A Fast Start to the Spring Turkey Season

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Well it is finally that time of year again when the camoflauge comes out of the closet, decoys get dusted off, and the bow sights get checked one last time!  Spring turkey season is here!  This year we are going to try to successfully hunt three states - Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.  One of those states has all ready been checked...

This past weekend, we ran up to southeast Nebraska with good friend Chris Barton to hopefully fill three tags in less than 18 hours.  We knew it would be challenging, but also one heck of a good time trying.  As we arrived at Chris' Uncle Jack and Aunt Bonnie's home for dinner, we were greeted by great food and hospitality, but also heavy rains and winds gusting up to 50 mph.  Fortunately, the weather took a turn for the better and conditions could not have been better for the rest of the weekend.

The first afternoon, Bo and I ended up setting up on a property that we had scoured earlier that day with no success.  About five minutes into the setup, we spotted a single bird in a corn field about 600 yards away.  That bird quickly turned into five and they were feeding towards us.  We did not have much time until dinner would be ready so we made the decision to cut the distance and move on these birds.  Once we had repositioned, a few call sequences led to two jakes running, then flying, directly into our setup.  Within 30 seconds, Bo and I both successfully filled our Nebraska tags on two Rio jakes!  Unfortunately I deleted the hero pictures so here is one from the field.

The following morning, we ran down to a property where we had located a few birds the previous day, but unfortunately had our hunt interrupted by a passing vehicle.  With the shut of our truck door, we were greeted by half a dozen birds gobbling from the roost.  These birds gobbled their heads off all morning, but were henned up, and just would not come into the calling.  After a few hours of calling and one quick move of the setup, Bo called in a bird from over a quarter mile away to a mere 20 yards!  Our buddy Chris was in perfect position and made a great shot on his first turkey, which just happened to be a mature, 3+ year old bird.  Congrats on a great bird Chris!!!

The following day was Missouri's season opener.  We had two good friends, Randy and Jay, that decided to come up from Indiana for some Midwest bird hunting.  Again, we fought the wind, but we continuously heard gobbles - both from the roost and on the ground.  As the morning progressed, we heard the great sounds of gun shots to our north - straight from Randy and Jay's direction!  Not four hours into the Missouri season, both guys had birds on the ground!

Bo and I have come close in Missouri.....close as in 10 yards.....but the big gobbler was on the wrong side of the fence and just would not make the final commitment.  But the season has just begun and I'm sure that we will get Bo his first bird in Missouri this year! 

And as a small teaser, both Vince and his son Tristen connected on birds during the past couple of weeks.  Tristen made an impressive shot on a gobbler during youth season and Vince was setup against the perfect tree this morning!  Congrats on the birds guys, but I'll let you tell the stories!

One Final Shed Hunt

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Friday, April 01, 2011

Our plans for this past weekend included a couple last minute, quick, shed hunts, scouting a couple of new properties, and building cedar blinds for the upcoming Kansas turkey season.  Unfortunately, the heaven's opened up and we were greeted with sleet/hail first thing in the morning.  After getting pelted with sleet for over 30 minutes, it got worse......20 mph winds and rain.  But we kept on!

Our primary goal was to shed hunt our main property in Kansas, which is typically covered in 60+ acres of CRP.  The farmer decided to burn the CRP late in the week so we rushed down as quickly as we could with anticipation of picking up dozens of sheds.....unfortunately it looks like someone may have beat us to the punch.  After fighting all of the rain and mud, we came away with ONE shed.....ONE!!  Pretty hard to believe that we would only find one dink in all of that CRP.

After visiting with our neighbors to the north over a few cups of Lee's fine "hobo coffee" and attempting to some what dry our rain soaked clothes, we moved on to scout a few new properties that we recently acquired hunting permission on.  Having only scouted these properties with aerials, we really did not have much for expectations, but in Kansas you just never know when you might find a little honey hole or two.  The first property looked good and offered up a couple potential stand sites that should produce this fall.  But as we were walking a tiny grass waterway in the middle of an 80 acre corn field, we ended up picking up three sheds (one freshie) and then a fourth not 50 yards away.  Unfortunately with the rain we only captured pictures of one shed, the only freshie we found, as it lay in a cut corn field.  I'm awfully proud of this shed though as it's the first shed I have ever found in a corn field!

As we arrived at the next property, we were greated to 80 acres of cut beans, two small grass waterways, and maybe three trees.  Bo and I kind of looked at each other and laughed, but got out of the truck and started walking.  Maybe 100 yards from the truck, tucked away in a small waterway, I stepped on a shed.  Yep, I actually stepped on a shed!!  And what's worse.....I looked behind me and there lay another shed that I walked with a foot of......how the heck does that happen!  They were both year old sheds and from different deer.  Hard to believe that there were two sheds from different deer out there in the middle of nowhere!

Our last find of the day is one of the best we have ever had.  Here we are, walking along the edge of a tiny grass waterway, and Bo is on the field side.  He just happens to look down at the field, stops, looks at me, and looks down again.  There lay exposed about three inches of a shed.  I have no clue how in the heck he saw that in a cut bean field!  Freaking eagle eyes!!  Unfortunately a disc had taken off a portion of the main beam, but it was still a decent sized shed and a great find.

So with turkey season opening up in Kansas today, our shed season is done.  As we mentioned we may find a few here and there while chasing gobblers, but we're done putting miles on our boots.....until next year.  I believe as a total we ended up with somewhere near 40 sheds and a few deads.  Definitely a successful year!