Widowmakers, Woodpeckers, and Public Land Predicaments

Show Notes

In this week’s [UNCENSORED] podcast by GoWild, we’re continuing our talks about turkey hunting. This time, Dan, Chris, and Jacob got out on a public piece. They heard some gobbles and had a nice setup but ran into some issues with other hunters. They finished the day with some scouting and got a great lead for where to set up next time. We talk about etiquette when hunting turkeys on public land and how to handle other groups in the woods. Sometimes it’s better to have a chat and work together. How do you adapt and adjust when Plan A falls apart? We swap a few stories of the good, bag, and ugly on this troublesome topic. We also discuss some of the key differences between hunting public and private land. 

Brayden got out again and hunted an area he’s seen turkeys with lots of good sign. They were getting into their setup and then he realized he forgot one major item at home! They changed plans and managed to bring in a bird in the end, but didn’t punch the tag. They set up under a widowmaker and had a lively chance encounter with a woodpecker. How effective is scratching and scraping for bringing in turkeys?

Derek mentions a hot tip for where to find turkeys late-morning/mid-day after other hunters have been pushing them around. He got out and heard a lot of birds talking in the trees. It’s a tough spot to get in and set up but he made it work. He got a group to come in, they made a ton of noise but ended up getting hung up. He talks through the decision-making process and how to handle a multi-bird situation. He’s still struggling with something from that hunt … is it better to move slowly and quietly when a bird is close or move so quick it won’t have time to understand what’s happening? He also gives a good bit of advice for how to end a hunt on a high note, even when it doesn’t finish with a flop.

If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a rate and review!!

[UNCENSORED] by GoWild kicks off your week with shameful nonsense, inappropriate convictions, and unfiltered tales from the woods, waters and whatevers. [UNCENSORED] is a behind the scenes look at our adventures, failures, wins, embarrassing moments at trade shows, hilarious tales from the warehouse, and a good rant or three about the most recent tyranny from t12he Dark Lord of the Sith himself.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another week of Uncensored You have with you Jacob Knight, Dan Hood, Derek Tolles, and Braden Ware. And we're gonna talk about Turkey series and Turkey Seasons open for the various ways to be unsuccessful. Whoa. Don't, it's like Einstein. Don't ruin the end of the show here.

Let's define success. We gotta drag it out. Awesome. Let's, we gotta make it look like we gets close. And then let's define success. What is success? Success is getting outta the house for me, and we all succeeded. Yeah. Not working on the shower for a little while. Not working on the shower.

Dan and I went hunting with Chris. I've never been hunting with Chris. That's true. That's success. Did he teach you some stuff? Dan or Chris? I don't know. Oh, sure. I'm sure they, did Chris teach you some stuff about AI while you were out there? He talked to me a little bit about that. Yeah. It's cool.

Yeah. How'd it go for y'all? It went okay. It is a, it reminds me a lot of my dear season being a new hunter where most of my [00:01:00] confidence comes from me. Anthro, anth, anthropomorphizing. There you go. You work through it. You just want scraping like beer. Oh my gosh. I gotta turn you down. Turn me down, boy.

Yeah, just thinking like a deer. Or in this case, thinking like a Turkey and just going, if I was Turkey, I'd be here. Thinking like what Dan thinks that a deer Exactly like what we do with bass fishing orders. Oh, I'd eat that. I'd eat that. Exactly. It'd be a terrible fish. Yeah. But no really great piece of property, public land.

I think we only had one other group of hunters out there with us, but they set up where we thought the Turkey would come from. I think they screwed us the more I thought about it this morning. They were calm so much, I think. Yeah, I think we should have almost been down from them. That was the plan, was that we were gonna set up in, in this field and we were up against the side of a river and we were just gonna march down the river as the day went on.

And we could hear [00:02:00] gobbles coming from where we thought the Turkey were, but then we heard, we were set up in a field before Sun Up and we heard car doors shut that dreaded noise. Were you like, is that other hunters late or is that right before sunrise? Is that a meth head getting into our cars?

It's like one of those two things. And I guess Jacob, you saw, did you see the people or did you just see the flashlights? I saw a person, no flashlight cuz it was daylight at this point. Who Cuz. So I'm over there. The way we set up, there's a clump of trees in the middle of this big field and then there's not much other cover except for one little small kind of bushy tree, which is where Dan was sitting.

And then a big oak, I believe is what it was. It was like huge tree. Single. Yeah. And then Chris and I are set up. On that clump of trees. And so looking out over this field, I see Dan, I see our decoys and I see this big oak tree. So our decoys are probably at my two o'clock and [00:03:00] 12 o'clock d almost directly in line with Dan.

I see this dude. They were walking across the field, like looking out at our decoys. Oh my gosh. Come on bro. Just walk on. Just walk on. I'm sure he had heard my calls and came over to the edge of the field. Oh my gosh. Very. I. Unin uncover, like out in the freaking open, standing up on, both legs.

And he moves on. I don't know, I and saw which way he was going and he went to where we were hearing the gobbles from and I think he just blew it up for us. And there was like 30 Yelps at a time. From that direction. Yeah, definitely. Somebody was over there. Just definitely that guy.

