like 3000 acres or something like that. And they have it in sections and it's pretty nice.
They have a box maybe as big as your window there, and they have a map in there. And then when you wake up, you take your name, they have all the members' names, and then they put it wherever you're [00:14:00] hunting, so you know not to go where someone has their tag. But the guys down there were like, you guys hunt wherever and we'll adjust.
Oh geez. It's no, we're guests here. They're like, Nope. We'll, and they were fantastic. Okay. Now, hunting down there, I always say for Turkey, if I can hunt a Turkey three days, I think I could kill it. Okay. That's just my thinking. Down there the first day we have to learn the property, so we walked, I think it was 8.9 miles, I believe my watch said.
And then the second day we hunted, but we woke up to a tornado warning. Oh, geez. So it's thunder, a lightning like crazy. Your morning's gonna be tough. As soon as that moved through, we heard some, now they're way out over this one. Clear cut. And, till we got back there they had shut up already probably with hens.
But then my buddy Andy he had a gobbler and four hens come out, but they were in a dip. He could hear the gobbler and the hens kept popping up whenever he would call. And the gobbler would just stay in there. He just [00:15:00] hang back. And then I think they just took it right out and gone. But, so definitely opportunities there. So we're probably gonna go back, but it would be nice to have another day. And now, like going back, it's like I said to my buddy, we don't have to now we've walked it so you can rule out, let's say section A and D, and focus on where we heard him, but.
Yeah, it was a tough trip. Fun. Yeah. We had a great time. No, no connections. But you still had what's, what was the Turkey population down on the property you were hunting with down there? I could tell you as far as sign, like they, they do these 400 acre clear cuts. Okay. And just mow it to the ground and walk in the edge of that.
There were Turkey tracks all over the place. So I believe their population is fantastic, but another thing is I said to my buddy and these guys down there we're coming into this season when I'm hunting here at home, we're seeing the youth hunt. You're seeing what's going on during that week, then you're hunting, for the adults here [00:16:00] take a couple days off.
So you're seeing the mating season progress. Down there it was 90 degrees. Everything was solid green already. So I figured we were like mid-May here, so then you're trying to find how to hunt them. You know what I mean? Walking into it, you can't take the temperature that part, the season.
Yeah. Yeah. And I had seen for the evening hunts, I sat in crossroads on these roads figuring they'd walk roads to go roo. And I had hens walk by me both nights. No gobblers and tow. That's the way it goes. Were they gobbled much on the roof at that point? No, they they would gobble the one bird he gobbled both mornings.
We were there handful of times done just heading up most of the time. Yeah. And then when we left, like we debated it was so Saturday night, I said to my buddy, what are we gonna do in the morning because you could hunt Sunday? But I said, we could leave here at three in the morning, get home at eight o'clock, or we stay here and hunt and I'd get [00:17:00] home at three o'clock in the morning.
I said, if this was the last we were hunting all year, I'd stay and hunt. But it's like a. Spring training, to go there to hunt here, break the dust off the vest. Yeah. That's what I said to him. I said I wouldn't, I'd rather leave. And he agreed. So that's what we did. We woke up and left at three 30.
So at about eight 30 in the morning, I believe we're in Atlanta or something like that, they start sending us pictures that their reveal cameras sent 'em, turkeys, of course, out in the field. And then of course you think, ah, maybe we should have stayed, but that doesn't mean we would've been in that particular field or whatever.
But, I said, if we go next year, maybe stay that extra day. But again, now that you know a little bit about it would change the way I approached it. It's a lot of pines down there and thick pines cuz they replant. So the nestings fantastic. Like their habitat on this property is fantastic.
It's just, I would need a little, a lot of describe pines and stuff like that. I don't know if they burn, maybe they do, I don't know. But like when this paper company that owns [00:18:00] their lease. They go in there and they do 400 acres at a shot. So we could hear to one gobbler on the far side of that.
And the guy who we went to visit down there, he was a buddy from Toton. Went to school with Brandywine and stuff, and then moved down there. He's like, where do you think that is? I said, over there you could hear it that far. I said, if there's nothing in between you that just carries, so now it probably took us 40 minutes to get around this clear cut.
And by then he was done gobbling, but I'm sure he was in the area. Yeah, they typically are. I just feel like they get whatever they need by when they shut up and they do the thing. But that's the thing too, like we were seeing hens and hearing hens, so I didn't think they had to go far. And there's coyotes all over the place. Okay. You could see their tracks. Like the morning it rained, there was fresh. So you know that they probably don't gobble more than they have to. No unnecessary business down there. I'd say. What was the, what was it like was there like an abundance of hens?
I know people talk about the south sometimes they'll just have oodles and oodles of hens. It's so easy to get hen up. I would say yes, because[00:19:00] as we're walking down the road, you could see tracks here, coming out into this clear cut that I think it was like a mile across or something like that.
So it's like, how do you, it's not like a deer trail where Yeah. Oh, they're all coming out right here. Everything looked the same along that whole edge. It was like probably Pines they planted 15 years ago. Yeah. Or something like that. So it's like, how do you even begin to. Oh, it's monotonous.
Pick a spot. I would compare it to like, when you're hunting in northern Pennsylvania for deer and you talk about looking for habitat and this and that and, it's monotonous. You gotta find little peaks and valleys that, just might hold a little bit more. And it's the same thing when you're talking about quality habitat.
And if it's all monotonous, it's still doesn't make it easier to hunt Mike. Just be more game. Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure there's more turkeys there than we have around here. However, again, always more isn't better, I think because sometimes if you have one gobbler in one hand and she goes and lays, you can kill that bird.
Down there they have five and six, so Yeah. You're gambling with what day they're gonna be ready to go. Yeah. I don't how. How to think about it. [00:20:00] So I've been fortunate. I can't, I didn't go last year and I couldn't go this year. But normally, like I, I get to kick my Turkey season off a little bit earlier, the past few years and go down to Virginia and the property that I've been invited to hunt a couple times.
It's a working cattle ranch and it's rolling hills and, cedar forest and there's some oak hickory ridges around there too. But it's mostly just working cattle and stuff like that. And, it's got plenty of birds and, it's an open area so it's hard to really move on birds.
We just end up going in, in on ridge points where, we typically see 'em going through. And what's just so interesting is you're either waiting for them to separate. I killed one off the roost the one year and he flew right to us and walked right in before the hens flew down.
And every other one that I can think of that I was along. They, it was later in the morning and they separated and, he was looking for a girlfriend and called them into our setup. And there was one other time there was a bird that I'm [00:21:00] assuming was not as do, there was a bunch of gobbler on this back ridge that were, going off like crazy.
And they, I bet you between three or four gobblers that were back there, man, they probably gobbled 300 times that morning. He just nonstop. But they were back there and we knew there were he back there. But there was one gobble that we set up on within I'm gonna say within 150 yards. And he only gobbled five times that whole morning.
He was very like, just subtle, I think it was two or three times on the roost. And then he gobbled twice when he was on the ground. And the second time when he gobbled on the ground. He was closer and we knew he was coming and he came in, he saw our decoys, and I had a stutterer decoy up and he would not come in.
He just skirted the edge. And I ended up, it was like a 25 yard shot and I got an arrow in him and got him and it was a great hunt. But it was like every other time when it was a lot of turkeys like that, it seemed like you just had to be patient until they broke up. Yeah. Yeah. So my buddy Jim, who invited us to Alabama never hunted him before I maybe once or twice.
Okay. So [00:22:00] when my friend Andy, who I took his son for the last two youth hunts. So when Andy's kid shot his second bird, Andy puts it out there or something on Facebook, and Jim calls him and says, you gotta come down here. We're loaded with birds, we don't hunt 'em that much or whatever.
So Andy says I'm just sitting with him. He's doing all the business. So then that's when we first talked about going and it was funny because I'm just like, we got to this first field down there, beautiful setup. And Andy's I could sit here all day. I was like, yeah, but how do you know on this 3000 acres or whatever that there's not 20 better spots?
We gotta walk. So we hoofed it all day and found a bunch of good spots. But that first setup was nice too. But it was funny cuz I'm just doing my thing down there and this, Jim says he was having a blast just at watching us read the sign and saying, oh here's what's probably happening here.
And then like we went, just sat out at night and that's when I had the hands come past. And he was just [00:23:00] amazed at how you read the land and then actually see a Turkey because of how you're thinking. And I said, that's what's so great about this. I said it's a chess match. It's, yeah, you gotta think everything.
Even like you said, sit. Okay, if there's a lot, you gotta sit and wait. That's hard to do. It's hard to convince someone that, trust me when I say, let's just sit here on this one. The only reason I can have the patience to do it in that setting is because I don't want the bell. Yeah. Now, are you in a blind when you do that?
Yeah, I'm sitting in a blind. Yeah. And that's about the only way I can do it, because if I have a shotgun in my hands and I'm gonna go, I'm I don't, I'm the same way. I can't, I just feel ah, I just wanna venture out. And there's nothing wrong with that. But it's, I just say like, when you're in Rome as a Romans and like I just learned down there from the guy that I was going hunting with, and he's hunted it for good gracious, like 20 some years, and like I'd be sitting with him and be like, Hey, do you think we could move on him?
Mitchell, I have done that so many times and you know how many times it worked out? He goes, almost [00:24:00] none. He goes we just do so much better. And I believe that just cuz of the layout is so open. There's no cover to move, but there's, all the roosting ridges, whether it's on neighboring properties or something there, it just holds birds.
Yeah. Like when we went out with Andy's kid and we took a one of my wife's friend's sons, his father doesn't hunt, but he would go sit with him. So we're good friends with them. And I asked if I could take him with, because I thought if we were gonna head towards Pittsburgh my, my buddy's brother has a lease out there for deer and they're telling us, oh, you gotta get rid of some of these turkeys.
