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GREAT GEAR FROM TREEBLINDS TO TURKEY NIGHTMARES

by Brenda Potts 21. February 2012 10:34
Brenda Potts

For the past few months we have attended several shows (including ATA, SHOT and Eastern Sports Show) and reviewed hundreds of products. Many great innovations caught my eye but two are at the top of my list. I cannot decide which is my favorite so I am declaring a tie. First place is shared by X-Steps from JWJ Outdoors and the TreeBlind from Nature Blinds.

TreeBlinds. Combine the creative talents and imagination of a Hollywood set designer with his passion for hunting and you get one of the coolest ground blinds ever created. Nature Blinds is producing a ground blind that looks so much like a tree, even its creator has been fooled when taking hunters to the stand. The outer surface mimics the texture of real bark. Animals don't seem to notice the blind as Mr. Whitetail, Larry Weishuhn attested, "Deer were just a few feet away from us and never even looked at the blind."  Texas Outfitter Mike Stroff also believes in the blind's qualities stating," It's so quiet and soundproof inside, we can talk on camera with deer 10 yards away... incredible!" The folks from Nature Blinds also explained how the insulating qualities of this blind can bring the temps inside the blind up to a comfortable level with just the body heat of the individuals inside, while the outside temps are near freezing. The patented window system is one of the best I have ever seen in a ground blind.

While we are on the subject of ground blinds there were a couple more worth noting.


D.I.R.T. (Do It Right Treeblinds) If you are looking for a semi permanent box blind but don't want to build the thing from scratch, try ordering one of the "pre-fabricated" blinds from D.I.R.T. Many times, once a big box blind like this is built and set in place, it never moves. Which may or may not be a good thing. But with these blinds you can take them apart and rebuild them without having to be a carpenter. Which is right up my alley since my carpentry skills are a bit lacking, but after looking it over inside and out, I'm sure I could easily put this together with a little help. They attest that "If you can carry a sheet of plywood to your hunting spot, you can set up a D.I.R.T."

Snap Lock Hunting Blinds. For those interested in a relatively portable ground blind that is a step up from the fabric pop ups, the Snap Lock Blind has weather resistant, insulating qualities. This blind can easily be assembled without tools. It is lightweight and comes in 2 sizes. The blind can be fastened to a wooden floor for even more stability.

Several other products make my list of new and notable.

Night Com UV. Although they don't advertise this potential use, the Night Com UV flashlight  from  Streamlight has an ultraviolet LED that enhances blood trails. It works best when the blood is fresh. The flashlight is super bright on its highest setting, water resistant and of rugged construction. I have been a Streamlight flashlight fan ever since receiving one of their keychain lights called the Nano Light. This tiny flashlight has "saved the night" many times and is practically indestructible, made of machined aircraft-grade aluminum with anodized finish. I know I will never be without one!

Little Mule. How many times could I have used this! When it comes to deer hunting, I can do pretty much all of it on my own with the exception of dragging the deer out of the woods. This product makes that arduous task a breeze. The inventor has loaded the Little Mule with features including Kevlar tires, a built in winch, front and rear lights and an optional hitch making the cart capable of attaching to the back of your ATV once you get the ensemble back to the vehicle.

The Turkey Nightmare. I would love to try this invention for bowhunting turkeys. I also have a young grandson who hasn't quite grasped the concept of "Don't move." Maybe this would help!

 

Turkey Flies Through Window of Coke Delivery Truck

by Steve Flores 1. February 2012 05:08
Steve Flores

Now, having sworn off most beverages other than water, I still haven't forgotten that there are some of you who enjoy a good "sip" now and again. So, I couldn't resist the urge to share with you a small portion of "Wild Turkey and Coke" that you are unlikely to forget. The cool part is that you won't have to explain your actions to a significant other, and your head won't be pounding in the morning either. Sadly, I can't say the same for the particular turkey at the center of all of this attention.

This is the last place you want find turkey feathers and glass.

All kidding aside, the images that follow are a shocking reminder that, while we may be constructing roads, buildings, and bridges, the wildlife that inhabit the land still remain. It is also a glimps at how quickly things can happen.

 

Luckily nobody was seriously injured in this incident (except for the turkey). Yeah, Spring Gobbler season may be months away, but that doesn't mean the these guys are not out and about. Be careful.....and try to stay away from this type of Wild Turkey and Coke!

