Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hunting the Grocery Store in Iowa

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After great success at the Nebraska location, it was time to move to the Iowa location just a ten minute drive from my home.  This farm has it all.  Water to the west, woods and pasture in the center, corn to the south and more wood to the east.  This is turkey heaven, and 90% of the time there was great luck either for a tom or a big jake.  Meat is meat, and I will take whatever is available.  After all, wild game is the perfect food.

The first stop for the morning was a location south of the pasture and woods. I would hunt here if all else failed and there was no score.  This was a picked cornfield and the birds always hang out here after coming off the roost.  The location selected put me facing straight west.  With the timber and sun at my back, I would have a good hiding place.
There is the funky Chicken decoy waiting to sucker some big boy into a fight.
Click on the link below and check it out at Bass Pro.

flextone Funky Chicken Turkey Decoy

I was set up by 07:30 a.m. and everything was in order with two feeder hens along with the Funky Chicken decoy.  Having tried this experience twice, it was obvious the Funky Chicken decoy suckered in the boys.  Next year I am going to bring a camera along and get this experience on tape.  The big boys just can't handle having this guy hanging around.  They want to kick the living tar out of him.

When my wife and I had hiked through this area, there were always plenty of turkeys so there was a lot of confidence.  Settling in with some fallen timber around me and waiting 20 minutes to let the woods settle down, the hunt was on.  The birds began to sing and I could hear the squirrels running around.  Deer came out of the woods and never paid me a bit of attention. Cutting loose with a couple of yelps and some clucks and purrs on the call,  gave some big boy out there a message there was a willing hen waiting.
The two feeder hens were put out with Mr. Funky.  The manufacturer recommended this combination of three decoys. Funky Chicken along with two feeder hens was all you needed. 

Seven hens came out of the woods to the south of me doing what turkeys always do.  They scratched and pecked at the ground.  Passing withing 10 yards of me, they paid no attention that I was even there.  This was a good sign and gave me confidence that the hiding place was well concealed. The disappointment was in not seeing a tom or even a jake with this group of young ladies.  The question was asked, "Where are the boys with all these ladies hanging around?"

Sitting there till 11 a.m. produced nothing and I went home.  As I pulled into the driveway, my wife was out watering her flowers and came over immediately expecting to see a nice specimen of a turkey.  That was a disappointment. Now the plan was to go into the pasture north of me in the evening prior to the birds heading to the roost.

Winchester Long Beard XR Magnum Turkey Shotshells

Winchester Long Beard XR Magnum Turkey Shotshells
This is the shell I shoot.  I shoot 3.5 inch # 5 shot.  When shooting a really big bird you need all the power you can harness. Click on the link or the picture to buy from Bass Pro. 

Afternoon came and went, and I headed back over to the pasture that was north of the previous spot.  The birds historically had worked from the west to the fields, pastures and timber in the east of the farm.  The one concern was keeping track of the cattle in the pasture.  They always stayed pretty much together, but my wife and I take our blue grass cuttings weekly over to them.  This must be like cocaine to a cow because when they see the black truck they all come running.  This time the truck was parked close to the edge of the timber.  A couple looked up, but then went back to grazing.  I have had them follow me.

As I walked back to the east end of the pasture, a couple of jakes and a few hens were spotted, but nothing of any size.

The funky decoy and the two feeders were set up and I took a position against some timber on the opposite side of the electric fence surrounding the pasture. On site by 5 p.m., it was a beautiful evening.  After letting the woods settle down again and waiting until I could hear the sounds of the forest, everything was ready.  The call went into action with a couple of yelps, some clucks and purrs to let one of the boys know a woman was in the woods.
There he is, the Funky Chicken decoy attempting to sucker some unsuspecting turkey into a fight. 

This time a camo folding chair was brought along and there was plenty of fallen timber to huddle into to keep myself hidden.  There is nothing like comfort when you are hunting. If you read my book "How to Hunt Like a Gentleman" you will see, besides harvesting game, it is good to be comfortable.

I hid right behind the electric fence.  In years past, birds had traversed this area.  Not today. 

I waited until 7 p.m. as the sun was on the western horizon and gave it up.  It happens and you don't score all the time.  It is called hunting, not shooting.  I have had a good season with a nice tom and the thrill of watching the Funky Chicken Decoy in action.

The balance of the season in southwest Iowa was filled with rain and there was no opportunity to go again.  As of this writing, it is almost time to start fishing.

Sierra Trading Post

Good hunting, good fishing, Hank. 


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