They don't Turkey hunt. So not Jesus. As a Turkey hunter, I'm thinking, yeah, you go out there, there's probably five, so the mother and father agreed that I could take the kid and, he was 16 I've known him 16 years. So we go out there and I said to him, I said, look, we're guests, so we gotta let Pierce who was a 12 year old, let him get his bird and we'll work for another one and we're set up.
I'd never heard so many birds gobble in my life. I'm telling you, when they started going off, [00:25:00] my buddy Andy says, my eyes lit up. And I even looked at him and said, if we don't leave with two turkeys today, I'm quitting. I've never heard so many turkeys. So we got this big one coming in behind us. I got the little guy here, and about for me to you is where Chase is sitting and Andy's sitting with his legs that way, just facing that way.
So I'm watching this big one coming. I called the hen right to the decoy. She ran in. So I'm telling the little guy, don't shoot the first bird. The second one's a big sucker and I'm watching him. He's right here, probably 15 yards. And I hear this guy click off his safety. And I thought, oh my God, what's he doing?
You know what I mean? I hope he's not thinking of this. Yeah. Cross it over. So I turned my head like this, and right here, three long beards coming right outta Strutton. So I said to a little guy, I'd take one of these, boom, he shoots and drops one because his kid's picking geese out of the air at 12.
So I knew he would be great with this Turkey. Yeah. So I say, chase, shoot. You know how like this all in a second, he shoots, they start running. I cut real hard, [00:26:00] stop the one, he turned around, I said, shoot again with a little guy. Puts his gun up. I said, not you got your and Chase shoots again.
And so they double up. Oh my gosh. Now they both had eight inch beards. They were I think Pierce, they took him to the taxi dermis to get the fan and the feet and the beard put on a board real nice setup they got. And when they weighed 'em, the one was 27 pounds. That's my gosh. The biggest Turkey ever called in.
Like I sh I've gotten bigger beards. But that thing the kid could barely pick it up. He, he was a little guy, but so that was so exciting and there's still gobbling everywhere. I said, let's get these birds and get outta here. So we went down we got out of there, down towards the car.
And actually I brought this with, to show you, so the father, Andy, he he used to write for a newspaper back in the day. So he thought this was such a great experience. He sold it to the game news. Okay. Which, so that's a picture. This is that was April. April last year. Of last year. Yeah. Oh, pretty year.
They had bought it right away, but they said they'd put it in as like their Turkey preview. Yeah. But that's [00:27:00] a picture right where they killed them, and then there's the picture of the two kids with it. Ah, that's awesome. Yeah. It was a great day. And then the older boy, you could buy your license at 16, turn 17 and still be a youth, right?
Yeah. So last year I'm selling some of my calls and his dad's talking to me about it and then the kid says, I don't know if I'll have anyone to hunt with. I said, I went once to youth season's over, we'll hook up. He goes I still got a youth tag. I was like, you, I didn't know.
So I had to ask Andy first. So I asked Andy and he is yeah, he was as good as he could be, that kid the poise he had behind that gun by letting those three, he said he saw him coming the whole way, but me and the little guy are waiting for this one. Yeah. So he could easily pop one off, but he knew, I told him, let this kid shoot first.
So I was like, why wouldn't we take him again? He was fantastic. This guy. Yeah. Don't we double up again from the same. Now, last year they were Jake's and it took us till seven o'clock, so they hunted an hour. Oh wow. That other year. That other year they hunted like 10 minutes, but like [00:28:00] to pull a double off two years in a row with the same kid from the same tree.
Now unfortunately, the other guys 17 now, so we can't try the third year. But we're gonna take Pierce, the younger kid and sit right there again and see if we can make it happen. That's pretty cool. So you said you Alabama was your first year you were down there this year. What does Turkey season normally look like for you?
Pretty much hunt, mostly pa Do you go around different? I never hunted out of state before before this Alabama trip, but I'm so addicted to Turkey hunting and my one buddy, he he took me back. I was laid off from work at 94 and they knock on my door and say, Hey, come with us. I'm like, who? Who wants a hunted Turkey?
Yeah. So they come back with one. I'm like, so what? They said, go tomorrow. Go tomorrow. I didn't they come back with another one. So then I said, oh, I guess I'll go with you. So I grabbed my bow and my buddy's you'll never pull it off. I was like, I don't care. I, yeah. If you want me to go, I'll go, but I'm taking my bow. So we go out now, hell, that was [00:29:00] 1994, so I never even seen a mouth call up until that point when my buddy put one inn and yeah, he was only 18 years old or something. He's calling and they start gobbling and I can't stop ever since that. And everyone I take, I always tell him for your first time, unless you have the time to be addicted, don't even go.
Cuz it takes, for me it was one gobble. I was just hooked so deep. That's how a lot of people say it was. Yeah. And you know what I'm, but some people don't like it. Some people hear and be like, ah, no big deal. Yeah. To me I, like right now I can't even contain myself knowing I gotta wait two more weeks.
But, it was nice going to Alabama, like I said, for a pre-season hunt, that's just get the spring jitters out. That's what it was like when I used to go to Virginia. Like I said, I'm bummed out. This is when we're recording this right now, they're actually leaving to go down this coming weekend.
I think the season's open in Virginia now. Either that it opens this weekend, I can't remember. But yeah, it was like always that, like first and what's been great for me is like that property down there was loaded with birds. And I have places to hunt around, in Pennsylvania [00:30:00] that have birds.
It. The densities are different. Yeah. Like I, I've just been having some different stuff, but what's what's the, what's off season looking like leading up? Did you try to do a lot of scouting throughout those? You know what, I used to when they were around where I live Yeah. I scouted so hard that there was a point 10 years in a row.
I got one the first day. That's when you can only shoot one. But I scouted so hard. Like my season was probably 30 or 40 hours old when I shot mine. 10 minutes into the season. Yeah. So then of course everyone into my area was like, ah, what's he doing? Feeding him or this or that. Yeah. And then we were actually at a wedding one time and one of my buddies said, you get your bird today.
It was the first day. I said, yeah. He said, ah, you've always been lucky. And my wife. Can't stand this Turkey calling that I'm doing all the time in the house. She says, hang on a second. What were you doing every day, an hour before work for the last month? Who says I'm sleeping? He's he's in the woods listening.
Yeah. Like I knew which bird I was gonna get just because of how I would watch where they [00:31:00] go. I would start working like six 30, so I'd be out every day at five 30 if I'd hear one guy never calling. You know what I mean? I'd just let 'em do their thing. But let's say every day, this one was on this ridge.
Now that week before I start honing in on that one who's been there consistently and I'd kill it, more woodsmanship than calling, yeah. It's patience and stuff too. Like I think that's probably the biggest disconnect. So I said this before and I'll say it again. I love Turkey hunting and if I.
If I made it more of a priority and would to, with my daily life schedule and stuff to go I might consider myself a Turkey hunter, but I just feel like the phase of life and how busy I am, like I just go Turkey hunting. Yeah. And I think there's a lot of us like that and I think a lot of guys like to, thinking of, I, I remember talking with a guy last year, we were talking about what's a good Turkey hunter?
We were talking about a lot of times springtime, you're just pretty much looking. A horny Turkey that's gobbling a lot and wants to respond to calls and come in and it's exciting, it's fun. But I was curious in your mind what makes [00:32:00] a good Turkey hunter? What makes you go from that sense of I'm going Turkey hunting in the morning to, I'm a Turkey hunter.
I I don't think it's something you can help, I can't stop. Yeah. It's hard to explain. Like when Pennsylvania gave this second Turkey tag, I was against it because of killing more birds, but yet it kept me in the woods to learn. So what I do, I got a couple buddies and my son, who, he's a Air Force guy but he's close to home.
He can come home like every week for a couple days. So if I get one, I'm done hunting until I take my buddies or my kids or they don't want to go now. Mark and I have been hunting together now for a couple years. Mark taught me a lot When we were both third shift years ago, I would pick his brain and cuz I had never killed one and he killed some.
But so I got a lot of information from him, but now I don't want to shoot a second one until my kid or my buddies get done. Now if they refuse to hunt, like the other year was the last day and I called my buddy. I said, Hey, [00:33:00] I know where there's a couple, and he had a party to go tour something.
So I went in the afternoon and I killed one. Okay. I was only outta the house like an hour. And I even said to my kid, you want to go? I said, I know where I seen him, coming home. He said, no, I'm in a poker tournament. My kid's always on online poker. So I was like, all so I go over hour later, I come back with this bird and my kid's oh man, I should have went.
I was. I told you if you hunt a certain spot, like I said, in Alabama, I'm learning at my house. I know it. So I knew where they were going in, where I could circle around and position and again, woodsmanship. But I think what makes a good Turkey hunter is not thinking you have to kill one every day.
You know what I mean? There's many a days where they fly the other way or just something held them up. And you gotta remember everything that went wrong. And that's why I like taking kids, especially I think I'm up to six kids and their first bird, probably two or three adults and their first bird.
But I always tell 'em even this guy Jim in Alabama, I'm trying to save you 10 years of running [00:34:00] around doing the wrong thing. You know what I mean? So my time in the woods, when I did all those mistakes, I'm trying to skip over those so these people don't have to. Don't have to go through what I went through.
When you live vicariously through them, when you get to see their excitement killing their first bird. Yeah. It's funny because when we're done talking here, you'll read that story quick. And the funny thing Andy mentioned in there, he didn't know who was more excited. Those kids are me. Yeah. Because look, if I call in a Turkey and mark me and Mark, we set up 20 yards apart and we go off, I always tell him, you take the lead whenever you start calling, we'll work together and then we'll sit 20 minutes.
