A Late Season Turkey

IMG_0635With Kansas Turkey season quickly winding down and me still having a tag in my pocket I just had to get one more hunt in before the season ends. I have only made it out one other time this year and the turkeys won that round. So when my friend Chip called to asking if I wanted to go turkey hunting the next morning I said yes. What I should have done is looked at where he wanted to go and what time he wanted to get up, but I needed to fill this tag.

So when the alarm went off at 3 AM I asked myself what the heck and I doing, it’s a stinking turkey! We would be hunting a spot in SE Kansas 2 hours from my house that had been holding a good number of birds, but with the long drive I could only hunt till 9 am SHARPE so I could make it back to work for a Noon meeting.

Chip and I got in the blind just before LST and where soon treated to two gobblers about 300 yards away arguing over who is the boss bird in the roost. After sun rise the birds when silent, then out of now where a bird came flying over our heads and about took our hats off. It was a tom but neither Chip or I where expecting a bird to fly over us so we didn’t get a good look at it’s size. Within a few minutes we had two hens do the same thing. One flew over us and landed in the strutting zone behind us, the second hen land right in front of us and started pecking around. Quickly the second hen joined her but not the gobbler…

Over the next 3 hours we called in a dozen hens and 6 jakes which has jakes are know to do entertained us for a good while. Needless to say we where both surprised that no Tom’s had shown up with all the hens.

With a strict 9 am go time our hunt was quickly coming to an end. At 8:50 I told Chip it was time to go. As we stood up to head out Chip looked in the pasture behind us and noticed a lone red head sticking up about 300 yards out in the middle of the pasture. He was walking catty corner away from us going to the other side of the field where the 6 jakes where messing around. We sat back down and decided to throw a hail-marry at this guy. We couldn’t tell how big he was or if he was a Tom or a Jake, all we new is he had a red head and we had 10 minutes.

All morning I had been keeping our calling light since we where hunting late season birds. Only doing little subtle clucks, chirps and light cutting. With only a few minutes to call this birds in I got real aggressive right away with him. I was very loud, very fast and very short with my calls. I hit him with the first set and he stopped in his tracks and start looking at us. After a minute of calling the jakes took off on a dead run at a 90 degree angle away from us like they had been spooked by something to a tree line the ran by us. The tom follow them away as I was calling. Chip and both thought that was game over.

As we where getting ready to go I caught a glimpse of that red head about 300 yards out on the back side of the tree line. One last chance so I called again really aggressively. As I did he bolted on a dead run right at us. He kept the tree row between us and him but he cover the 300 yards in 25 seconds and stopped just on the other side of the trees at about 40 yards. After a few more seconds, he took two more steps to an opening and at 8:58 I pulled the trigger and dropped him in his tracks. He ended up weighing about 22 lb with a 10 1/4 inch beard and had 1 1/4 in hooks. All in all a solid late season bird, and what a morning!

I have called in a hundred of turkeys over the years but this one did everything he was not suppose to do in a third of the time they would normally do it in. All in all a great morning in KS!



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