Turkey Journal

Each day, we are in the field during turkey season, we will give our viewers  an update on what we are experiencing.  Check back often to see if we had success or can pass along  any trends that we are seeing in the turkey’s behavior.   Youth season kicks off  Saturday, April 4th, and we plan to start updating everyone on a regular basis until the end of turkey season.  Gobble!  Gobble!  See our updates below.

Struttin Turkey

Strutting gobbler in the woods.

 

Monday, May 11th – Well, the 2015 spring turkey season has come and gone. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves this year and had some great hunts that we will take with us for years.

First off, I have to give a shout-out to our pro-staffer, Dale Wilson. The Godfather of turkey hunting, was able to fill both his tags and guided his grandson Alec Clark on two birds as well. What a season, and to have it all on film, that is just icing on the cake.

For the rest of us, this season was tougher than normal. The farms we hunt, seemed to not have as many birds as they’ve had in the past. On numerous mornings, birds could be heard just over the property line, gobbling their heads off, but would never work to our side of the fence.  When we found a bird gobbling on the roost, he would hit the ground and go quiet.

Once we found a bird, a couple of things seemed to happen. First, and most often, he would not respond to our call in any way form or fashion or would work into 70 yards and no further. I don’t know what the reason for this was, but it happened and it happened a lot.

Despite, the overall tough season, we had success.  Josh and Jeremy where able to double on a couple of longbeards late in the day and Tony had great turkey vocalizations before he laid the smack down.  Me, I was privileged to film my co-leasee Nick harvest a bird and I connected on a bird off camera late in the season.

The 2015 turkey season was tougher than I remember past seasons being, but a day in the turkey woods is never bad.  It is always a pleasure seeing nature awake from winter’s slumber and hearing the gobblers serenade beautiful sunrises.

 

Friday, May 8th –Well, it is the last weekend in Kentucky to chase turkeys.  If you can stand the rising temperatures, humidity and biting insects you could be rewarded.  Most hens are heading to the nest and gobblers are looking for the LAST available hen.  If you can find a fired up tom, gobbling his head off, he could be yours.  They are on the look for an available hen and could be easily persuaded to come check out the sweet love talk of your calling.

We plan on running and gunning all of our farms this weekend, hoping to catch a love sick tom.  We will give everyone an update on our success or failures later on this weekend.  Again, may God Bless and please stay safe my friends!

Turkey Gobbling

Turkey Gobbling

 

Thursday, May 7th – Well, Josh got the Kentucky turkey hunting curse off his back real quick in Nebraska.  The first morning out he was able to harvest this beautiful bird.  Congrats Josh!  Stay safe and keep harvesting those longbeards.

Nebraska Bird

Nebraska Bird

Josh's Nebraska Bird

Josh poses with this beautiful bird he harvested in Nebraska.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 5th – Most of the D2W pro-staff is back to work and are just chasing turkeys on the weekends right now, except for one.  Josh Yancey and his buddy Drew Williams are on their way to Nebraska for a five day hunt.  We wish them the best of luck, but the weather isn’t looking to promising.  Stay tuned for updates from their trip and if we can connect on a very late season gobbler.

nebraska

 

Sunday, May 3rd – Click the link at the end of this sentence to see a video blog of Drew’s hunt from today.  Drew’s Hunt Recap

 

Saturday, May 2nd – This morning was a repeat performance of the whole season, basically.  For one group, only one gobble was heard all morning and a bird was not seen.  Another group, had birds gobbling all morning long, but could not get them any closer than 70 yards.  Man, that sounds familiar.

This afternoon I went on a search for some birds, run and gun style.  I hit 4 farms and saw one hen total.  I finally got to my last farm and was in for a treat.  I worked my way to a secluded field and glassed.  It appeared empty at first, but after a while a hen appeared in the yellow tops.  As I watched the field several other birds emerged into view.  Finally, a gobbler appeared and boy was he red.  He fed for a moment, but something caught his eye and he went on full alert and ran across the field.  I was at a loss for what was happening, until, another gobbler came running out of the woods toward him.  The fight was on!  They fought for five minutes walking in circle and taking turns jumping and flogging one another.  These birds were evenly matched and neither gave an inch.  What a cool sight in those yellow tops.  A victor finally emerged and ran the rival off.  Unfortunately, they were never in range for a shot and went the opposite way.  This did tell me where to be in the morning though.  This afternoon, I was just hunting and I did not have a camera.  Man, I wish I had the footage to share with everyone, it was something I have never seen at that magnitude before.  I wish I could’ve brought it to everyone.