And then whenever he starts calling, we go together. So with that it's you just can't get enough of it. And like with these kids, they were spoiled, and it's almost like I was glad it took an hour last year because you don't want 'em to think, even if you're in a place that's loaded and you did your scouting and stuff, you can't.
Where they think that's what Turkey hunting's all about. Yeah. And Pierce the [00:35:00] 13 year old now, he was a little mad that he didn't get to go to Alabama with me and his dad. But, that's a whole nother ballgame than taking 'em for a weekend, oh, it is. With school and baseball and all that.
It's so funny you talk about expectations with kids. Until I started the job that I have now, I used to go pretty often. I'd go before work a lot and, at school I was always going before school and stuff like that. So that was a phase of my life where I'd go and, when I was not a junior I'd find cousins and friends and stuff to get, were juniors and stuff, and I still, I have one of my cousins I, this is no exaggeration, I, he, I've literally taken him three times and he's killed three birds and it's you have no idea.
Yeah. What what you experienced. And they weren't, I think two of them were at the same property and the third one was a different property. It was actually state land, but I said you have that is not the norm. Yeah. For turkeys, man. I've it was funny. The one kid, my daughter, when she was 12, she hunted deer, I guess when she was 11.
And then I said, Hey, you want to do Turkey hunt? You have the tag? She said, yeah, I'd try it. So I [00:36:00] had this 20 gauge on a bipod. I knew she could handle the gun. So now I scouted like crazy and I had this one pegged. I even said to my wife, I had a blind set out. I put three chairs in it and a blanket, so if she got cold, whatever.
So I said to my wife, I said, you should go with us if I said, you can't ever guarantee a Turkey no matter what. But I said, I've watched this one for two straight weeks, and if I'd ever guarantee one, it would be this one. But, again, I'm not saying a hundred percent, but if I can get past them I'm so crazy that for that bird, that particular spot, and I did this for years, I'll hand rake a path in 300 yards.
And then I sneak on that path. I don't ever use a flashlight and I knew this bird I had to get under him to get to my blind for where he was roosting, but he was always pitching down and going out to this little knob from that was the only access you had to it? Yeah. Yeah. Cuz then like it goes off of the property I'm allowed on.
So Okay. I thought, you know what, if I wake up early enough, I do this raking bit, we're gonna get in [00:37:00] quiet. I had my decoy everything into blind already so I could put it out once I passed the bird. So we get out there, daughter gets in, my wife said, I'm not going too early in the morning for her. So we get out there and I said to my daughter and maybe you'll believe this, a lot of people listening may believe it, but a lot of people will not believe it.
When I scout a Turkey, like I could tell you, I said to her, if he gobbles, he'll gobble at 10 of six. I said, but if he doesn't gobble by 10 of six, we spooked him. It was like 11 minutes till six. He gobbled and I then I thought He's coming here. I even said to her, he's coming we made it past him.
That was a big key. So this thing pitches out of the tree and just comes strutting in like every other day. And I'm looking over her shoulder and I'm looking, I'm like, man, she's right on this thing. He's 20 yards away coming. And I said, what are you waiting for? She said, I'm afraid I miss and you get mad.
I was like, just shoot. You know what I mean? I was like, I won't, boom. I couldn't even stop talking. And she freaking hit that thing. It's head snapped [00:38:00] back and perfect shot. Then I called my wife and she, woke her up and said, call mom. And she said, I should have went. I said, I told you, and it was a beast.
I'll show you a picture of that. Then. I think it had a 10 and a half inch beard, fat beard on it. Perfect. And then so fast forward to the next year. We're in the shower at work and this guy says, Hey, would you be willing to take my kid? I said let me ask my daughter, because. Of course she'd be first.
So you know, now she's 13, now she's starting to look at boys and all this. So I say, you want to go? And you could tell by the body language that she didn't want to tell me no. Yeah. But she didn't want to go. And I said let me tell you this. There's a guy at work who's kid is 12 and wants to go, but I told I take you first.
I said if you say no, I'm going to tell him yes. She goes then take him, I'd rather see someone else. I said, that's fine. I said, look, I saw you kill one. I don't care if you ever kill another one. So the next day I had all this stuff. My father had passed away, so I had duplicate calls of all my boxes and stuff like that.
And my first vest [00:39:00] ever had, this kid was juiced up, so I put some calls together and gave him this vest. And his dad told me he was so excited. So I said, you have a choice. We can hunt this a hundred acre burrow patch in our town, or go to the Poconos. Cuz I, I shot a lot of birds in the Poconos.
So he is yeah, let's go up there. You're driving up there. I told him what time to pick me up and. The kid says how do you hunt it? I said there's so many dirt roads up here, wherever there's an open parking spot, cuz I'm not gonna step on anyone's toes.
I said, we're gonna get there right at light and the first road that don't have a car, we're going back. His dad said, really? I was like, yeah, it's so vast up here and I've hit 'em everywhere already. You don't know. I said, I'm not here to scout 'em. We take our chance. So the first road we hit, no one's there.
I'm like, yeah, pull in right here. So we get out, kid slams the door and the father says, did you hear that? I was like, no. He said, go, we're back here. I said, really? And I was surprised I didn't hear, but I'm not, yeah. Maybe I didn't. So now I, they had offered me donuts, so the kids ran me. [00:40:00] Of course.
So was I, but I didn't wanna show it. So I was like, yeah, let me have one of those donuts. The kid's we gotta hurry up. I was like, nah, let's hear this bird. Now we're not hearing 'em. Not hearing 'em. So I ate my donut. We start walking back. And these geese start honking on a little pond back there.
I said stop. So we're gonna let these geese light up these turkeys. And the old man's get the hell outta here. I said, you watch they, they come off that water and these turkeys gave themselves up. And the old man says, I can't believe that. I said, see now we still didn't let 'em even know we're here.
Yeah. And there are still probably 250 yards back there. I said, so we're closing the gap. So we go back and we could get about a hundred, and then it dropped. I said, this wood is so open, like this time of year it wasn't green, so we gotta get him to come up to the top of the hill. So the father stayed back, I think it was 10 minutes later, a kid had his first one.
It was a, Jake came right in. So the dad's I told you he'd get you one. I was like, you can't tell him that you know this. Like you said, this isn't how it's supposed to be. But that kid [00:41:00] was so happy. And then the next week he ended up calling one in for his dad up in Tioga, which I thought was fantastic.
That's pretty cool because I think he used, I think he used one of the calls that one of the calls that I gave him, I think it was a box call, matter of fact. Gotcha. But yeah, so he was he was delighted and very good kid you. Fun to be around. If you're looking to simplify your food plot system while enhancing the quality of your soil, you need to check out Vitalized Seed Company.
Vitalize provides top quality seed blends designed to fit into their one two planting system. This system has been designed to allow highly diverse plant species to grow synergistically, optimizing nutrient uptake and cycling the way God intended. Reduce your inputs, build your soil, and maximize the quality tonnage for the wildlife in your area.
Find out more about this system and get your email@example.com and be sure to check them out on [00:42:00] Instagram and Facebook. Radix Hunting was founded on premium grade trail cameras and continues striving to produce the best cellular and conventional trail cameras on the market today. The Gen 600 is a second generation camera from the Gen Series line with premium video and audio recording capabilities.
This product has become well-respected as the HD video trail camera. In addition to the Gen series cameras, their MCO cellular camera has all the features of a quality cell camera at an affordable price. Along with their cameras, they offer stick and pick trail camera accessories to allow you to set your cameras just right.
You can find it firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to follow Radix Hunting on Instagram and Facebook. Want to check out Radis cameras in person? Stop in at Little Mountain Outfitters in Richland, Pennsylvania and have a peak now back to the ship. Yeah, there. I tell you what, there's turkeys or something else.
It's just so much like every time you talk turkeys, I just, one story comes out [00:43:00] into my mind after another and I just, I could never put a rhyme or reason as far as a strategy when it comes to Turkey hunting, just because I get into finding is are, is there food and are they, do they have the nesting habitat?
And beyond that, I just feel like it's a crapshoot for me most of the time. Look at that phase. Yeah. That's a happy kid. Yeah, that's a happy kid. That's awesome. Yeah. Great day. How'd you get into how'd you get into starting doing your own calls? So I always like a mouth call because I like to finish with 'em, so you're not moving with a Right.
I love my glass. Never have luck with a box, but my glass call, call lot in, but always finish with a mouth call. So can you say brand names on this thing? Go ahead. Say whatever you want. So I always use night hail. But I always bought this three pack and then got the one I loved, the one and the other two were high pitch for me, and I'd kill my bird with it, and the next year I'd get another three pack.
So we built a house four years ago, [00:44:00] and we were renting a place. So when we were renting this place I, you don't have home projects, it's not your house. So I said to my wife, I'm gonna buy a Turkey thing to make calls. I said, and then, see what I could do with it. So I find online, just some guy made this wooden thing.
I, I got pictures of it, so that little wooden jig there, it just had weather stripping on it, and two of those little hooks. And then, I research you got a stack of your latex and this and that. So I would write down how far I stretched it and whatever. And I, the cut I put in was a cut that, that call I would always buy.
And it was like the ninth try. It sounded what I thought was perfect. Okay. Now again, the next guy could think it sounded like garbage, but I knew that's the call I wanted. So I was so excited. I just made it another one right away. And I wrote, wrote down how I did it, made another one, put it in, sounded perfect, made another one, put it in.
I was like, that's the one. So I shoot my bird with it, which was [00:45:00] fantastic. Shoot your bird. Yeah. Yeah. So then the next year I thought, you know what? I'm gonna make some and maybe give some of my buddies or whatever. So I bought this jig, which had a little slider there. So you see that arrow? Yeah. You could then, you could consistently get it to that arrow or whatever.