Categories: Blog | Current News | Pro Staff

Kansas Turkey Tag Out: When Preparation Meets Opportunity

by Steve Flores 10. April 2011 14:16
Steve Flores

In my last post I was getting ready to head out west on my first wild turkey hunt. To say I was excited would be an understatement. With that hunt now in the “memory bank”, all I can say is that Kansas was good to me and without a doubt it was a blessed hunt. However, my influence in the outcome was minuscule at best. Sure, I practiced with my bow and made certain everything was in order; you know….the usual stuff you do before a big hunt. But, beyond that I would feel like a hypocrite if I tried to portray my good fortune as anything other than surrounding myself with people who knew a lot more than I did.  

Greenhorn best describes this guy when it comes to bowhunting long beards.

When I met my guide, I was a little concerned. He was young and full of enthusiasm and I worried he might know as little as I did about chasing turkey’s with a bow and arrow. Thankfully, I was wrong; as his aggressive calling style and youthful “never give up attitude” proved to be a deadly combination.
When the sun came up on my first morning in Kansas I was greeted with a beautiful symphony of endless “gobble-gobble-gobbles”. Turkey’s were everywhere! With each subtle call my guide seemed to orchestrate the perfect invitation. As 5 jakes, 2 long-beards and a lone hen were seduced to within range of our ground-blind I knew it was just a matter if time before my new Mathews eZ7 would get to eat. 

The Mathews eZ7 proved to be smooth drawing and super accurate.

 Being new to the challenge of chasing turkeys with a bow, I can honestly say I wasn’t going to be choosey with my first bird. As soon as the opportunity presented itself I had every intention of loosing an arrow. To my delight, a certain “Jake” decided he would be the one. Just as he was about to reach full-strut my bow string jumped forward. The shot happened so quickly I almost didn’t see the arrow zip through him. His expiration proved to be just as fast as he was dead-in-the-air within a matter of seconds. With my first tag filled on a handsome “Jake” it was time to go after my first gobbler. 

My first turkey with a bow was a thing of beauty…even if he was a “Jake”.

 The NAP Gobbler Getter hit him like Thor’s Hammer.

Moving to a different location, Shane (my guide) and I settled in for what we hoped would be an eventful evening. Once again, his aggressive calling and persistent attitude paid off. With a handful of “jakes” showing mild interest in our setup before heading to roost, we were just about to throw in the towel. Then, a lone gobble ignited a glimmer of hope. Thirty minutes later, with shooting light fading, Shane had managed to lure my second opportunity within bow range.

 

With a change of scenery, hopes were high to fill my final tag.

Peering through the faint camouflage of the blind, I anxiously watched as the long-beard made his way toward our decoy some 15 yards away. When he paused and began to turn his back on his adversary, I drilled him with an NAP tipped, Easton Flatline arrow. Upon impact, the stunned gobbler quickly began to scamper across the lonely field. Hugs and congratulations quickly followed as we watched him topple over some distance away.

 

With a pounding heart I managed to seal the deal on my first gobbler…thanks largely to the efforts of my young guide.

Looking back now, if I can take credit for anything it would be: surrounding myself with a good turkey caller, having a buddy who was kind enough to envite me along on this hunt (and booking said hunt with a great outfitter), and taking along an awesome bow. After all, when it comes to successfully tagging turkey’s, what more does a greenhorn like me need?

If you would like to book your very own turkey adventure contact Rodney Kelly at Kansas Big Buck Outfitters. God Bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Down in Wyoming - My 2011 Touchdown Tom

by Jessica Edd 7. April 2011 13:30
Jessica Edd

With only ten seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and our team covered up deep in turkey territory, we decided to throw a hail mary pass into the end zone desperately hoping for a score and a two point conversion. After covering nearly the entire northeastern portion of Wyoming by driving from Buffalo to Sheridan to Gillette to the National Grassland, back to Sheridan and finally back to Gillette, fighting howling winds and horizontal snow, we knew we needed something big if we were going to score a turkey by the end of our hunt. Our high and long pass started with us on the turkey’s 10 yard line and though we scored our touchdown and found turkeys on a lonely section of state land, this attempt merely tied up the game with the defensively strong turkey team. After a personal foul in an incident with a porcupine, I decided we would be better off to get back into the hunt first thing in the morning, taking the game into overtime and us back to Buffalo for the night.

In the first minute of overtime we were able to find a group of at least 40 turkeys on private land but after asking for permission and finding that these were the wife’s “pets” that she enjoyed feeding, we were down again. Turkeys score. We got the ball back (college rules) by gaining access to the land just behind the turkey feed lot, but with them not wanting to leave their roosting trees, free food, and each other to cross the creek to our decoys, it was turkey’s ball.