Hammering. Yeah, banging in there. The call. Yeah. They'll do that to you. So we had a similar situation Saturday, part of me and Phil hunting. We had a bunch of, I'll tell more of the story later, but one of the encounters we had, there was like [00:04:00] two, two turkeys gobbling. 300 yards away. They're pretty far, but we were on like a ridge system and they were like down on a finger.

We figured out. So we like set up and like we're doing some calling, they're responding and we're just sitting there and waiting giving it plenty of time for them to start like moving and stuff. And then all of a sudden I hear a woohoohoo and I was like, oh sweet. We're gonna have an owl like.

Locate nesting for us. Turkey GOs. I was like, okay, cool. Like it move closer and so we're just waiting. Woohoohoo ball. We were like that sounded a lot like the first one, Woohoohoo. It was like the same cadence over and over. He just shot gobbling that just, yeah. And so I was like, he's just getting off hearing this thing gobbled.

It's not exactly gonna call him in. So I'm talking to Phil, like cursing this guy. Like what kind of idiot Turkey Hunter thinks he could call into Tom with an owl? And I was like, wait a second. Yeah. Really? And I was like, wait a second, he's smarter than we're giving him credit for. He heard us, Colin, [00:05:00] he heard the Turkey goblin.

He said, I'm gonna get in the middle and I'm just, every now and then gonna shot Goblin and find out when he gets close to me coming to us. And he got basically in the middle of us and was just gonna sit, let us call them in. And he was just gonna locate 'em and just wait till they got close and shoot 'em before they could get up to it.

So I was like, yeah, that's a turd move, but it's public land. It's not that, that was what was different for me. Cuz this is the first time I've ever Competitively called with anybody cuz I've always hunted private especially for Turkey. And now I'm thinking about those Al calls or calls the al hoots that we heard.

The timing seemed real. For when they would've been owls and it was almost like they were answering each other cuz they were in different directions. But who knows, man, it could have been those guys coming in trying to find 'em with the hoots too and the. There was not as much gobbling as I'm used to.

And cuz I'm used to like they gobble at car doors and goose flying over and [00:06:00] crows and everything. Just triggers them early in the morning. It wasn't like that. It was maybe two birds, very sporadic gobbles. It would've been hard to chase 'em, but, So you all, that was your setup.

You did that and then it didn't play out and that was Yeah. We had a Jake and like a laying down hen out in the field. Field was great cuz that was where we went. When we scouted we saw turkeys like four different birds in that field. And so we felt good about this. The only big differences that we were scouting in the afternoon and then we were going out first thing in the morning.

Yeah. Did that just the route that they usually take or whatever. So then we stayed seated there until about eight o'clock or so, and then decided Hey, let's go find these things. Cuz we just felt like those other hunters were posted up. Right where we wanted to, we were facing so it's let's try to backtrack.

And we walked along the whole river till we got to a creek and then we were, Jacob was calling and we were hearing hen. [00:07:00] And then we really weren't sure if it was the other hunter if we were calling to each other or not. And we were walking up this creek bed, saw Coyote, which I thought was a good sign cuz I'm like, the coyotes there, there's probably not people right there.

Or it's chasing the Turkey, which is definitely possible. We'll still be a good sign. Yeah, I just felt confident there wasn't a person. And then we got up to this kind of creek area and. Jacob's spot a lot of Turkey poop. So we think we know where they're roosting now. That'll probably be next weekend.

This weekend. I'm gonna go back out there. I'll probably start there. Yeah, that's what I would, that's what I would do. And if I were you, I would almost even say if there are other trucks at that lot, you go 300 yards down through that marshy area and get those birds come in that direction. I do not think they have any reason to come to that field.

If there's. Bros walking in right there, calling at 'em a hundred times. So you think, don't try to set up in that creek bed if there's other trucks there. I don't [00:08:00] know if you're the first one there. I'd go there. Did you find any dust bowls by chains? We saw some eggs, some busted open eggs. No. Okay, but we Not a dust bowl.

No, we didn't find it. If you could find something like that, I think that would be killer out there. If you could set up on that like late morning. Because all those guys are gonna be pushing those birds around everywhere, but that's where they're going late morning, midday, there's that road bed too that we talked about that goes further down.

Knowing how it is, like if you're walking away from where we set up, that right hand side's up the hill, it's thicker left hand side, it's thick and then it's that open marshy area. I bet they use that road bit too or that, that road. I've found quite a few dust balls this season close to roo trees.

So when you were talking about how you said, oh, I wouldn't even know what to say, I found one. It's just an indention in the dirt basically. And there'll usually be Turkey feathers and stuff in it. And there's they will it'll look like a bowl cuz they're in there just rolling around in it so much that they start to waller it out a little.

And yeah, [00:09:00] I don't know how common or normal this is that it's close to roost trees, but I've been finding them this season very close to roost trees. We did see a ton of, on a deer though. Yeah. A ton of On a deer. And there's, we, I remember seeing spots like that. Not a feather in the two days that we walked around after.