So the one day I made not one day, but I made 50 calls, put 'em in a little jewelry bag, like there you can see 'em, and I would hand cut 'em with the scissors and all that, for shape. I had a little template and I sold them for two 50 just to recoup my money. Or get some back to buy more product.
So I put 'em on, I put 'em on Facebook and sold them in a day and a half. And it was funny cuz my wife says, why would you, why would anyone buy Turkey calls from you? And I said, I don't even want to answer that cuz you know you'll not like my answer. And she said, let's hear it. I said, cuz people around here know I kill 'em and I'm using them.
Yeah. So it's not some celebrity who says he is using them like these.[00:46:00] If they're good enough for me to kill 'em around home here. Those other people use 'em. Of course. She's ah, get outta here. I was like, that's why they want to answer. Again, everyone knows I shoot a lot of birds.
But again, here's the funny thing, like I said at the gym in Alabama, everyone sees the day I carry one out, they don't see the 30 days. I don't, the time you're putting in scouting or whatever. So the let's just go for the past mail, whatever timeline you want, are you able to do a lot of your homework?
In the off season early and you're usually able to connect the first week? No, actually now, because I've been traveling out Western PI to hunt them. Because there's not many around my scouting is just remembering what worked last year. But see, that's why even in Alabama, I like to learn a property layout first because I think a turkey's gonna do what a Turkey does.
Like you were saying about ridges and the points, if you went to Virginia tomorrow, you know where you want to be. Yeah. So when we head out with the kids to Pittsburgh going next week, I guess [00:47:00] we already know where we want to be because we've done it a couple times. And I've connected twice out there myself.
But again, I just think it's a lot of woodsmanship and then making the right call. And the nice thing about making these calls now the one came out, it did like this whistle and I knew my bat wing call. I could make that sound. So I'm sitting here, I've had, it's like a, it's like a little skull container kind of looking thing that I got my night hail called in.
So I keep em in there. So I fish around cuz the turkey's coming behind us. I put in that bat wing cut and I did exactly what she did, and she ran right to that hand. And Jake, and then you knew the bigger one was coming. And of course, like I said earlier, I'm looking back at him when the other three came in.
But yeah, so when, once I made the calls with that second jig and sold them, I said, I'm buying a, I'm buying another one, the better one. So then I buy this handheld jig that looked like this somewhere I have it. No, this thing. So now you see those red clamps on there? Yeah. So you laid your [00:48:00] latex across that silver thing, clamp it, and then the silver thing pulls out and then that had a adjustment that you could get even finer.
Yeah. So I made a lot with that, sold a bunch of that. And I'm thinking, I said to my wife, I know I can make this work and there's one more setup that's better than this. So that's my new setup now. So how many calls are you typically making throughout the year? I made 350 of them for this year because I went to these flea markets and stuff, local flea markets.
And I didn't know how many I would need, so that's what I made for the year. I still have supplies to make other ones, but I think I sold, I might have sold 150 of those or something like that. So what's gonna happen here I've only started selling them two or three years ago, but I think once people get 'em Yeah.
And then tell their buddies or. You know what I mean? It's gonna keep getting a little, keep a little better. Keep people ask me, what's my goal for selling these calls? Because I sell 'em cheap. My goal is like, when I went to Alabama, didn't [00:49:00] cost me anything cuz I made it with this. I wanna do my Turkey hunting on my Turkey calls.
Yeah. That's it. You know what I mean? So I don't need to be, a millionaire about it. I just need 1500 bucks or whatever. Yeah. For if you get work to give you a little bit more time to go on those checkouts. Yeah. The thing of it is I've been there long enough now that I, like next year I get three more days.
Okay. So three days doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a big deal, oh, it adds up. Yeah. So it adds up over time. Yeah. So next year I'll have plenty of time to hunt and like I said if this these calls get out there I gave some to the guys in Alabama for letting me come down there, gave 'em shirt and hat, and they really liked them. They were impressed how they sounded and. They're gonna tell their buddies. And I think the one guy has a friend who has a sport, a good shop down there. They're gonna try to talk him into hanging some there. I actually got him put into Bob's Wildlife.
Taxidermy out in Northfield. Okay. Has him hanging there for sale, which is nice cuz that gets me over in the Lehigh Valley area. Yeah. I got like the Burkes County side and then he hung 'em up there. So [00:50:00] I'm hoping that some of the Lehigh Valley hunters get some, so you were talking about that night and hail set.
You always pick that one out of everything. And I think like for me, I mean I carry probably more calls with me than I need I call and I've already been in those situations where you're calling with one, and I'll never forget this. I had a bird I called in the one year. Yes. I have that pile of them and I carry a second one.
So I have so many mouth calls. It's crazy. But you know what it's like, it's not costing me anything to use 'em. So like people ask me like, how long will they, how long will they last? How long? For me, now that I'm making 'em, I'm not saving 'em. You know what I mean? If you put 'em in the fridge, it'll last you at least a second season.
But for me, I, every 50 I make, I'll cut one for myself just to make sure like they're still sounding how that call's supposed to sound. So all my work table at home, I probably have 50 calls that are my own. But, somehow or another you have to keep track of if they're still [00:51:00] stretching the way you want 'em to stretch.
And, and they should be because that machine I have is really nice. Yeah. But again, you don't wanna put 'em out and everyone's saying, Hey what's with this thing? That's just it, quality assurance, I guess you call that. But I'll never forget the other year I called a bird in probably about nine 30 in the morning.
I was hunting with the bow. I was in a blind and he came in, I was sitting in a field. He came in about 30 yards and. He just kept strutting in close and close. I just thought I'm gonna let him come to my decoys before I draw back. And for whatever reason, he was about 30 yards and he came outta strut, he putted and away he went.
And I actually gobbled at him and he gobbled. Then he went back to gobbling, just walking the other way. I just decided I was gonna make a move on this Turkey. So I grabbed just a couple call, I like, maybe two more calls. I grabbed my bow and I made a huge loop around, got on the other side of the direction he was going.
And I started calling and I didn't realize this until after this whole thing was said and done, but I had the same mouth call that I was using and he came into it and he hung up about [00:52:00] 70 yards and he just was not having it. And, at that point I could see him and I had my, I'm standing at a big oak tree and I had my bow, and I'm trying not to move.
I didn't want to call with my slate car or anything like that. At the time one of my hunting partners who I told this bird was hot. He circled around and went just over from me, maybe a hundred yards, and he had his slate call and I heard him start carrying on that and man, that fricking Turkey, like a flip of a switch.
Just literally, I watched that Turkey just come unglued, run in and he killed it. And it was just like that. It was that one change in sound. Whatever it was. It was what I was getting, what I was getting at with that whole story is I think the sound is so different from what Bird likes. So I was curious when you said you have that one sound you like, do you gravitate towards one thing or something that's rolls off your tongue better?
See I'm a raspy. Okay. I love the raspy calls. Now I know people that like to high pitch and real clean, but for some reason Raspiness works for me. And I use that combo cut. I think there might [00:53:00] be one in there. Is that the, I'm not sure. I I got that the other week from Mark and yeah, so that black and yellow one.
Okay. The bottom one, that's the one that I will kill all my birds with. Okay. And that's one thing, like when I made up my calls this year, I made probably 75 of them. And my wife says, why are you making so many of that? I said, cuz if someone comes to buy one and says, I want to try your calls, I'm gonna give 'em that one.
Yeah. Now I'm gonna give what I feel is my best one, so that's why I throw that's in every pack I sell. But if someone wants something, like when someone calls me and says, Hey, I want calls. I'll say, what do you like? If they don't like raspy, I can keep it out. But it's funny cuz you could make so many different types that make so many different sounds and they're all decent and I don't know which other ones you have in there, but.
The, that black and red one is a two read V cut. That thing you could do a lot with. Yeah. That was probably the most versatile one that I noticed when I was playing. Yeah. That one you can make almost any sound you want. And then this one, heres raspy too. I like [00:54:00] that. Yeah. I was trying to make like key keys and whims and wines and stuff like that with two of 'em, and I couldn't do it.
Yeah. The other one I could but I'm not the best mouth call either. So like you were talking about Rass like I, I've hunted with different people and I feel like every Turkey hunter has their own style when it comes to how they approach birds to. Would you approach yourself as a little bit more aggressive when you, or, I'm a very aggressive.
Okay. Now not to the point where, Like again, the Pocono story with the kid, if there was a car parked there. I'm not that guy. I'm not. No I'm talking strictly aggressive in the sense of how you're calling Burns. Yeah I'm not aggressive at the point where I'm going to if someone's parked there, I'll go somewhere else, but okay.
So me and Jim are walking back to his clear cut. We drop Andy off at this other gobbler and we're headed back and he says, how would you hunt this? I said, if I was alone, I'd already be back there. Then he said, just hunt it like I'm not with you. Cuz I'm trying to get him one down there.
But he's just do what you would do. I was like, then let's get back there. Cuz when I hunt with other people, you're trying to not bump a bird or whatever. But [00:55:00] I found over the years, like I'm an aggressive, I probably call too much sometimes, but I'm also learning like the bird I got last year with Mark, we knew there was a thunderstorm rolling in and we do, we debated even driving out there cuz we saw the weather.
So the three of us that went out were like, what do you want to do? Blah, blah, blah. I said, look, it's, it looks good till nine, but then the afternoon's gonna clear up and it was that first week you could hunt all day. So we went out and I have good footage. I have a hat cam and I had his hand probably from media away from my buddy.
He sit with the gun and the video is perfect cuz Andy's back in his Turkey, you could see the dude dropping off her beak. That's how close she was. It was unbelievable. So it was about 40 minutes. I had her in front of us. Every time she'd go in the woods, I'd call, she'd come back, cackling cut and carrying on.