Team Turkey and their cheerleaders ruling the field.

We moved on to another area that looked promising and was once again granted permission to hunt the private section next to a public state section. This, however, also turned out to be fruitless, as the turkeys were wise to our plays and stayed on yet another inaccessible private section. When the clouds started rolling in with a rain/hail mix and the winds picking up gusts, we knew what team the fans were rooting for. We knew we had to pull the last rabbit out of the bottom of our trick hat if we were ever going to score against these birds. Knowing we couldn’t access the land they were on to the west but also knowing they were being fed to the east, we drew up a center sneak play. Within less than an hour of calling hen clucks and a few tom gobbles, we started getting a response and knew the game was turning to our favor. The fans in the stands began quieting down, getting nervous, and we got the break in the roaring weather we desperately needed. The ball was hiked and with a pass that seemed to have minutes of hang time, it landed comfortably into the hands of an open receiver deep in the end zone and a beautiful double-bearded tom was down on the ground, less than 40 yards from where I sat.

Team Hunter scores an overtime touchdown.

10 inch doubled-bearded tom

Overtime was nearing the end and there was no time for a single point field goal. We needed our two points. The last ball in the last minute of the last chance overtime was handed off and ran clean passed the white line, leaving the defense stunned and confused, and another tom flapping on the ground a far 52 yards from my hunting partner.

Two point converstion!!!

Knowing the game was over and we had won against the favored turkey team, we roared in victory. Our long drive back was filled with talks of plays that failed and ways to make others better when we meet against the turkeys in the playoffs to fill our second tag for the 2011 turkey season.

Turkey Tune-Up: Preparations for Bowhunting Spring Turkey

by Steve Flores 31. March 2011 16:09
Steve Flores


With opening day of most big-game bow seasons still several turns of the calendar away, it’s nice to know there is something to take the edge off. Thank God for Springtime Turkey hunting!! With a Kansas trip in my sights, I am feverishly preparing for my hunt while at the same time tackling all the other issues that everyday life throws at me. But, don’t dare pity me because life is good. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to participate in another treasured bow season.

Kansas Turkey tags can easily be acquired “on-line” in a matter of minutes.

For shooting in a seated position, nothing compares to the comfort and versatility of the Hunt More 360 chair. It is AWESOME!

Without a doubt, one of my favorite parts of bowhunting is the preparation. I thoroughly enjoy the tinkering of gear; fletching arrows, sighting in bows, selecting clothing, and clearing schedules. For turkeys, the preparation is a little different. To begin with, I conduct a good deal of my shooting from a seated position. This will be similar to the actual shot (Lord willing it occurs), so it only stands to reason that I try to emulate shooting from a seated position inside a ground blind. 

 Nothing beats a fresh set of fletched arrows.

The NAP Gobbler Getter definitely has “the looks that kill”. Performance should be nothing short of excellent.

Next are the broadheads. For this trip, I am taking along NAP’s Gobbler Getter’s. While I can’t comment on their performance (1st time using them) I do like what I see. With an Exclusive Silver Bullet round point designed to crush bone and a large 1 ½ inch cut, I doubt any gobbler will stand a chance if he comes within range of my Mathews EZ7. Of course, as with any broadhead, a few practice shots should be taken before heading afield; even when using mechanicals. The Gobbler Getter proved to be as accurate as my field points of equal weight; requiring no adjustment to my sight pins.

The ScentBlocker S3 shirt, made with real Bamboo, is comfort personified. 

The fit and feel of the No-Recoil jacket is great. Check out the cool “Harmonic Damper” zipper.

Last is clothing options. Since turkey’s can’t smell like a whitetail (that would make them un-killable) my usual scent-free wardrobe is somewhat reduced; leaving more traditional choices in hunting clothes. However, I’m not totally leaving behind my ScentBlocker gear. I will be taking along the S3 long sleeve t-shirt in Lost camo as well as the lightweight, Mathews edition, BOA Hiker boots. In addition, for those cold mornings before the sun comes up, I have chosen the No-Recoil Jacket and Pant from the fine folks at Gamehide. With their patented “Freedom Sleeve” cut, this jacket should provide effortless movement inside a tight groundblind; making it easier to reach full draw.

It's almost time.....