Yeah. I feel like you'd find some feathers. Yeah. But that doesn't necessarily mean that's not it still, it's been super windy this spring. Yeah. Very possible that it could just be blowing any feathers out. Yeah. But yeah this, it was interesting being out there and being like, is that a Turkey or a dude?

And, really trying to figure out. If we are gonna move, where do we go? Where do we think they went? Is that Yelp? We just heard a bird or some guy we're about to walk in on. It was a different element. Yeah. The only other time I've hunted public land was Eastern Kentucky, and it was like I've told y'all before, like the drive-by Turkey hunting and coal mines where you basically ride around a truck and everybody jumps out.

It's just different. Yeah. Drive back. What was your weekend like? So I got out [00:10:00] Friday morning before work. Me and Phil went over to my grandpa's place and I'd never, I don't think I'd ever like, seriously me. And you may have gone Turkey hunting there once. We hunted there one afternoon. That's right.

Yeah. We went there in the afternoon knowing it was gonna be a bad hunt. Like it was super windy. Super windy. The field was like super overgrown, super tall, as like birds weren't gonna be running around in it. But then didn't we end up seeing a hand that evening? That afternoon? No, we saw a dough, but we sat down and we were like, this ain't gonna go well, but let's just sit here.

I actually sat real close there. Yeah. In more into the woods. But anyway, like we got out there like real early and I just wanted to listen because I hadn't done that out there before, to hear where they were and stuff. I've found tons of Turkey feathers all over the place, and I have seen turkeys running around during deer season.

Just doesn't help a ton, obviously for the spring and had have had some on cameras and stuff before and so just went to roughly where I thought they were and we just sat there and listened [00:11:00] and did a little bit of al calling and not really hearing anything. And so me and Phil stand up and he's okay, based on what we know from the cameras and What we've seen in the past, I think going to this spot would be good.

And I was like, yep, I totally agree. He's we'll set a hin decoy right here. I'm like, okay, sweet. So we start walking. He goes, where's the decoys? And I was like, oh. It took me till after he had said, we're gonna go set a hin decoy over there. And we were actively walking over there to set a hin decoy to realize I didn't have a hin decoy.

And so he originally wasn't gonna be able to come with me Friday morning. And so he ran like the decoys out to me and I was just gonna take 'em out. I went out the front door instead of going out the garage like I always do. And they got left, right? Oh, they weren't even at the truck. No, they were in the garage.

Dude, it's the best place for 'em to be. Yeah. And the situation where you needed. And so that kind of changed our plans. We're like, okay, we really needed to decoy for that plan. Let's go somewhere else and try to run something else. We went down by that field. It's a lot. It's not as tall as it was back when [00:12:00] we were there.

Yeah. And we turn a corner and kind of talking about hoots that don't sound real, but are like, turn a corner. And this al goes, woohoo, Woohoohoo, like he's freaking out. And me and Phil are like, There's another guy that like lives close that has access to hunt. He's the only other guy that's allowed to hunt out there.

But he has told me before, he doesn't like to hunt Turkey. He's too much work for not enough meat. He's that guy. And I'm like, that's fine. So I text him, I'm like, dude, are you hunting out here? And he didn't text us back. And then like basically he's just this al, we hear it take off throughout the woods and we're like, wow.

That was a real, that was a real al. Okay. Awesome. The good thing was, Two turkey's gobble down and what we think was like just off the edge of the field down there, actually off of his property, but. The whole field is on his property and so we set off, set up like off the corner of the field in the woods a little bit because it just seemed like they would be moving through the woods more than anything at this point.

And so we're [00:13:00] sitting there calling and like hearing gobbles and. Just waiting, hoping that they'd move towards us and then eventually like just sounds like it's getting further away and it's getting close to, eight 30, which was when we were wanting to get out of there to go to work and It was probably eight 15, and so we were like if we had more time, we'd probably sit here and wait and see if he was gonna move in, but it doesn't seem like he's going to, let's just get outta here. So we go up and my grandpa's waiting up there and he's Hey boys. And so we're calling at him and he thinks it's hilarious and we get up there and he's yeah, y'all see anything, telling him whatever.

And he's will y'all help me with my pool cover? And we were like, sure. So we go down to the shed, get the pool cover, carry it out, set it down, and it's about as soon as we set it down, we hear p. In the spot that we were talking. So we were like, dag he's I heard you. I came here and you're not here.

Yep. And so then I called down to him and he gobbled again, and I was like, awesome. Good, great grand. So when we left, And that was our Friday hunt. And then Saturday got up and me and Phil went to [00:14:00] some public we deer hunt there, here a lot. We've actually Turkey hunted here last year. And it was a really good spot.

You basically get out of the truck and you hike like probably three quarters of a mile. And then you're on a ridge system that runs three miles or something. It's long ways. And so I hunted this spot with y'all, didn't I? With you? I don't know if Phil. We, so actually we hunted part of the same horse trail.

Okay. On a different spot. Got it. But yeah, you know the area Yeah. Like that we're hunting. It's like a lot of ridges. And shout out to Tom Decra real quick. That's where the striker to that Turkey call you made is laying something. We'll find it in there somewhere in those woods. Oh man. I got another one from him, my desk.