And finally when she walked clear across the field, I said, let's go back down to Mark. He's you think so? I was like, if she couldn't call one in, there's no way I'm doing it. Yeah. She put on a show that I thought a gobbler would had to pop up. So now we go up this [00:56:00] hill, it starts thundering carrying on, which we knew was coming, so 10 gobblers fire off with the thunder.
So now that the lightning started to hit, it's look, we need to go. So we left, went back to the hotel, we got something to eat quick. We're watching the radar. It was about an hour till this storm system went through. I said, we want to be out there when it goes through. So we get, we're back towards this farm and there's this big go.
We're sitting by the road, which we've been after now for three years. He's there all the time. I just think he goes back and forth across the road and it's tough to get on the left side. And he got up patience to get him on the right side. So I said to Andy, we could get within 70 yards of this bird without him knowing we're there just the lay of the land.
So Mark stayed back to call a little bit. We move in, mark makes some calls, this thing don't respond. We wait a half an hour, cuz I figure he would've showed his face. So I said, let's go after that group at 10. And they weren't grouped up, but it was like on this hill. So Andy says, I'm staying, you know this bird's gonna be back here.
I said, not a bad idea, but [00:57:00] we know there's 10 up here. I said, you know your luck if I walk away from you, I'm gonna kill a bird. So I go back to Mark, mark says, where's Andy? I said, he wants to sit here. Mark says, not a bad idea. And me and Marcos set up about 50 yards apart this time. And he'd call, I'd call and nothing's happening.
They're not go, but I know they're in this woods. And it was about an hour and that's where we said we were gonna sit. And I'm thinking, okay Mark, when are he coming up here? So now it's an hour and 15 minutes and I look over and there's four red heads standing out in the neighbor's field, which we're not allowed on.
Said I set myself about 40 yards in knowing I wouldn't be tempted to shoot the field, and now I'm thinking where I was hoping Mark would come up. Now I'm thinking, please don't come up. I, am I hearing it? At the best he told me he heard something clucking. Cuz I'm thinking, come on, mark call.
It's about time you call. And the minute he yelled, they walked right in the woods. And because it wasn't me, they were looking past me. And then once they were five yards in I shot one and then I hit a tree [00:58:00] with most of my shot and it rolled him and I went up and I thought, you know what?
Instead of him getting away, I shot again. So now pitcher, Andy, who's sitting a couple hundred yards down a hill thinking you doubled up. Yeah. He says, I heard the first shot and said, yeah, figures. He goes, I heard the second shot. He goes, and they doubled. It was funny. So then when we came down, he goes, where's Mark's Turkey?
I said, he didn't get what? He goes, and then I explained it, but he goes, I swore you guys doubled. But on Mark's or on my second shot, Juan Gobble behind him. And then he said, instead of waiting for you guys, he went and started hunting on that one. But he said he couldn't get it to gobble, so it just shocked when I shot.
Yeah. Was this later in the season? Yeah, it was like May 16th or whatever the day you could hunt all day. So that's what we go out there because if you're gonna drive all that way, and then what do you do sit in your hotel half a day? So we always go out and hunt two days, like really hard all day.
I haven't, I've, that's something I haven't really done is hunting all day and getting into those afternoon hunts while, but they don't, a couple [00:59:00] birds in the afternoon. Yeah, I shot a couple, but they're not aggressive. Like the morning, it's like a totally different hunt.
Actually the first one I got in the afternoon was that one when my kid and my buddy didn't want to go. Now those, they came in the minute I called, they fired right up and came up. And then the one I got two years ago, me and Andy came back from Pittsburgh and I said, Hey, lately I've been hearing one behind the house.
I have my, I always set my blind up cuz sooner or later one will move in. I said, why don't you come up, shoot that thing tonight cuz he never got one. My buddy, he had only been hunting a couple years, so he said, I gotta go to a ump, a baseball game or something. So I go up there and I wanna get a call.
I just, I thought I could get this one coming in. So now it's getting to the time where they should fly up. I thought, ah, I'm surprised they ain't here. So real soft on that black and red one, I yelp and this thing goes crazy. It's man, he got between me and my house. So I called again and he ran as fast as he could.
So I shoot this. Took a picture of it and sent it to Andy. He's are you kidding me? I was like, so[01:00:00] the running joke now for me and Andy and his buddies is that anytime he's not around, I kill one. So they tell me he is my bad luck. But, I'm curious, so you said you're pretty aggressive, so I'd like to pick your brain a little bit more, go into a little bit more detail.
Like what does that look like for you from the, from like the phases of the season maybe. Okay. So like me and Mark, were just talking today actually. You see how green it's getting already? Yeah. This is incredible for how early it is, and I love hunting when it's green because I'll, I want to cut the distance as much as I can.
And that's when I say I'm aggressive, I want to get, if that thing's 200 yards, I want to get at least a hundred. But with this green, that should be here for the 29th when we start. I'd probably even take it closer. Because they can't see breaking that bubble then.
Yeah. So you're not afraid you, you're either gonna kill one or scare the heck outta them. Yep. And especially if I go somewhere where there's, it's loaded with them. I wear my my smart watch just to see how far I go. Most of my days when we're hunting out western pa [01:01:00] I'm eight to 10 miles every day.
Okay. And that's probably what's gonna happen with me and Mark in Jersey. Unless you get one going, then you hit it. And me and you had talked a little bit earlier, it's a tough decision to run a gun or sit. And one thing I said to Andy, I said, this year we, now we know the land out there. We know there's birds there.
We're just gonna pop a couple blinds up and wait 'em out this year. And he said why did we do that before? I was like, because now with the two years of running, where is a good spot to set up? You're not guessing, but I think he'll get one this year cuz he, he has patience. This guy.
I can sit still forever. One thing I never know and I play this back and forth in my head, so I've learned to sit and be patient just because I've hunted him with the bow a lot. So I feel like my best chance is to sit and wait. I've learned a lot about turkeys and Turkey behavior from first light till noon when we can hunt 'em.
Yeah. And it's fun watching that. But the one thing I don't know is when you're sitting in a blind in a same location like that, like I never can gauge. What is an appropriate amount [01:02:00] to call in a situation like that when you're trying to bring a bird in you get, get, I've had birds, they shut up in the morning, they get hen up, and then it's quiet all morning and you maybe you call every half hour and you're shut.
I get to a point where I'm like, am I better off just shutting my mouth most of the time? See. And that's the thing when people try to pick your brain about it, it's hard to answer that question because everything worked for me. Not calling at all. Yeah. Calling okay if I gotta be home or let's say the season or the day ends at 12 and now it's 1115, I've been calling this bird on and off for a couple hours.
He'd have moved much. He is strutting somewhere. I've already did it where I just lit him up with every call had in a bag and gotten him. I've done the same thing and didn't, so I don't know if there's a right or wrong now, I hunted with a guy one time who his family friend, an old geezer.
Back in the day they would go fall hunting and this guy would wrench on his lynches world champ. And then that was it. One call, he'd sit there, and then my buddy's what do you, he goes, if they [01:03:00] responded to you once they know you're there and they're gonna go do their thing if they don't come right in.
And he said eventually they'll be there. And I listened to a podcast of that Michael doctor, the Turkey doctor. Oh, Michael Chamberlain. Yeah. And if you listen to his podcast, they had GPS trackers on turkeys and I forget what percentage, but it was a high percentage will show up within three hours of where you were sitting when they called.
But a lot of guys will call and I'm guilty of it too. Oh, he moved over there, you get over there, next thing he's back where you were. So they're claiming if you can get one answer sooner or later during the day, you'll be back there. And I've seen that honey too. Yeah. And I think that's, I've got a bunch like that and I think that's why I'm like I was talking about this with a buddy of mine, it's funny when you hunt with new people, like you gotta feel out each other. Yeah. Because everybody's got a different style. I'm one where I will I don't have as much problems sitting and waiting and I've hunted with people we gotta go, we gotta go. And I'm just like, it's just a different style.
See. And that's the thing too [01:04:00] okay, I felt bad for Jim and Andy I actually felt like I failed in Alabama, because I'm supposed to be the guy who get a Turkey. But it's like I said, you need more time and you need to know the property and like I, I kept saying to Jim, man, I'm sorry, I'm, he's what are you talking about?
He goes, I learned so much in this two days hunt with you that I would've never knew. So he was just happy picking up tips and stuff like that. But when you're, and I don't wanna sound wrong when I say this, but. You're the guy that they want to go with because you're supposed to get it done again.
It could take me 28 days to get my bird. No one sees the 27 days I didn't get one. Yeah. So anytime I take someone, I feel pressure and it isn't fun. That's self-induced pressure. Yeah, of course. It's cuz you're, you want people to have a good time. But I think it's one, one thing I've learned in chat with people and podcasting, whether it's Turkey hunting, deer hunting, or bear hunting or whatever it is, the most successful people are the ones that are putting the time in constantly.
Yeah. And you just highlight it. But the [01:05:00] thing I really liked that you said is like that mindset that I don't have to kill one today. Just take time and be patient. Like the season's a marathon in sprint. Yeah. I think what gets me though, and I think where I'll talk outta both sides of my mouth, is I.
J just the availability of spring, like when it's planning season with work, man I, it's, yeah. From the time I get up to, it's just, I don't, see, I'm fortunate because my wife and I had our kids when we were young. So my kids are, my youngest one's 20, so they're doing their own thing, so I could just hunt hunt.
I'm fortunate because I've been at my job a long time, so I'm fine. Got the days to use it. Yeah. And I'll tell you, it's amazing with this, making these Turkey calls even sitting here talking to you, the opportunities that present themselves through something like this is pretty fun too.
Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So you're looking, you have two tags this year? Yeah. Okay. You get two tags every year? Yep. Okay. Yeah. Do you do most of your hunting now just in that Western property? You've been talking about telling stories? If I look, I got a hot [01:06:00] streak going. I think it's.
