- Keywords -
- Category Turkey Hunting
- Region -
- Prostaff Member Dan Braman
Day 1- We woke up early and went into to town to meet with the land owner. After meeting him we got in the truck with him so he could drive us to different properties around the area. I can't begin to say how many turkeys we saw but well over fifty on out first drive down I-80.
The first farm we looked at was a freshly planted corn field on one end and a cattle feed lot on the other. We saw seven gobblers and a lot of hens around this property. We left there and looked at a place they called the elk pasture. Again, we saw birds but continued on to the last place we looked at for the day. This place was along the Platte river and it looked good. Rolling hills with huge trees mixed with corn fields seemed to me like it would have been a turkey's paradise. We finally found the birds on the neighboring pasture but felt pretty sure that they were roosting on the property we had permission to hunt. The weather was starting to turn bad so we went to the landowner's restaurant and ate breakfast. With the rain coming down we decided to just go to where we were staying and wait the bad weather out. Around 3:00PM the rain eased up so Jimmy went looking at other places while Steve and I went to the elk pasture. We had seen some birds near the entrance and let them walk away hoping for a chance to call them back. We set up and called for a little while and never heard or saw anything. The wind was howling so I thought it made sense to move closer to where we had seen the birds last. Steve saw two big toms strutting out in a field. We quickly set up and did everything I knew how to do to bring them in but they were henned up. Oh well tomorrow's another day.
Day 2- We woke up this morning to thunder storms and pouring rain. The rain never let up until 3:30PM so we were in the house until then. Once it stopped, we went to the property west of town and found the group of birds in the same place they had been before; on neighboring land. They were within fifty yards of the land we could hunt so we decided to try it. We made it to within probably 150 or 200 yards of them and set up. Jimmy called to them for nearly an hour but the birds have so many hens with them it was pointless. We did hear them gobble enough to know that they were walking away from us. Without permission to hunt the land they were on we picked up our things and headed to the house.
Day 3- Up at 4:00AM so we could get to the feed lot area before daylight. I blew my coyote howler and a bird gobbled about 100 yards from us down near the river. We grabbed our things and headed in to set up. To me, it was a perfect set up; we had two toms gobbling within 70 or 80 yards of us. Right before fly down we started hearing hens and if someone wanted to tell me that there were twenty hens with these gobblers I wouldn't argue.
It didn't take us long to figure out that we were wasting our time with these two toms. We got back in the truck and drove down towards the cornfield. Once we arrived at the gate going to the corn field we saw several birds about a half mile away. With no way to get near them in such open country we decided to leave them along and come back before daylight in the morning. As we drove down I-80 Jimmy thought we should check out the elk pasture. As we pulled up to the gate going into the elk pasture we saw 4 jakes, 2 hens, and 2 long beard. We stopped just close enough to make the turkeys walk off and to my surprise the jakes and hens went one way and gobblers another. This was the break I had been looking for.
Steve and I grabbed our gear and walked down a fence to where we had last seen them. After getting set up I started calling every half hour or so. Around an hour later I saw one bird come running by from right to left. The bird moved so far to the left I couldn't see what he was doing so I just watched Steve. I knew when Steve started slowly raising his gun that good things were happening. I heard a bird drumming and saw Steve's finger move onto the trigger. BANG and I didn't hear any flopping. Next thing I know I see a bird standing right near the decoys. I asked Steve if he had gotten him and he said that he did. Steve said," The other bird is still standing there." I got on my hands and knees and started crawling to Steve while purring on my mouth call. I grabbed Steve's gun and took the second bird. Nebraska Double in the books. We hunted another piece of property that evening but never saw anything.
Day 4- UP at 3:30AM just to get to where we needed to be by daylight. As we set up right where we had seen the turkey walk under a gate the evening before birds started gobbling. As I listened I know I heard two behind us, two beside us, and another in the distance in front of us. The birds flew down and started gobbling and we could hear the hens as well.
I wasn't too worried because the fence around the field was net wire and the only place the birds could come in without flying was right by this gate. Steve and Jimmy were set up literally feet from the gate. First came seven hens followed by two huge gobblers. All of the hens walked under the gate and out into the field. The gobblers walked up and down the fence and gate but never came through. These birds acted like they couldn't get through it even though we had watched them walk right under it the evening before. After a while the hens turned around and left pulling the long beards with them. FRUSTRATING!!!!!
That afternoon I set up on a piece of property a few miles west of the feed lot. Jimmy and Steve headed to the feedlot area where they would split up and hunt. I called for maybe an hour when I received a text from Jimmy saying that he heard gobblers in the distance and he was going to get closer. About an hour later I received a text that he had gotten a bird with a double beard. With nothing happening at my location I told Jimmy to bring the bird and I'd take photos. We spent an hour taking pictures and then drove into to town to freeze the bird. On our way back to wait on Steve we saw two giant toms in a field near where I had been set up. These gobblers were with hens but we decided to give it a try anyway. I crawled and walked well over a mile this afternoon and never even made them look. The good news is that Steve scored on a fine gobbler. All in all we took four very impressive birds making Nebraska a huge success. It time to leave for eastern Kansas and I hope we have good luck there.