By Scott ‘ Coach’ Stankowski
Having divided up on this 2000 acre property, we knew we were well separated. Having driven around the property once already, we had targeted a few birds to go after that were strutting their stuff. CJ and I worked behind the turkey fan on an alfalfa field and were getting close.
The weather was a bit warmer than we wanted. We went through a lot of water as the temps rose to near 70 degrees under mostly sunny skies and light breezes.
Every time we would move, however, the birds moved as well. We maintained a 70-yard window where a hen led two big boys were feeding. We worked our way down and around and the birds decided to head off the field as they seemed a bit spooked by something, perhaps us. We boogied up a bit and had the toms at 40 yards. I was waiting for CJ to shoot, but the birds were just out of his 20 gauge range. We let them walk.
CJ and I decided that the next bird he had a crack at would be with my gun if it was that far out. As we were walking ridge tops, we spotted a bird about a mile away strutting to some hens. He bustled down into the valley below and we marked him by his gobbles. It was nearly noon and this guy was vocal. The birds were on the move and just over the ridge top, allowing us to sneak along undetected. We got ahead of their path and worked our way up. We would crawl from juniper to yucca to juniper with me checking frequently along the way.
Where I thought I would see the birds I peeked up and saw a red head about 30 yards out feeding. I told CJ to grab my gun, stand up and there would be a big ole gobbler there for him. He rose ever so slowly, flipped the safety and fired. I saw two things stumble and go down at the blast. One was the turkey, and he did not move after. The other was poor CJ who was jolted by the 3.5” chambered shell that rocked him back about two feet.
A high five and a hug all but wiped away the tears and CJ was carrying his second 20 pound bird.
We decided to take it easy and headed back to the truck where we waited for the other two.
It took a while, well into the afternoon for them to appear. When they got back to the truck, both were hoisting toms over their shoulders.
Again the sneak attack was the method as Randy had to belly crawl in a pasture to get near the toms that were just over a small rise. Austin, on the other hand, had run and gunned his away to a very vocal bird that he was able to sneak attack around some thick junipers.
We were parched and ready for some grub. We headed back to town and hit the dirt roads to Gross, population of two. The town has what looks like a storage building. Inside is the Nebrask Inn. Not only is it a bar, it’s a restaurant. The boys learned that Gross used to have over 300 residents before the trains rerouted and a fire later ensued leaving the town virtually deserted. We filled our bellies with grub in this very popular watering hole in the middle of nowhere. All the locals know this place very well.
After a long day in the field and little sleep we headed back to camp and hit the hay. The boys each had a bird to go and I had yet to pull the trigger.
Until next time,