 

Friday, May 1st – Josh and I hunted today, and to sum it up, we came so close!  We started off in a place that I had scouted and had a bird pegged.  On Thursday morning, he was right where we needed him to be.  This morning, not a peep.  As we waited for daylight to appear we never heard a gobble, but did notice boot prints in the mud.  Evidently, someone beat me to the punch and harvested this bird or changed his routine.  That is how it goes and off to the next farm.

We quickly regrouped and found another bird strutting with three hens and made our move.  We got in his area and had him and his harem within 65 yards of our set for 2 hours.  Unfortunately, he never got any closer.  It was a great experience, and just added to the enjoyment and frustration of our season.

This afternoon, basically the same thing happened for Josh.  He found a bird and he was answering his calls.  He worked in close, but never got close enough for a shot.  The bird actually worked all the way around his set, but a nearby neighbor started working in his yard and the bird hushed and moved off.

At least we have found a couple of birds and maybe, just maybe, we can connect tomorrow.

Be safe my fellow hunters!

Tenn Turkey

Gobbler strutting with some hens.

 

Thursday, April 30th –  If you haven’t punched your tag yet, keep your chin up, the best is yet to come.  I say that somewhat biting my tongue, because I’m having a hard time finding a bird to hunt.  We have noticed that gobbling on the roost has been way down on our farms this week.  We aren’t sure if they have been pressured into being silent, if it is weather related or if the breeding season is coming to a close.  All three may be factors.  To give you an example of what I am talking about, opening weekend I had seven birds in one block of woods.  Now, I’m not hearing a single bird in that area and know of only one bird killed of this farm and the neighbors farm.

I am not losing faith though.  Experience has taught me that if you find a tom this time of year that is fired up, your odds on harvesting him should increase in these waning days.  With more hens heading to the nest, these birds should be freeing up earlier in the day and then he is on the hunt for that last available hen.  Just like the post-rut in deer season, sometimes this can be the best time to fill your tag.

We will be hitting the woods again this afternoon and through the weekend trying to fill our final tags.  Check back at the end of each day and we will update you on what we are seeing.  I know we will be running and gunning all of our farms the next few days trying to locate a lonely tom.

God Bless and Be Safe!!!!

Strutting Tom

A tom leaving his hens and checking out our decoys.

 

Tuesday, April 28th – Most of our pro-staff is back to their jobs and we won’t be as active in the turkey woods until later this week.  As I reflect on this season I can only come up with one word to describe it, weird.  I don’t think there is one thing to contribute to its weirdness, but several factors.  My thoughts keep taking me back to the weather.  For the most part it has been unstable with system after system coming through.  I believe it has played a major role in the behavior of the turkeys.  Another thing that has been off this year is what we all love to hear in the spring, gobbling.  It seems the birds gobble well on the roost and maybe a couple times when they hit the ground, but then go silent.   I’m used to hearing them sound off throughout the morning letting you know where they are at.  Not this year.  Finally, birds have been almost totally unresponsive to calling.  They don’t gobble and just the other day I yelped at a couple of jakes and they ran into the woods.  I don’t sound that bad.

Needless to say it has been different this year.  I know lots of people have had great success and lots who have not had much success.  This is the latest I’ve been in the season and not harvested a bird.  Granted, I’ve filmed three kills and I claim those. . :).  A couple of people scouted this morning and did not hear a gobble.  Is it over or did the cool morning give them lock jaw?  Time will tell, but I know I will be back in the woods this weekend and won’t give up until I harvest one of those elusive gobblers.

May God Bless!

 

Sunday, April 26th – We had some great encounters today, but for the most part it was the same old song and dance.  Two teams got on birds on the roost.  We had the gobblers work toward our sets, but they did not completely commit.  Both teams tried to reposition and in both cases we got busted.  With one team a hen busted them while they were repositioning and the other team didn’t get setup before the Tom popped out.  Both were within steps of being set.

Our gobblers gobbled well on the roost and a few times once they hit the ground, but  shut-up pretty quick after fly down.  Like I said yesterday, this season has been different.  Lots of guesses as to why, but no matter the reason we will keep plugging along.

May God Bless!

 

Saturday, April 25th – Well, for most of us this season has been….weird.  The birds just aren’t gobbling or reacting to calls and sets like they normally do.  A couple of crews heard birds gobble on the roost and then hit the ground and absolutely nothing.  Once again I did see a lot of activity between 8:30 and 10:00.  Four hens came in the field along with 3 jakes.  We lightly called to the jakes and they ran in the woods, go figure.

We do have one pro-staffer who has been apart of 4 kills, two kills for himself and two for his grandson Alec.  Dale Wilson has had a great season.  This morning he scouted one of his properties for trespassers to start the day, but once they didn’t show he went to his blind.  At 9:42 he had his second tag filled.  The tom worked into his set, attacked his jake decoy and then stayed around for several minutes before Dale put the smack down.   Stay tuned for the footage in about a week.