Oh, okay. I don't know where the actual call is. Describe, does that have it? I have the slate, but not in the striker. I know where the striker's at. Roughly that. Somewhere out where. Braden's talking about it. I'm keep an eye for it. I'll look for that little wood stick. Yeah. Anyways, go on. Was this the trip you were supposed to do with Phil and all the boys and just ended up being you and Phil?

No, this was always gonna be me and Phil. All the [00:15:00] boys, everybody had like separate plans for Saturday, so one of the guys went out with his dad and his brothers on some private. And then the other two dudes went with one of the dude's, younger brother to some other private that like borders, a bunch of pro public that they all run into.

But then we were talking about going out on Sunday and after Saturday, I was like, if they text me and wanna go Sunday, I'm definitely gone. If they don't text me, I'm sleeping at. So that's what happened, that nobody texts each other. And then on Sunday we were like, did anybody go out? And everybody's No.

But SAV got home from a wedding at 2:00 AM Saturday night. And so I was like, Uhuh, I'd get up if I had plans, but no plans. I'm probably sleeping. But anyway. We so we go out and, or we're actually sitting in the trucks and another truck like starts driving by and we're like, keep going.

And he pulls in and parks right behind us. We're like, yeah, get out. Get out. Yeah. And we wait and I got out and, or me and Phil both got out and walked over to him. We're like, Hey man, how's it going? He like, told us his name and we're like what's your plan? We're gonna, There's plenty of [00:16:00] room we'll avoid you.

And so he was actually planning to take the same path but hang a right and go off the right side of the fingers that come off of the ridge we were gonna be on, we were actually planning to go off the left. So it worked out really well. Never ran into him, I don't think, unless he was the guy going woohoohoo that he decided, ah, there's no birds over here.

I'm gonna go over where they're going. I don't know. Seemed like a nice guy though. So anyway, we get out there. And we're walking and just let off an owl hoot. Phil did his famous al hoot and struck one up and we're like, okay, cool. We're in action, we're gonna go back in.

It was far away. And we're walking do another al Hoot. There's actually two of them. Okay, cool, we're gonna go set up. And we're sitting there. Colin. And. Feel like they're moving in. And then this is a situation where we had the guy start Al Hooting. He had alcohol I guess. And we figured out that he was there and we were like, we're never gonna get, like if we do call him here, he's gonna shoot him before they get to us, so we're outta here.

So then we hiked all the way back up to the main ridge and we're walking. And Phil, literally, like we're walking, [00:17:00] throws the brakes on and just turns to his left and Al calls again. And later I asked him like, what, why'd you stop? And he was like, I don't know, it just felt like a good stop, good place to stop.

But he like, threw the like e-brake on. It was like I almost ran into him. And Just struck up two gobbles. We're like, okay, awesome. Work our way down in, and we, Phil, found on the map this, it's kinda like a knob or like maybe like the nose of a bridge. And we like go straight up it and get on top and there's just scratching everywhere and we're like, okay, this is perfect.

We're gonna throw a decoy, hin decoy up and just sound like a content hand up here feeding, hanging out. And so set it all up and. I'll have to show you all the picture of this deadfall that we sat under. It's probably the most dangerous situation I've ever I'll pass that around. So that's where we sat right under that.

We never Fine. Yeah. Okay. You're not sitting right under it. Right there at the base of that tree under that deadfall. You were [00:18:00] sitting at the base of that fence? Yes. Oh yeah. I would've gone to the other side of the tree, but you're still fine. We never even saw it. Oh, so you sat there in the dark? No. How'd you not see that tree?

Do I don't know. Turkey's on the brain, boys. I don't. Neither one of us. And we sat right underneath that thing. Oh my dude. That's a widowmaker for, that's sure. That's a double maker. It killed both me and Phil more than that. I was trying to figure out what part of your body I was looking at her like that is, Leg struck out with like his barefoot points with his big toe.

I'm like, what is that? That's just my nubs. And so anyway, so we sit there and we're calling and it, they just, they got close, but they hung up and for an hour we're just sitting there and they're firing off going crazy. We really think there's three, maybe four times and We just couldn't get 'em to move.

And so we're like, okay, doesn't seem like they're gonna come up here. If they were, it seems like they already would have. It's been a long time. Let's make a move. So we, I literally, I crawled out, grab our decoy, crawl over to the [00:19:00] side and get down, like off to the side of this ridge so that there was no way they could see us.

Cuz they were, they were like 40 yards away just. Down the ridge, in a creek bottom. And so then we work on the side of this ridge, get all the way to like the opposite side. And we see that there's a much easier way for them to come up. And there's actually an old, like wood built like permanent deer stand like old ladder and everything.

And an older one had been just like knocked off the tree and laid down there just I guess forever as scrap. I don't know. And so we go crawl up, set the decoy, and then we get set up on this tree and. Same thing, man. We're calling here, they come like they're coming this time. Like we can really hear 'em and.