Since 96, I believe. Okay. I've gotten at least a bird. So of course that's my focus. And it's funny because I'll find myself sitting behind another hunter and I'm thinking, you don't have your, you don't have your bird yet. You know what I mean? Yeah. But I still wanna see their reaction when they get one.
And I just know I'm gonna hunt enough that sooner or later I should have a chance. And one thing I did learn is one of the things they asked me in Alabama is this late, later in the day, cuz if they shut up, I ate, they were heading in and starting their picnicking or whatever. Yeah. But I was like, oh no.
Like my best hunting's from 10 to noon almost all the time. Yeah. And that's what I noticed when I talked about sitting a lot. Yeah. Like I've had so many good hunting experiences, or killed birds or, had other people kill 'em. Where, you know that the first rush of the morning, happens and then it [01:07:00] quiets gets quiet and then 10 to 12, like I've had so many birds that just start a gobbling. Yeah. And so many close, like most of them are just close calls where I screwed something up. But yeah, like just that one, one bird. That's the bird that I've had just run in. Yeah.
It's funny, one of my buddies hunted real long, hike up in Sullivan one time, hunted real hard all day, say, yeah, I'll go back, nothing's happening. Comes up over hill. Makes that one last call two minutes later. He has a long beard. He said, I almost feel guilty. I was like, what are you talking about?
You walked eight miles, who cares that it was 200 yards behind a cabin? Matter of fact, me and Mark the other year, I shoot one we double team calling that thing and great scenario. I shot a nice long beard. It's actually the picture that was on that paper if it was in there. It was so Mark actually took that picture after we do that, we take it down, take some pictures, and got it on ice, and then I put my gun away. Me and Mark go up into the field. This field that [01:08:00] you see here, we actually came up, down in the corner and Mark goes, oh, right there they are. There stands like five long beards. We just walked in on 'em and I was like, take one.
He's Nope. I said, what are you kidding? He's we didn't call it in. I was like, yeah, but we still hunted. It isn't like we drove down a road, rolled the window down and shot it. I remember. Tell me that. Yeah and I gotta give him credit. I could have never did it because to me that's still part of your hunt.
Oh, absolutely. I said again, it ain't like we drove up, rolled the window down and shot one out the car. We have walked, I've looking at my watch, I said, mark, we walked over eight miles. Yeah. So we walked into a set, eh, how I want to. Which kudos to him. Yeah. But to me, that's part of a hunt. If I walk in on one, so be it.
Yeah. I'll never the last bird I killed in Pennsylvania, I did a hunt before work and I walked the entire road system of this property, did my loop, didn't hear a bird in the first half of the property. Then I went over and did the second half of property. Did the whole loop, didn't see or hear nothing.
I was getting, discussing, this is like the first week and I'm thinking [01:09:00] like, what is going on? I, there were birds here earlier. There's nothing. I didn't even hear one go on the roos in the distance. I'm like, what is going on? So I literally got back to where I started and I was at that spot. Same thing, that last call, like I'm giving one more shot.
Yep. And doesn't two sound off. And here they were down below off the property and they were down towards ag field and they were coming up through by himself. And I quick set up in five minutes I had a bird. Yeah. It was just that quick. And that's the one thing I was telling 'em down there, I said, every a hundred yards I call because especially with those pines, you never know what can hear you.
I've, I remember, I think the last one, my son shot on a youth day. We hunted a lot of good properties, had some birds just not playing. And then I remember we came to a crossroads. Goes to the truck, left, takes the lower loop of the property. I said, what do you want to do? I said, I'll give you my thought.
You hunted this hard till 1130. It's only half an hour. I would say, turn left, but I understand if you want to go right. He's [01:10:00] ah, we may as well, don't we go like a hundred yards. I make a call, two of them fire up, my buddy drops back, finishes and they come right to him. Funny, the, it was the first time a kid used a 12 gauge, so they got to 35 and that's where my gun does its damage.
I was like, take him. He's that far. I was like, trust me, boom. He shoots. He said, if I would've knew that I would've used that gun a few years. I said, that's why I tried telling you. But, so that was exciting. And I said, so it was quarter to 12 when he shot, and I said, there probably isn't another kid out here.
In the Pennsylvania woods that late when, you worked for this, it was things like that. I love it. Now, Absolut, he's not as into it as I am, but whenever he wants to go, we go. And if not, I'm going. I tell him, I don't care if you're going, I'm going, but I'll hunt any chance I get. If I have an hour I'm out.
Yeah, I, and I tell you what, that's how I've been with Whitetails and I was always that way with turkeys, and I've just got this overwhelming guilt right now at this phase of my life where every time that I go, I just think, man, I could be catching up on this or I'd be doing this. And I'm like, and [01:11:00] what's, it's crazy I, I'm embarrassed to say that because I wanna be a macho hunter.
I remember like some of my hunting mentors and all I would like if I'd tell 'em, that'd be like, I never thought that. I I never, and that's look, you have a house here and I think you have small kid, right? Yeah. Three, three and one. It's yeah. So you gotta, look, there was a lot of days that, I get off work usually at two 30 and, you'd come pulling in, thinking.
How's the house? Cuz I had three kids, a couple years apart and it's you go in and they're all happy. It's yeah, there's days where you knew you weren't going hunting and I was fine with it, but like I said, now my oldest daughter lives in Boston and my son's down near Philly and my youngest one's 20 in college.
So she goes commutes to school. So I always say, you good, you need anything. And then I'm out the door. But yeah. And you're at the phase of life too, where, you know when the phase of my life that I'm in, like it's my, my wife will ask me, when are you gonna be home? What, when can you do this?
And you're at the phase of your life probably too, where your wife's gonna say, when are you gonna go Turkey, honey? No, she's still was funny the other day she says, so what's [01:12:00] your schedule here with your days off? Yeah. So I open up my phone and I'm like the 21st we're going with the youth.
Yeah. Okay. So I said, come back Saturday afternoon. Latest Sunday, me and Mark are going to Jersey. Depending on the weather, we're gonna hunt three days over there, but I said, let's pick the good three days. But I said to my wife, in theory, I'm off Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So then I'm going to work Thursday, Friday, we're going back to Pittsburgh to hunt for the opener till Tuesday and then come back, go to Boston.
My daughter's actually moving home, and then the next week go back to Pittsburgh. My wife's do you realize the days you're taking off? What? Not enough. You know what I mean? Because, but see, I don't take off. I'm not a guy who could wake up and be like, I don't feel like working today. That's not me.
I know I get this many vacation days, like I always say tenor for the family vacation or something pops up or whatever. And then 12 or 13 for hunting and then a few just miscellaneous days. But [01:13:00] like I know my plan is to hunt Turkey as much as I can. And now with this new job, I got it. It should allow me.
To get out in the mornings, good before work. Yeah. So then I might not have to take off. But see, even if I, let's say I kill one the first day and the second day, which has happened already. I'm still gonna hunt. Like I'm gonna hunt because I want to take everybody else. Yeah. It just becomes easier because I don't have to worry about when I'm getting mine.
Oh yeah, pressure's off. I told this one guy, I would take him. I said, but you gotta have a place to go. Cuz there's guys that hunt where I hunt and I don't want them bringing, so this guy says, oh, I got a good property. I said, let's go scout it. I said, I don't like going in blind.
So we drive to this place, he is 300 acres. He allowed to hunt. And I'm like, my god, so look good field on top of the field. Going up. And he goes, I'm not walking that far for a Turkey. I was like, that's why you never killed one. He had other guys helping him or trying whatever. So I was gonna hunt with him Thursday.
So I shot one on Tuesday near my [01:14:00] house, I think had an 11 inch beard. Wednesday me and my buddy, we always go to Poconos the first Wednesday cuz everyone goes home midweek. So I shoot a long beard up there. It wasn't meant for me, but my buddy's gun. The action opened up just a hair and a firing pin didn't hit.
So now I'm sitting behind him, he said, what do you wanna do? I was like, take my gun. Let me, but now this thing's strutting in, he said, just shoot it. I said, I don't wanna shoot it. I got one yesterday. He's we'll never be able to make this move. So I slowly start bringing the gun up with this thing.
Puts his head up. He's take him. So I shoot this thing, of course you didn't want it to get away. Yeah. So now I put that on Facebook and this guy calls me when he gets a break at work flipping out on me like, oh, I can't believe he shot a Turkey. You were supposed to take me tomorrow. I was like, I'm still gonna take off, now I just, I don't need to carry a gun.
I said, you're gonna use my gun Cause I have a real nice setup. So we climbed way up this hill. And calling this bird, it pops up over the hill. This thing is a gigantic beautiful Turkey, so it gets to about 40 yards. My buddy [01:15:00] goes, when should I shoot? I was like, now, cuz he is running, i, he throws a gun up and he shoots right as it's about to go over a hill and it was probably 52 yard. It was a poke. But like I said, my gun can do it. But he should have shot it at 40. Yeah. So I said, go get it. This guy starts running trips over a log, everything in his vest comes out. I'm laughing but I'm also ticked off cuz I'm thinking I had this thing dead to rides for you and you miss it.
So he gets out there now he's looking down in the valley. I'm like, oh man. So I said I assume you miss. He goes, Nope. Picks this thing up. I was like what are you looking at? Really nice down there. I'm like, what? So now it's six 30 in the morning. So I said to him, Hey, let's wrap this up. I could go to work just instead of a vacation day.
We're allowed to be one hour late. Like a couple times a year, whatever. So I was like, I'm gonna go to work. So I go to work. So now I got long beard tu Tuesday and Wednesday. Call this one in Thursday. So now my kid's like, when am I getting mine? I was like, let me find one for you. [01:16:00] So he did a little military stuff and then I I found one over the weekend and I said go get 'em Monday.