 

Friday, April 24 –  A couple of theD2W teams hunted this morning and both teams reported the same thing, SLOW!  They did not hear a gobble at daybreak and then had a hard time locating birds.  Once again, mid-morning provided the most activity with a couple of birds gobbling 4 or 5 times a piece.  Pro-staffers repositioned on the birds, but to no avail.

I know several people have tagged out or have at least one tagged filled, but overall this season has been tougher than normal.  We can locate birds, but can’t get a reaction.  Maybe this weekend and the season getting a week further along will allow some of these gobblers to free up and start seeking available hens.

Good luck this weekend and may peeps feel their tags!

 

Thursday, April 23 –  What we saw on Tuesday continued today.  Most birds are committed to hens as soon as they hit the ground and are unresponsive to calls.  We heard very little gobbling, which was unexpected because we felt the conditions were perfect for a loud morning.  It seemed that between 9 and 11 this morning the birds were really active in the fields and on the move according to several reports.  Around 10:00 we had a gobbler come out with two hens 300 yards away.  Both hens that were with this gobbler left him and we called him into 65 yards of our set, but no further.  We were unable to get decoys out and he would not finish without seeing any hens.  If you have the opportunity, hunt mid-morning and success could be yours.  Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, April 21 – Mid-Morning seemed to be the ticket on Tuesday, April 21st.  Both crews were near the birds while they were on the roost, but once they flew down they wouldn’t pay attention to either one of our sets.  Both crews repositioned themselves to the area the birds moved off in and had success a little later in the morning.  Around 9:00 the hens started to move around and the gobblers were finally willing to investigate our sets.  On both hunts these gobblers had hens with them, but were willing to look for new hens a little later in the mornings.  Keep at it guys and it will pay off.  These hunts will be on our site in the next few days.  Please check back!

Nick Bird

Nick connected on this bird around 9:45.

Tony's Mid-Morning Bird

Tony connected on this Tom around 9:00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 20th – A couple of peeps hunted this morning and one person connected using the terrain and the turkey’s curiosity to his advantage.  He didn’t have any decoys out, but had a hill that dropped off just behind the blind.  When the big tom came in the field, Kyle started calling.  The tom gobbled and held his ground anticipating the hens to come to him.  After a while and some aggressive calling, he couldn’t stand it anymore and came to investigate.    Well, for the gobbler it ended in a dirt bath.  Keep hunting hard my friends and try this strategy when applicable.

Hunter's Turkey

Hunter with a turkey that he harvested using the strategy above.

Sunday, April 19th – Well, what a rainy gloomy start to the day.  Birds gobbled very little if you were able to get out and hunt.  Once they hit the ground we experienced no reaction to our calls and for the most part birds stayed put in the fields until the rain moved out.  Later in the afternoon, things heated up.  Alec Clark was able to fill his second tag and I was fortunate to film Josh and Jeremy double.  I’ve had reports and experienced tough hunting the first couple of days of our season.  The afternoons have been productive if you can’t connect in the morning.   I know some don’t hunt the afternoons, but it has paying off.   Stay tuned for video of our shows, they should be posted in a couple of days.  Those fortunate enough to be off, good luck and stay safe!

Double Pic

Josh and Jeremy connected on a couple of toms late in the afternoon.

 

Opening Day, Saturday April 18th – Time for all the scouting and listening to payoff.  Well, it put all of us in the game, but pro-staffer Dale Wilson was the only one to connect.  The rest of us had birds all around us, but wouldn’t commit to our sets because of hens. Tony and I had a gobbler in our field for three hours strutting 150 yards away, but never came to our decoys or calling.  Josh and Jeremy had birds close as well, but wouldn’t commit either.  Dale had encounters this morning, but his tom was intercepted by a hen before he made it in.  Jakes and hens came right to the middle of his set.  Later in the afternoon, Dale closed the deal on the gobbler because of his afternoon scouting.  Rain in the forecast tonight and in the morning.  I hope it is not pouring.  If it isn’t, we will be out there.

Dales Bird

Dale Wilson with his opening day gobbler!

 

Friday Morning, April 17th – Final day of listening/scouting before season kicks off in the morning.  Birds were a little more vocal, in comparison to yesterday, and birds seemed to be in the same general spots as the last couple of mornings.  Something I’ve noticed this spring, I have not been seeing birds where I normally do….. until the last couple of days.  There have been a couple of spots that have always had birds in the past, but this year they just haven’t been there.  Well, yesterday morning and this morning they finally showed up and just in the nick of time.  Hopefully, they will continue to show themselves and give us a couple more options on our hunting locations.  We want to wish everyone safe and successful hunts.  Roost them tonight and roast them in the morning.