All of a sudden I start hearing like, what sounds like scratching, but like I know there's not a Turkey there cause I didn't hear it walk up. And like I look around this tree and I see this fire red melon and I'm like, what the heck? It's like a foot and a half tall. Woodpecker. Huge woodpecker affiliated.

And that's what we saw. Huh? We saw one. Oh you did? Oh, that's cool. [00:20:00] Maybe it was the long last ivory build. I don't know. That was a joke. That was a joke. People, all the people that believe that. There might still be some out there. Oh, okay. Go on. It looked like a normal woodpecker to me. Just giant. Huge.

Yeah. Like it had been drinking like nuclear wastewater. I mean it was huge. And So he's making sounds that sound just like Turkey scratching not at, I didn't realize at the time that would be our demise. So he's doing that, he's making sounds hopping around, like looking for food and stuff.

And then he flies off and not, two minutes later, here come the turkeys right to the spot where this woodpecker was, where he, where they were here in the scratching. And unfortunately from that exact spot, when you look around, The decoy we had set was covered by a tree. It's about the only spot on this whole freaking ridge that like, they couldn't see the decoy because it seemed like they would really come up another way.

And I think they would have if they didn't hear the woodpecker scratching right there. But they came to where they heard the scratching and Phil said he saw them. I never saw 'em come up, but he said he saw these two Toms come up. They [00:21:00] weren't strutting and they saw went right to where the woodpecker was and then looked up and like put and just Took off.

So I saw one Turkey. All I know at the time is it's a Turkey just zip across, come running through. Phil's kind of like tracking it with his gun and he like never could get a beat on it. And it goes down and then hooks back around to the left and goes back around a tree where I now see it and he's just sitting there.

Looking over at our direction. I put the bead on his head and I'd go to Phil. I'm like, is that a Tom? And he says, I don't know. He said he didn't know because he never saw which bird, or if it was one of the ones he saw, or he never, he couldn't see it. He's I don't know.

And I'm like, Ugh. And I'm like, put my gun down. Don't shoot. Which is what you should do. Don't shoot something. Don't see what it is. Really wish I didn't because after I explained the story to Phil, it was a Tom. It was one of the ones that had come up and banked left. And so then after that, like they went down and Phil [00:22:00] actually did like a crow call and they responded.

They were 25 yards away, just like off. They didn't scare 'em that much. No. And so then we were like, and we sat back down, we were, hunched down or whatever, and I was like, should I go get the decoy and move it off? He's dude, we can't move. He's I don't know where they are. Like, it'd be bad.

Yeah. He like, lets off some more Yelps and stuff. Nothing. I couldn't hear him. And then, CRO call again, nothing. So more than likely they just stuck around for a second and then got out of there. Yeah. But yeah, and that was our last encounter. We heard some more gobbles and stuff, but never could get on anymore.

But just another close, but no cigar story, man. It was. A lot of fun and got to do like a long series of calling. Phil did 90% of it. I did just a little bit on a slate cuz we actually had birds on both sides of the ridge. And I was calling the ones on the left and he called us some on the right and then he moved over to the ones on the left and then he took over and he did a really good job.

But just to hear probably like 35 gobbles. It was a ton. And they just were responding just from the two birds. What'd you think were two birds? We think there were more still, like I, [00:23:00] I would still say there's at least three, two came up that we saw. I think if they wouldn't have put putted there would've been one or two more.

Maybe some hands with 'em. I have no idea. But If they'd seen the decoy. They'd just come up strutting, yeah. Like they just couldn't, we went to the spot where they were and looked and there's a tree perfectly in the way blocking the decoy. So they heard the scratching, heard the calling came to where they thought the bird wasn't there, got out of dodge.

So I don't freaking woodpecker. I haven't really done much scratching and calling and. That story right there, it can be killer. Convinces me to try it. Yeah. It can be killer if done right? Yeah. You're always like, it seems like trying to balance like over recalling and like doing too much of this or that.

Once they get close, I love the scratching thing cuz it's one, it's super easy to do and two it's given him a different look and giving him a deeper element of this is an actual Turkey up here eating. Yeah. And you can play the calls now to I'm a hen up here eating and all that scratching and stuff kind of plays into that narrative and you're just raking the ground with your hand just going like that.[00:24:00]

I'm just kinda like Turkey digging around. Which is probably how I got poisoned because you saw those gloves I was wearing. Just the parts that are exposed. Oh, those are good. How funny is that? So do you have another weekend? Yeah. Yeah. We have to their seasons longer, longer than we do, but they start later than we do.

They probably about the same length of season. It's just about a week. 26 to the 14th. Nine. Oh yeah. I guess that's true. When I say it's longer, it's just later. Yeah. Yeah. It's probably about the same length. Just starts later than ours. Yeah. Are you gonna hunt this weekend? I am going to get out at least one more time.

Maybe even a couple mornings this week before work. It's my plan too. I can't, I got, dude, I know there's birds out there. Oh yeah. I've physically seen them with my eyes. I just haven't seen a Tom yet, let me. Let me tell a story real quick on Braden, I feel like Braden made a good call on not pulling the trigger in his situation.