Then the weather was crappy. I said, we'll get 'em Tuesday. So I put a vacation day in. By this time now it's getting light out at 5 30, 20 after five, something like that. Me and the kid go in, call this thing in. He shoots it. I go to work and the one guy says, ah, thought you were taking your kid today.
I was like, yeah, he's done already. So I didn't even miss the hour. He's you know what, I'm done talking Turkey with you. But they don't understand I scouted those five days to take him Tuesday. So pretty much every day from beginning of April through May, you're up in your morning listening for birds.
I, I used to be this year. I'm a little lazy about it. But see and I know this sounds bad, but I trust now, like before, I didn't trust myself. You know what I mean? I didn't think I was good at this. I thought I got lucky every year and my scouting is what did it. But as you go on and on and hunting with good people like Mark or a couple other guys at work, you trust your ability to hunt.
Yeah. You [01:17:00] know what I mean? But when I was scouting, it was a lot easier. But like I said, and see the birds aren't around like they used to be at my house. So I was out Saturday morning cuz I was up. I thought, you know what? I'm gonna go my Batteries were dead in my cell cam. So I go walking up and I walk into five of 'em sitting in a tree.
So now I'm stuck there for two hours. Because I, I didn't wanna bump 'em, but I think they knew I was there. So they waited. Then they came down and I listened to what they did. I actually videoed the hens calling because now what I'll do is, that, that's another thing that I've learned that, okay.
So I got that hen on video, what she sounds like she would start with a key almost, and then go into a raspy yelp. So what I did is I went home and made a ghost cut call and I have to get you one of those cuz that'll get you your key and every, everything else. I should actually made one before it came up.
But now that I hear her, I'm gonna do exactly what she did on that. Because that's what they're hearing. That's what they're hearing. Yeah. Yeah. So like sometimes a new hand comes in and they wanna run to her, or sometimes if you [01:18:00] know what sound they're making and there's always a raspy old hand around.
That's why I like going with that. Because like you said, when your buddy changed that up, that one ran right in. It's amazing. Like you could have someone sitting right next to you, actually, me and Mark the pitcher that's on my packaging we're calling together and he goes, that's only answering you.
And Mark's a great caller, Mark's better than I am by far. But it liked that yellow and black one, and he had another one in, so he goes, finish it off. So he would Yelp and Yelp. I'd cut in with him, they'd gobble right away. It was amazing. But having him do. Also helped cuz they thought there was more than one, but they liked what I sounded like.
Yeah. So it was weird. And I noticed too, like you hunt, you've been talking a lot about hunting with people. Yeah. And setting up and doing that. See, years ago I didn't hunt with anybody. Because, I wanted my Turkey and I wanted this and that. And I always felt, my dad, when my dad was alive, it was get him his bird first.
And then when he passed away, I hunted a lot of years by myself. But then I, like I said, if I got one when [01:19:00] you could get one, I'd still, I'd call people, Hey, you wanna hunt tomorrow? Yeah. It was like, my wife would be like, why do you care? It's I just want to be out there. Yeah. But there's been days where no one would hunt and I would just go, listen, like I shot this one bird one time, I have a picture of him here. This bird when you could still hunt him in the fall around our area. Look at a beard on that thing. So my buddy shot him in the fall, rolled him, and the thing gets away.
So then we see him he's limping around on one foot, so we call this thing gimpy. We'd only ever see him in the fall. We saw him four falls, no spring. And then one spring. There he is. Now, this is when turkeys were disappearing like crazy. So I hunted that bird 13 days in a row. And when I say that I was out Sundays just watching him.
So I wasn't hunting. But to me that's hunting. Yeah. If you're scouring, you're hunting. Yeah. You're doing yourself a favor. I couldn't get one day he'd be over here next day is I tried to get around him. I tried everything. We're coming down to the end of the season and I like [01:20:00] this bird beat me. But I told the taxi dermis, I said, if I get this bird, he's gonna have a messed up right foot.
I don't know what's wrong with it. He goes, why you telling me that? I said, because if I get him, I want you to understand that's the one bird I was hunting. You know what I mean? Like it was all or nothing for this guy. And what I did was the one morning I got a little lazy, waking up. Turkey hunters get tired because Oh, absolutely.
They're up so early and you don't want to, days are long that time. Yeah. And you don't wanna go to bed early because I don't know about your wife, but my wife's oh, why do you gotta get up so early then you want to go to bed, but whatever. Yeah. So one morning I was a little lazy. I get up, I start walking in he's gobbling, he stops.
It was like he's saw me. But now, okay, so the day's over, this is where I say about, you don't have to kill one every day. But I'm like, now where is he? Because now that I'm seeing gig is up, but where's this burn? I'm looking Well here. The way the hill dropped off, he was level with me, but 200 yards out.
But because of how this bowl was, he sounded like he was closer. I was like, okay. So I leave there, [01:21:00] I go to work that day and what I would do is I would always tell my boss, cuz we were allowed to call in the day of if you wanted to use vacation. So if I had him going good, I'd call up and say, I'm not coming in.
Or if he didn't seem to want to play, I'd go to work. All day at work. I'm thinking, what am I gonna do for this? I've tried everything, but I thought the only thing I never did would put a decoy out because never knew where he was and I didn't know if I could. So that night, that was before they started this afternoon hunt.
I went out and put my full stru out right where that thing seen me. So I get out of there. Now again, that bird was gobbling at five 20 every day. So the next morning I got in there at four o'clock in the morning. I'm sitting at four o'clock in the morning. Pitch blackout and I'm thinking, okay, it's five 15.
I got five minutes. Either this spooked him or me seeing him yesterday spooked him, and it was like five 18, a minute early, he triples right away. And I was like, he had to see this thing. So I gobble and all of a sudden I see a [01:22:00] pitch out of the. Lands right next to it. Maybe 20 yards back running.
I'm on it with my red dot. I'm like, where's the beard? It should be swinging. This thing's gotta be gigantic. Here's a hen. So thank God I didn't shoot. But she comes in and starts purring and strutting around his decoy. He's thundering off. You see him just drop out of the tree and every step he takes these gobbling coming up.
My heart's pounding, and it's only me and them. And that's the thing that I tell people. I'm the only one who knows what happened that day, but it was like, I won the World Cup, yeah. So he gets up, I see his head. He gobbles like 20 yards from me. And she just turned and runs right to him, and they go down the hill.
I'm like, you gotta be kidding. So then you know, you're thinking, do I run over to the hill and shoot? That ain't gonna work. I'll get halfway. It'll fly off. So I take my gobble shaker and I hit it. She runs back up. So there I sit, gun on my knee, gobble shaker in my hand, and now he's coming again.
So she gets behind my tail, my stru. I drop the thing, I get my gun up. He's about 20 yards maybe from showing his face. He thunder [01:23:00] gobbled again. She runs back to him. I gobbled again, picking my gun up and she came back a third time and he comes walking up and I shoot this thing and I'm standing there yelling yes, cuz I think I wasted nine vacation days in those 13 days.
Oh my lord. And that's why I went home. I killed him by a quarter of six, I guess it was when I got home. Then I said to my wife, I said, I'm mounting this thing. She goes, you're gonna mount a Turkey. I said the story that goes with it is pretty good. With my buddy shooting it.
I said, but I know what I put into this thing. There was Sunday, like half a day Sunday watching or listening, what's he doing? And so every day I look at that thing and that's like my best trophy I ever got. That's awesome. That That's why we hunt. That's the case you talk about and people that don't hunt don't understand it.
But like the adrenaline that morning, I didn't even know what to do. You know what I mean? I was so excited when I shot this thing. So I called the taxi dermis. I said, Hey, he, cuz he worked where I work. And he says, what's up? I said, I got that bird. He goes, [01:24:00] how big's the beard? I said, it's at least a foot.
He's yeah, get the hell outta here. He's you'll see it, so if I'm lying to you, you'll see it. So I take it over there after work and he is oh my God, it was 12 inches solid. The whole thing. You seen it and what was wrong with his foot? I actually took a picture. My buddy actually just shot his front toe off, so with, he wasn't with archery?
No. With a shotgun. But see what it was funny is so he wasn't really limping. It was just like, instead of pushing off of that, he rolled over it. So he walked like that. But yeah. So I told my buddy I mounted it just because he couldn't kill it and I could, a joke. Yeah. Course.
Getting got get, yeah. So like when you go to J, like you were talking a bunch about hunting some specific farms and seeing what they're doing, but versus hunting where you're gonna hunt in New Jersey, which is bigger public land is not as much fields as more monotonous and stuff. Are you gonna go high ground?
Listen for birds, you gotta kind have some, yeah. Okay. For instance, the first time I ever hunted him into Poconos, we were bear Hunt a year before, [01:25:00] and I scouted for bear spots, from a couple of us that were gonna go up and I get on this one knob and I put that back. Then when you had a gps, you didn't have all this on your phone?
Yeah, I put in Turkey spot. So I told my buddy, next year we're going up that Wednesday, we're going right in there. So me and my buddy get in there, he's calling, they answer a slate Now, we've never hunted before me and this guy. So if it was me and my kid, we're sitting where we can communicate and we're doubling, so here come these birds, long beard goes through it at 35 and my buddy's over here, I can't see. So I'm like this. I thought, okay, I'll let the first one go and I'm on the second one. As soon as Derek pulls the trigger, I'm hitting it. The second one walks through. Third one's coming up. I'm thinking, come on, Derek.
Shoot. I followed a third one. Get on the fourth bird. Another long beard he goes through. Now I know they gotta be close because they're coming at this angle, right? So the fifth bird standing out there at 35, 40 yards looking around, and all of [01:26:00] a sudden he start putting, and I just boom. I shoot the fifth bird.
