Saturday, June 2, 2012

45 Minutes in an Iowa Pasture

After my wife and I mow, we gather the grass and take it to the cattle in a timbered pasture.  Here we spread the blue grass around and the cows and calves come running when they see the truck.  Also there are three really big toms that come from the west and cross the pasture to the woods on the east side of the pasture.  They come about the same time.  Generally if a person is there around 7 PM they make their appearance crossing the Missouri River Levee to the west.  We have seen them three times and after the landowner moved the cattle to another pasture, I gave him a call. 

The answer was, yes, go get them.  We are neighbors and I have never been turned down to hunt his ground.

Last night I got there at 7:30 PM and they were well into the pasture.  So, I drove my truck through the pasture over small pieces of hidden timber on the ground to get ahead of them.  I got out of the truck and checked.  They had caught me and it was all over.  They headed back the way they came. Plus the truck was very visible.

These two picture are looking west.  The direction they should have come.  The plan was good but the timing was bad.

On the second evening my wife had the mowing done early.  After dinner I drove off to the pasture at 6:45 PM and arived at 7 PM.  It was too late.  They had not seen the truck, so I dodged the obstacles in the pasture and tried to get ahead of them.  I got out of the truck in the shadows and grabbed my gear.  I spotted a big tree and hid behind it.  There was no sign of them.  I grabbed the crow call and gave a couple of calls.  A little bit of patience was what I needed now.  I did not have it.  I grabbed my slate call and gave a couple of yelps and they answered.  Then I gave some clucks and purrs.

Looking to the southwest from my location.  If they had stayed on track they would have come right by me and one would be in the freezer by now.
I didn't move a muscle as I sighted some turkey. However they were not moving my way but toward the dark timber where they were joined by some hens. That was not good.  Some yelps were given but they did not answer.  Why should they when they had just discovered a harem and I was only one hen? 

Looking toward the dark timber behind me. 
I made a short hike was into the woods behind me. That was a bad idea.  The deer had started to bed down and were flushed.  They took off running with their flags up.  A friend had told me a long time ago.  Be very careful in the woods.  The deer tell the turkey we are there.   Who knows.

My truck.  That was a dumb move.  They could easily see it, but at the time I was in a hurry for an ambush.
It was still daylight but getting darker in the pasture with the sun down behind the trees.  The plan was to be back at 6 PM the next night. 

Tomorrow morning I will pick up my friend John to go north of Tekamah, Nebraska and hunt a friend's farm.  The toms are so big there they almost look prehistoric.  We are on a mission.  It can't get any better than this. 

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank


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