I do, cuz you just didn't know. You don't wanna take a shot at a bird that you don't know what it is. I, you made a very good call. Let me tell you a story where I'm still losing sleep over not pulling a trigger.[00:25:00] So my story's not from last weekend. Mine's from our opening week of Turkey season here in Kentucky.

We. Set up in this field that we hadn't been hunting the previous couple days before. It's a whole other story as to how we ended up in this field. But anyways, we set up there that morning and through I think two hand decoys out in the field. And then we set up in the woods and sun starts coming up.

Birds are gobbling. And at one point I think we had six birds gobbling. We had two right out in front. I could hear two off behind on my right. And then I could hear two off to my left, and I'm thinking, all right, here we go. This is. This is gonna be the morning, then it's finally gonna happen cuz it's been a rough season up to this point.

It's still been a rough season. Where we know that they're roosting, the two that are up front. We know that these birds are roosting right up in there, but the where they are, it's just really hard to get in and set up close to that roost without busting 'em out. So sun's starting to come up. We, I saw two of them pitch down into the [00:26:00] field and the way that the field lays after they hit the field, they're in a field off to our left.

I can't see 'em anymore. We're sitting up high. They're a lot lower down. So the rest of the morning just turns into this calling match between me and these gobbler, and it will. It'd heat up for a little bit and they'd be hammering and everything, and then they'd stop, and then I'd lay off the call, and then it would just be quiet for a while.

I might give a couple hang calls, nothing. And then they'd start hammering again later. And they're coming, they're not quickly, but I can tell that they're getting closer every time they are starting to sound off. And then they get out to probably about 50 yards from us. But they're out in the middle of this field and we can't see 'em because of how the field drops down.

And then they just hang up down there. And they start getting really vocal. At this point, I think they're basically saying, why don't you come to us? Can't get 'em to move though. And they're just hung up. And then, like I said earlier in the morning, I had heard two birds behind us, but they were pretty far off.

Outta nowhere. I just hear this one bird just hammer right behind me to my right ba. Where did he [00:27:00] come from? I'm assessing the situation. I know we've got these two out front. I'm not gonna have a shot on these two out front anyways, unless they hook right quite a bit. So at this point I'm thinking even though they're closer, I'm not worrying about these birds.

I'm gonna worry about this one that just hammered off right off to my right. So when I can I start getting repositioned and start turning to my right, that's when I realized. That I have a pretty nice size little cedar tree, right to my right that I didn't see when we got set up in the dark. Also wasn't thinking about it.

I wasn't thinking about birds coming from behind. Isn't it weird how they always make it? Oh yeah. Make a move where you're like, they're not gonna come from that way. Oh yeah. So I get set up looking to my right for this bird that's gonna be coming from the right, but I'm still not a hundred percent convinced that he's coming.

He's gotten closer, but I don't know that he's actually coming into my calls. So I get situated, get comfortable, get the gun ready. Hit the diaphragm one more time. And this time that joker hammers off again even closer. And I'm like, all right, this dude's coming there. There's no denying it at this [00:28:00] point.

And then he just gets quiet. I make a couple more calls on the diaphragm, nothing. And I'm like, he's closing in. He's closing the distance and. Start making some scratching, actually start brushing some leaves and stuff up around me. Still nothing. And then these two that are out in front, they're still hammering too this whole time, but he's not making any noise.

And I, my heart starts, I haven't seen him, I haven't heard him, but I just know he's coming. My heart starts pounding a little bit and then up over the hill, I see his little head periscope up. Oh, and just blue as blue can be. I'm like, no. Denying it. This is this Tom. And he's looking around, but he's still really off to my right and I can see him through the branches of the cedar tree, but I definitely have no clear shot.

He's in range at this point. He's probably 40 sub 40 yards, but way off to my right through the cedar tree. It's very thick. He starts slowly coming up and he never like fully puffs, uped struts, but he kind of half struts. And then he'll go down and start taking a few more steps. And this is where I'm still losing [00:29:00] sleep over this situation.

I'm very slowly trying to lean out to my left and get around this cedar tree to where when he takes just about one more step, he'll be right in my range. Felt like this took 10 minutes, probably only took two minutes, but I'm starting to get like the shakes just from holding the gun up and I'm in a super awkward position and he eventually, I don't know if he saw me, but he just definitely got that feeling that something's not right here.

And he starts, puting, turns around and runs off. And what I should have done, and this is what is killing me, is instead of trying to be really slow and methodical about trying to get around that cedar tree and wait for him to come out, I feel like if I had enough time to just make a very quick movement, bam, just to jump out real quick.

Yeah, and put the beat on him and shot probably could have been a dead bird. At that point when he turned, he was probably 30 yards out. Like you think it would've shocked him. Like that quick movement would've shocked him enough that he did not run off right away. It shocked him to where he wouldn't have run off, or if I just, honestly, I did not have far to [00:30:00] move in all seriousness.

Couple inches really. And I think I could have done it quick enough to where he probably wouldn't have even processed what was going on. But instead, I sat there real slowly trying to creep around this tree. And I think that's what ruined it for me. Damn. And I'm still losing sleepover. Both of y'all have got to see birds.