I get up there, it's got a three inch beard on it. The first four that went through were humongous. So I said, what? What were you doing? He goes, oh, when me and my buddies hunt together, whoever the gun is, the gun, he goes, I had my gun behind me. Those birds were 10 yards in front of me. I was like, man, if you get two birds coming, shoot 'em.
Yeah, we gotta be ready to shoot them. So the actually the next year, then we went up and we had seven come in and we doubled up there that year because it's man, if they're, you know how it is, you could not get another opportunity all season. That's just it. And it was funny. Yeah. I didn't last year because the year before they seemed to be real scarce, but now I heard That the hatch was pretty good up there this year, so I'll probably definitely go.
I got another new guy that wants to go. I told him, we'll go the first Wednesday, we're gonna go up there and run around. I said, now we'll watch the weather. If it's bad, we'll go Thursday or whatever. But he never Turkey hunted before. So there again, I know I'm going into that as the gun number two.
Yeah. You know what I mean? I'll never put myself in front of a guy who never had [01:27:00] one. Yeah. So if he gets one, that would be cool. I'm gonna try like hell to get him one. Yeah. You're going into that as two things gotta work out for me to get a shot. But I'm fine with it because I'm hoping to have at least one, maybe by Jersey or something.
But what we'll do up there, so back to that, when we were bear hunting, even though I'm bear hunting, I'm just looking for turkeys. I'm the opposite. If I'm Turkey hunting, I'm thinking deer bear. Yeah. So I'm walking around like where're actually where Mark shot his deer. Yeah. Where all this business went down.
Beautiful. It's a hike, but. So the way I see it is we could call our way in there and then maybe hang out back there. Yeah. Where they were hanging out. But so we're, what we're gonna do the first day is leave my house probably really early. Maybe we won't even get there at first light, and then we're going to stay there the next two nights or whatever, so we'll be out early the next couple days. But it's like I said to him, if you don't know where they roost, you're just throwing it dart anyway, yeah. Let 'em stretch your wings a little bit. Yeah. And then hit 'em a little later. [01:28:00] But I just don't know what the pressure's like over there.
I don't know, but it's so vast, A lot of people don't hunt like I do, where they'll just walk and walk. They'll go a hundred yards off and wait. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. And we were talking about calling and stuff and everything else, like pressure. Pressure affects all wildlife too.
But turkeys are one that, I guess it's just, seems like the places I've hunted, pressure's probably the number one. Killer as far as for me. Yeah. Yep. But that's the thing too. Like I've killed a lot of birds that even in public land, right in town, the burrow woods where, there's cars there every day, but I would just go in there and I don't quit, so I'll hunt every day till noon that I can hunt till noon, and then those long days I'll leave work and I'm out there if I don't have one. So I think the hours, and that's what I try to explain to people. If you hunt one hour and I hunt a hundred, the odds are in my favor that sooner or later I'm gonna bump into one.
And that's [01:29:00] how my first 10 years, I would always think, ah, you just got lucky again. You bumped into one. But then you start realizing every year doing the same thing. I was onto something, and then I did shoot after that. I told you I had 10 years in a row where I got one. The first day I bought gobbler.
Guillotines. Bought a blind. And that was my mission, was to scout like crazy and pick one off. And I did, I shot the head off of one with those. It was amazing. And then of course, everyone's oh, you're lucky. You're lucky. So the next year, that was my goal again, to prove that I didn't just get lucky.
So I shot one the second year. Then my kid was old enough to hunt, so I packed the bow away. Now I will sometimes, if I'm going for number two, and I know I'm sitting near the house where I could put a blind, but I want running gun with my bow. You know how that, yeah.
So it's, I've tried it. It's very hard. But I've killed. I killed two birds with the bow and pa in the fall when I was deer hunting. And then I've killed birds in Virginia. I still have yet to kill one in the springtime in pa. I've screwed up on so many [01:30:00] birds. Really? If I would've taken a shotgun all the years, man I would have so many more birds.
But I took the bow for so many years and I just, fir, first of all, I would get so worked up with turkeys when they'd come in with the bow, like to the point where I was hyperventilating shaking. Isn't that great though? It is, but it's geez, pizza, it's a 20 pound fricking bird, and it's getting me that fired up and I can't even shoot my bow.
But then I just had other sense where I had one come in where he just hung up at decoys and went around the distance and shut, like just, it never ever would just be perfect, right? Yeah. It was funny the first one I got with, I was guillotine and my kid was six. He got hit in the mouth with the baseball the night before.
So I had to be outta the woods at eight o'clock to take him to the dentist for x-rays and stuff. So I carry, I felt so bad for him, so I carry him in. I got my bow in his hand, he's choking the decoy and I had my path raked out, and I had a blanket in there for him and stuff. And out of the birds flew away and at about seven o'clock they're coming back.
He's sleeping. And when I say coming [01:31:00] back, I heard a putt and there's sits one. I thought, I can't wake him cuz you know, he's going to startle, so I draw my bow back. Three of 'em are just strutting in towards the decoy and I let it rip and it just whack there, it lays. So I get him up, I said hey Hunter, get up.
Get up. So now he's stay, it was perfect little guy. Holding the window. Facing the window. And these other two are beaten, the one that I killed. And they're gobbling like crazy. So my dad was over the hill, maybe a hundred yards, and he's like on the radio, he goes, Hey, are you gonna shoot or what? I was like, I got one already.
He goes I didn't hear you shoot. I said, I got my bow. He goes, are you kidding? I was like, no. I said, look, these things aren't paying attention to anything. Start working your way up here. He was slow getting around, but he got just here. I said, where are you at? He goes, cresting the hill. I was like, just wait.
Cuz now they're they don't know he's coming, but they're stu fighting, and then I tried calling again, but the whole time my kid's shoot another one. I was like, no, that's not what we're doing here. Especially when Pappy's right down the hill, like I would've loved to, to, so the kid could see it happen, [01:32:00] but yet I thought, I'm not teaching him this and my dad's right here and whatever.
And, then my dad, my buddy come up and we walk out to this thing and there's the neck and the head's laying here. It was like, and my buddy even said it and what I'd say to. So you could have had a lot more Turkey with a shotgun, but yet you made the commitment. And that's what I did that year.
Like my buddy said, I gotta give you credit. I would've never did it. Yeah. And that's the thing, I had to be like there's what I want to do. And it, and like my blind was where, that's where I sat. I sat there three days just from light till noon. Yeah. Cuz I couldn't chase 'em. But getting that was fantastic.
You better believe it. Yeah. Hey, we've been rambling on for a long time. We could talk Turkey probably all day long, but hey let's let's wrap this up. I want to real, real quick plug your call business a little bit more. Where could people find your calls and stuff You're doing I'm, I am on Instagram at let me check to make sure here, I know what I'm talking about, but it's Jay Miller custom calls.
If you find me on [01:33:00] Instagram or like I know on my packaging you can scan that cue code and then yeah, it takes you to my website, but I don't think you can get on it just just by putting it in. I don't know what my daughter said, but yes. Jay Miller custom calls look me up on Instagram or Facebook.
I actually have a page. Yeah. I'll tag everything on that too when the show notes here. Yeah. And then if you want to do that too, I'll give you my phone number to put on there. Sure. If you text me, we'll I like to talk and say, Hey, what do you like again, you like raspy, you like this, and then I'll put 'em together for you and, in a package like that and then mail 'em to you.
I've gotten Georgia, they killed with my calls obviously Pennsylvania, Maryland. Kentucky and I think Tennessee so far, not too sure. So when I had to go to work for, I in Iowa for a week back in January, so I gave some of those guys. Cuz again, give a couple guys these calls and then, they give them or use 'em and, I'm hoping to get some business.
I'd like to get a Turkey killed in every state with these things. [01:34:00] That'd be awesome. Yeah, that'd be awesome. It's just exciting. Like last year we had 28 confirmed kills with my calls, but there's a lot of people that I don't even know who they were. I shipped them to 'em or whatever. So they definitely work.
And it's funny, people would say to me, do they work? I was like for me, but it doesn't mean just because you bought when you're gonna get one. You know what I mean? You still gotta hunt, you still gotta, and that's the thing. But yeah, so it's Jay Miller custom calls and I sell 'em pretty cheap, so it's five bucks a call.
Yeah. And then plus shipping or whatever. But like I said, I'm not in it to quit my job. I'm in it to pay for my licenses for. Like my Jersey license, I paid for that, my Alabama license and so far the travel, yeah. You know what I mean? So far yeah. Cover covers yourself to keep doing, keep feeding the addiction.
Yeah. And it's funny too cuz like the good people I met down there in Alabama, they loved them and they're gonna spread the word. It's gonna, it's gonna come around. Absolutely. You know what I mean? And it's just the more that get out there, the better. And I always tell people too, especially local people, you want to come up and hear 'em.
I'll [01:35:00] run 'em for you, which helps sell 'em, or tell your friends or whatever, but if you talk to me and you say, Hey, I'm a beginner, I have beginner calls all the way to, expert level calls. So like I try to give them to the people who. Who they'd fit, good deal.
Hey, this has been fun. Thanks for doing this with me and good luck you taking out new people this year. Yeah. The one guy, the midweek and also, so the one youth is 17 now, so we have another kid we're gonna take me and my buddy, he debated it. I said, look, it's your call.
You know the kid. I don't, I said, but this is what we're all about and if we're gonna make the trip, but then I said, here's where you gotta make a decision. Now. Your kid got to already, as the father, do you have your kid get his first or the other one? And I said, that's your choice. I wouldn't want to have to make that decision.
But his kid pierces great. He'd probably say, Hey, let the kid hit him. You know what I mean? But I'm just, I'm the caller. I am not making that decision for the fun part. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah. Hey, thanks a lot for having me. This was a blast. Absolutely.[01:36:00]