 

Thursday Morning, April 16th – A couple of teams scouted this morning.  We had some rain move thru a couple hours before daylight and it seemed to minimize the birds gobbling a bit.  It was very foggy in the Boaz area and we heard limited gobbling from about three birds.  In the Melber area it was the same thing for most birds except one.  A gobbler who did not have any hens was pretty vocal on the roost and when he hit the ground.  I have some pretty cool audio of some hens and gobblers. Click on the video below to hear the turkeys talking.

 

Wednesday, April 15th – All of us were out scouting this morning.  Lots of gobbling, but birds seemed to be more spread out compared to the last couple of days.  Once the birds hit the ground, they continued to gobble longer than they have been.  Noticing more and more single hens, especially in the afternoon.  We believe the older or more dominant birds are pushing the younger birds away from their hens.  Hopefully, this means birds will be more willing to respond to the calls this weekend.  Gonna keep scouting the rest of this week.  Stay tuned!

 

Tuesday, April 14th –  Well, the rain kept us from locating the birds on the roost this morning.  Overnight and thru the first part of the morning we had at least two inches of rain.  After work this afternoon a couple of pro-staffers were able to locate some toms strutting in the fields.  Weather permitting, we will be scouting our spots again tomorrow morning before work.  We plan to hit some different spots tomorrow.

 

Monday, April 13th – The D2W crew is going to be out this week scouting in preparation for Saturday mornings opening day.   It looks like we have a lot of rain in the forecast, but we will be out each morning, weather permitting.  I listened this morning and heard three different birds.  They seemed to be very spread out and were  on a farm that I have never heard a bird on before.  Josh hunted hard in Tennessee this weekend and noticed the gobblers are still henned up.  He has a great clip of some turkey vocalizations.  I hope to put it on here in a day or so.  By Drew Ramage

 

Monday, April 6th – We probably won’t have many updates this week, but will kick things off again next Monday.  Kentucky’s season doesn’t start until Saturday, April 18th, and we won’t be in the field as much until we start scouting again.  We are so ready to get in the woods and hunt these gobblers, but trying not to let our fever get too high until closer to time.  One Pro-Staffer is lucky and will be hunting in Tennessee this weekend.  We will bring an update on his hunts and what he is seeing in regards to the turkey behavior this weekend.

 

Easter Sunday, April 5th – Happy Easter everyone!  Christ has risen!  With this Sunday being Easter, our time in the field was limited  because of Church and family gatherings.  We did have a couple of teams in the field early and they reported the same thing.  Birds gobbled well on the roost and for a while once they hit the ground, but as soon as they gathered their hens the game was up.  They were content strutting their stuff and staying put.  No response to calls.  I would like to congratulate Alec Clark, Dale’s grandson on connecting with a Tom yesterday afternoon.  Later in the day or late in the afternoon seems to give our youth a better chance.  One other note from a couple of teams.  The birds seemed to be relating to the woods rather than the fields.  With no canopy, the birds can strut their stuff and be seen for a good ways.

 

Saturday, April 4th –  Well, it was a tough morning for our youth.  We had several close encounters, but could not close the deal.  Either birds stayed out of range or never presented a shot.  The birds seemed to gobble a little later on the roost and then hit the ground and went silent.  They are not responding to the calls and repositioning is impossible with the lack of foliage.  Maybe they will be more responsive later in the morning or this afternoon.  As we were exiting the woods, we jumped a hen that seemed to be nesting.  That is an interesting note as we have not seen any sign of that in the past week.    If you know where the birds are roosting,  it might be a good idea to get close to that spot this afternoon.  Be careful to not educate the birds, as it is way early in the season.  Best of luck everyone.

 

Friday, April 3rd – A few members of D2W were able to listen/scout for birds this morning before the rain set in.  Birds really gobbled and the Pro-Staff have some birds pegged for our youth this weekend.  Tony’s quote of the day:  “Them birds better be getting them helmets on.”

 

Thursday, April 2nd –  We had all intentions of going out and listening this morning, but a thunderstorm rolled thru right at sunrise.  We probably won’t scout on Friday morning because of more rain in the forecast.  Check back with us on Saturday to see if any of our youth have any luck.

 

Wednesday, April 1st – Several of the D2W crew went to their farms this morning  to listen, scouting for the upcoming youth season.  The main observation, the birds are flocked up.  If you have the flock, you have a bunch of birds.  If not, you may hear some, but they are off in the distant and all in the same spot.  Overall, they did not seem as vocal this morning compared to the last couple of days.