Yeah. In through your short of sight or down the bead. So I went out Saturday morning before I went to the firehouse and worked Saturday night. And that was the only morning that I actually haven't seen a bird. Every day I've been out, I've been seeing birds. But they're always too far away and not interested or in a position where, I can't do anything.

Cause like I said, I mean I've got an area out there where I know a lot of birds are roosting, but there's a couple things at play here. There's, first off the guy who leases the property for cattle, he's got his cows in this field. It's really difficult to make any movements in this field without the cows just going crazy.

Where these birds that are roosting [00:31:00] at, there's nowhere close to set up to try to sneak on 'em before they come out of the roost. Like you have to set up pretty far back. And then once they hit the ground, they're just not interested. They're on nest. I jumped a bird, I jumped a hen off of a nest, probably day three of our season.

And I went up a little later in the morning and just looked at her nest. And she's sitting on 12 eggs. They layed, eh, lay an egg a day. And this was two or three days into our season. So that means that she's been laying. 10 days prior to our season even opening at the earliest. She could have been incubating longer than that evening.

Four birds out of that maybe survive. Yeah, that's the crazy thing. Yeah. I didn't know they had laid that many. That's crazy. Yeah. They'll lay one a day and like an average clutch, I think is 10 to 12 ish eggs. So that's how long they will lay an egg for about 12 days roughly. Yep. And so that's why I'm saying she either, I did some math.

And it's like she could have started laying on this day, or she could have laid even prior to that. And she's just been sitting on the nest. She's done laying, cuz they'll sit on the nest for [00:32:00] 28, 29 ish days, I think after they lay their last egg before they, and they hatch and become pulse. Geez. I'm seeing hands early in the morning, they're out feeding and then they're going right back to their nest and the Toms are making a lot of noise on the roost.

And then as soon as they hit the ground, shut up. They're not making any noise. That's what we saw yesterday. Yeah. It's I'm seeing birds, but it's just that it's frustrating, it's aggravating. I can't do anything with them. And then I'm trying to end every hunt by just going up into the woods, walking around a bit and just seeing if I can stir something up.

But yeah. Could you haul at all. Before shooting light when we were out there. Yep. I did a little, I did some yelping, like softer tree, yelp kind of stuff, and then did fly down cackle. Did we get any gobbles out of that? I don't think so. I don't think we prompted any gobbles. Yeah, I think they were roosted further in by that creek bed.

And I was just wondering, were you're talking about going to set up? Yeah, I think they were back [00:33:00] in there if I, so I'll probably do some, I did not hammer that cuz I thought they would be roosting close to where we were, so I didn't wanna blast it. Yeah. I don't know because I'd like to be able to locate 'em before I set up this weekend.

Dude, I bet they're in that creek bed. Yeah, that's, it's a lot of poop from the sounds of it. That sounds like a good area that they're probably at. They like hanging out and rosing around creek beds, especially if you're finding a lot of scat and everything like that. All the, everything's pointing that there's birds in there.

So I would just try to just not seeing footprints in that marshy area, which is what, yeah, I would. With what little information I have with where you all are hunting. I would try to sneak in as close to that as you could like early. That would just be the first force to be awake.

Be the first truck in the parking lot cause that's where those other guys walked in. Other than the meth head. We were the first meth head. Yeah, that was weird, man. Car parked at the park. As soon as I get there, I called Dan. I'm like, we're not the first truck here. There's a car parked here. Do we want Audible?

Go to another spot. And [00:34:00] he's, I'm glad I called you cuz I would've said, we need to roll to another spot cuz I didn't want walk in on somebody. But Dan was like, let's just go in and see. Fill it out. We'll flash our lights, see where they're at. And I think what ended up being is somebody sleeping in their car at the parking lot.

The homeless person cause it as we walked by, there's like a. Like a coffee decanter type thing sitting on the ground like some plastic silverware. Yeah. We go down, we hunt, we come back out. That coffee can thing is gone, but the plastic silverware is still sitting there. The car's still there, so I think somebody was just chilling for the night free hotel room.

Yeah, you could have gotten there like super late the night before and. I was trying to get out early to hunt possible something. Yeah. It's possible. That's the Turkeys human decoy in the middle of the night. Bill. Oh, push Dilapidating car. Amorphism. But this put this Corolla up in the parking lot.

Yeah. Scare all the hunters away. Corollas will. Soothed all the guys driving trucks. So Dan really does have [00:35:00] fucking moria as a lot. I think you can kill a bird there and I think if you go to that spot, which is probably where we should have gone Sunday. Yeah, I feel like where we were, it's it's one of those pieces of property where you can tell it floods and kills all the undergrowth and then, if it's been a little while since that section's flooded, the undergrowth is a little higher.

But where we were set up, Middle of the day. I feel like we had some pretty good shooting lines. I feel like I'm gonna try to go right to that spot, right where that game trail was going up the hill. This is a question for you. Okay. And you may know the answer to, so no offense, I'm giving you more credit.

