Missouri 2014 Turkey Season Recap
The Missouri turkey season opens in Mid-April every year and runs for 21 days. I was fortunate enough to get out for 8 days of the hunt, and actually hunted 5 different farms. Weather was good and very conducive to spending significant time in the woods. (Hunting hours end at 1 p.m.)
I spent opening day at my brother John’s leased farm, where we heard several birds gobbling early but nothing working the fields on his farm. The rains came and quickly caused the gobblers to shut down their vocals for the day. A couple of my friends decided to hunt Glen’s farm, as they were hearing birds all week prior to the opener. Glen ended up calling in a nice 24.3 lb with an 11” beard. He used his Quaker Boy "Old Boss Hen" call to call him across a large field at 11:30 a.m. It certainly paid off for him to maximize his time in the field. (see slideshow)
The next day we hooked up with John’s neighbor as we were invited to come hunt his farm. The morning was spent in a blind overlooking a small 5 acre field. We heard birds on the ridges overlooking the field, but nothing showed up. At 9, I decided to chase down a bird that was gobbling at everything, over the ridge behind me. John looked as if he needed a nap in the blind, so I decided to run-n-gun. Of course the bird I’d be hearing all morning decided to shut up, and the next thing I heard was BBOOOMM! I made my way back to the 5 acre field and the blind but there was no John. Fifteen minutes later, my hunting companion comes strutting into the field with a nice 22 lb bird with a 10” beard. (see slideshow)
John proclaimed he was motivated by me leaving and decided to hunt a gobbling bird in the opposite direction of where I had gone. Within 15 minutes, he had reached the high point, overlooking a ridge, gave a couple of soft calls from his new Turkey Thug slate call, He was rewarded with a resounding return gobble. Picking a good spot of concealment, he proceeded to call ever so softly when the gobbler stepped out in a small clearing to strut his stuff. After watching the mesmerizing display for several minutes, he poked up his head and John closed the deal.
The weekend hunt was scheduled at a nearby farm where I was fortune enough to harvest a monster bird last year. My son and I have a particular fondness for this farm as it is really close to our homes and loaded with wildlife. Our hunt was exciting again, but this time the 2 mature birds we were hunting were in the company of hens in a field on the adjacent property. We got them to answer our calls with thundering gobbles, but there was no way to entice them away from their “girls”.
The final weekend plan was for the 5 of us to head up to a Northern Missouri farm, where we have been hunting together for 6 years. Pat puts this trip together every year and he and Dan host us other 3. Both Dan and Pat had already put a bird in the freezer off this farm. Pat loves the Pretty Boy decoy and hunts strategically with it late morning. He had his Quaker Boy mouth call working to perfection, and when the mature 23lb gobbler stepped out into the field he was hunting and saw a “rival” in full strut, he came charging in. Pat was patient and watched the ensuing show of “Who’s the Boss. The live bird was antagonized by this intruder and proceeded to peck and spur the Pretty Boy until Pat’s Browning put an end to his reign as top bird on the property. (see slideshow).
I managed to call in a couple of different jakes and a bobcat over the course of the season, but nothing I wanted to put in the freezer. Exciting hunts overall, great experiences with my friends and family, and a chance to spend time outdoors. The Quaker Boy products were HIGHLY effective this year, and they offer a great value for your investment. We have several months until dove season opens, guess it’s time to breakout the fishing rods.