- By Rich Miller
After flying home from my Kansas weekend of hunting with my buddies from Code Blue and Bass Pro, I had to come home and work for three days. After three long days of working that I thought would never end, I had to leave on Wednesday afternoon and drive all night to get there in time to hunt Thursday morning.
After a long sixteen-hour drive I made it to the Woody Outfitters lodge in time for the hunt. I normally wouldn’t have made the turnaround that quick but the owner of the lodge, Burns, had done me a favor and I owed him one. He had some friends coming in and he needed us to help them kill some turkeys. I got there just in time to meet up with the guys and head to the woods. I got paired up with a guy from Missouri named Bob along with my buddy Mick. When I got there everyone was watching the radar and trying to figure out when the thunderstorms were going to get there and how long they would last. We loaded up in the truck and headed out to the piece of property that we were going hunt and take our chances. As you can imagine, when we pulled up there was lightning popping everywhere and the rain came as soon as we pulled through the gate. We waited out the storm in the truck and it finally cleared out about eight o’clock that morning. When we got out of the truck - about several hundred yards in the field behind us - there were several turkeys feeding. Before the rain had gotten too bad we stood outside the truck a few minutes and heard a few turkeys gobbling. So when we spotted the turkeys in the field we grabbed our gear and headed around to the other side of the field and set out our Pretty Boy decoy. As soon as we started calling, a gobbler cranked up and about thirty minutes later we had him strutting around the decoy at fifteen yards. Bob made a good shot and forty five minutes after we got out of the truck we were back at it with a bird in the back. While we were putting the bird in the truck we noticed another bird in the field behind us all by himself. So Bob and I crawled out to the only tree in the middle of the field and I put Pretty Boy back out and crawled back to the truck to watch the show. The bird worked in to about eighty yards and then started skirting around the field and Bob wasn’t going to be able to get a shot. I grabbed my shotgun out of the truck and crawled down the hill far enough so I could stand up and run around and try to get in front of the bird. Mick stayed at the truck and kept calling to slow the bird down because every time he called the bird would stop and strut. This gave me just enough time to get around and set up before he got to the back of the field. I didn’t have to do any more calling because the bird was headed straight to me so I just let him come. I ended up shooting my first bird at about twenty yards and had my first Kansas bird of the year and hadn’t been there but four hours. After getting back to the truck and all the high fives the rain and lightning started back and we headed back to the lodge.
When we arrived back at the lodge, most of the guys were back and there were several more guys that had been successful in the first morning. Some had gone back to bed that morning because they thought it was going to rain all day. But for the guys that braved the weather, we reaped the rewards.