Your Turkey knowledge, you give more credit for his Turkey knowledge. I don't know. Creek bed where we set up runs down to a marshy flood zone floodplain on the. The other side from the parking lot. So Dan would come in, cross this creek bed. And then there's probably like a 15 yard flat.

There's a bit of a trail there too if I'm, cuz you all hunted in an [00:36:00] area that I'm mildly familiar with. Yes. There's a little trail from that trail from the parking lot. And that trail actually goes to that creek bed. Yes. Yeah. So he's gonna take that path. Yeah. Cross that creek bed.

There is a. Then a hill. I don't the right, you walked up that thick with cedars. Yep. But I think still low enough, there's enough visibility for turkeys to use that. I, yeah. Would they go up that hill? I, my, I guess the question I think you're trying to ask is if they're in that creek bed and they fly down, would their instinct to be, go.

Level to the marsh or start hiking uphill because we weren't seeing any sign in the marsh like that was soft ground. Yeah, there's, there would have to be footprints if they're going that way. I think they're probably roosting in that general area. They're probably roosting in those cedars. Do you think they're roosting on the hill as opposed to tooth bed from They could probably be roosting in both honestly.

And they're probably pitching down, they're probably coming down in that creek bed early. They're probably feeding and scratching around a little bit there. And then as the morning goes on, [00:37:00] they're probably going up the hill past those cedars into that oak flat and maple and everything that's up there behind there.

And then they probably spend most of their day up there. And then they're coming back to the roost down there in the creek there. Go kill that bird, would be my guess. Do you think I should try to locate before I set up early morning? Yeah, absolutely. If you can get out there pretty early, yeah. And get not on top of that spot, I would maybe go halfway down that trail and hit a hand like a hoo down or a crow or something.

See if you can get a locator. If they don't gobble to that locator, I still wouldn't, I wouldn't turn around and go home. You're already there. Just roll the ties somewhere. Just go for it first enough. And I would. Yeah, I do. Kind of what Jacob's saying gets set up. I bet you they're rosing in that general area.

It may not even be a bad idea to go up into those woods a little bit, but you wanna be careful. You don't wanna walk right through where they're roosting. That's gonna be loud and getting through there. I think it, this is tricky though, cuz you can't I thought Turkeys had no memory.

Like you could be as loud as you wanted walking [00:38:00] in and as long as you got 30 minutes between if you're going in pitch dark. Yeah. Yeah. You're not gonna use a headlamp at all. No, I will. But from what I read, if you are headlamp off for 30 minutes before they fly down, they've already forgotten about.

I would try very hard not to, but if it does happen, I wouldn't I've gone and set up right under a roost tree, busted a bird out of the roost in the dark. Sat there under that roo tree and then killed that bird an hour later when it came back. Yeah, it can happen. Yeah. But you just don't wanna be coming in as sun up first lights coming.

I wouldn't, I would still want to have every element of surprise on that bird, and I want that bird to not know I'm there. Yeah. Yeah. I'm go all, I think that's what they're doing. Everybody saying it yesterday. I was like, I bet they go up to this hill. Yeah. I, we saw that trail. That was a well worn trail and there weren't hoof prints.

I've seen a lot of birds. No Turkey hooks, Cedars. No, I'm saying like, I know what you're saying. Worn. You're just being [00:39:00] stupid. I know what you're saying. The good news from this weekend, you just looked so deadpan at Yeah, the good news from this weekend, we didn't any shotgun blast from the other hunters.

Oh yeah. Yeah. There were no other gunshots. We had a situation where we were calling a bird very early. We went down into this creek bottom and. We had one, Colin, you could just hear it echoing through like the creek bottom or whatever center decoy out. Colin. Colin. It's far away. It's a long shot.

And then he's gobbling and then he's not. So we're like, okay, he's moving. And then all of a sudden, and me and Phil look at each other, he's like . 30 yards from me. I just stand up and go get the decoy, take the ball and go home. Saturday we had more gobbling off to the right and that's what got us into moving that direction.

But yeah, Saturday morning I had somewhat of a similar situation. I property close to a property line there. And I heard a hen just hammering. And my initial reaction was I was gonna try to do what I did last season with my Tom and start calling it this hen hoping maybe she's a lead hen.

She'll bring a tom with her and we start going back and forth and I'm like, okay, I got this hen really [00:40:00] worked up. And then I start thinking more about it and I'm like this, he's not moving at all. And then I start hearing a gobble coming from down there, and then that hand starts hammering off again.

Gobble hand hammering. I'm just gonna sit back for a second and just listen and about 25 minutes later, pow. I was like, yeah, that was probably a hunter the whole time. I'm over here. Yelping at Danny. Yeah. She's a guy, so Yeah. Sounds hideous. All right, friends. Good episode. That was fun. Hopefully Hopefully one of us can bag one before our next episode on Monday.

Be exciting. Quite a few chances here. Yeah. If you're already on go wild. Make sure you log the show, tag us and we'd love to hear your feedback on the show. If you've been listening for a while and you made it this far, we'd appreciate a five star review. We're trying to tell us how to be better Turkey hunters.

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See you. See [00:41:00] you.