With licenses bought, money saved, and dreams dreamt, I prepare to head out on my first Kansas turkey hunt. I hope the following months find you preparing for your own adventure….one made just for taking the edge off of a long, cold, winter. God bless.

 

Calling all Turkeys; Turkey Calling and Calls to Use

by Josh Fletcher 29. March 2011 15:17
Josh Fletcher

If you’re like me, you’re a man of many gadgets. We love to research the latest and greatest hunting items out there, but if you take a walk down the turkey call isle in your local sporting goods store you can be over whelmed by the selection available. There is diaphragm calls, one reed, two reeds, two and a half reeds, split reeds, and more reed options than you can even think of. That’s just diaphragm calls, not to mention pot calls… do you use slate, glass, or aluminum? Then there is box calls, push button calls, owl calls, crow calls, gobble shakers, well I think you get the point.

With so many calls out on the market where do you start? If you’re a beginner to the sport of turkey hunting or even a seasoned veteran, figuring out what type of turkey calls you need, can make any one’s head spin. After staring at all the different options you soon start to look like an owl on a branch, big eyed and your head turning all the way around just trying to make a decision on what to buy.

In this article we will cover majority of the calls on the market today and what each call brings to the table for your turkey calling arsenal. We will also cover the sure fire turkey calls that you won’t want to leave home without.

When heading to the turkey woods you want a wide variety of calls at your disposal. Just like people, every turkey has their own sounding voice. One day a big old long beard my like the sounds of an old raspy hen, or the next day he may like a higher pitch sounding hen. Day to day the preference of a long beard may change, by having a good selection of calls allows you to try and match you’re calling to his preference.  Weather can also determine what calls to use. If it’s raining cats and dogs, you may want to leave your “non- water proof” calls in your turkey vest. Basically the more of a variety of calls you have means the better the odds are that you can match your calling to the long beards preference and to the weather conditions.

Having several diffrent call options increase your odds at giving that long beard the sound he likes.

Diaphragm Calls

Diaphragm calls may be one of the hardest calls to learn how to use, however are the most versatile, cheapest, water proof, and leave you absolutely hands free when calling. These calls are small, and light weight taking up very little room in your turkey vest. When looking at how many reeds or what reed style to get depends on personal preference. To start with your single reed and double reed diaphragms are higher pitched and are much clearer sounding calls.  The more reeds you get the raspier the call. If you are first starting out learning how to use a diaphragm call I recommend that you try a double reed call. They seem to be easier to get noise out of and are the easiest to get the tone to break. The tone break is that sound of “yeeee-yuuup” of the yelp. Going from that high first note and breaking to the second note is easiest with a double reed call.

We love to use the diaphragm call to “cut” with. Cutting is a form of aggressive hen calls that work great at getting that long beard all fired up. For a good cutting call we prefer a two and a half reed or more call. Also multiple reeds with a half reed combination give you a good raspy sounding call. By utilizing a diaphragm call allows you a hands free operation, which is crucial when that turkey is with in eye sight of you and you need to make those last light calls to seal the deal. Also when it’s raining out you never have to worry about your mouth call not working.

Friction Calls 

Pot calls are a for sure call that you never want to leave home without. They are very versatile and easy to use. These calls are the bread and butter of my turkey calling arsenal. I love to seal the deal with an old long beard by purring on my pot call. My favorite pot call is has a slate surface. When I know that long beard is thinking about coming my way, I let out some soft subtle purrs and clucks on my slate call and just set it down. Those last subtle calls followed by silence are often more than he can take and soon he is on his way in. I prefer slate over aluminum because slate seems to provide much more friction on the surface giving that call a good tone, but that is just my personal preference. I also prefer glass over aluminum. My primary pot call I use first is a slate and the one I use second if I’m not getting the response I am looking for from slate is glass.

The negative to pot calls much like most friction calls are that they are not water proof and under rainy days they may not work, which is also why you want to carry more than one turkey call with you. However the pot call’s pluses outweigh the negatives. They are a great close in soft subtle call when you need to tone it down, and they also can be loud and aggressive when you want to crank it up. Another reason you want a pot call in your vest is that you can take one call and change the tone by using different strikers. It’s much cheaper to buy several strikers than it is to buy several pot calls, making your calling arsenal much more rounded.

Box calls are another friction call that you want in your turkey vest. These calls are a great long distance call. What I mean by this is that they are piercing and loud, they work great under windy conditions. When the wind is blowing it can often drown out most other calls, but the box call’s loud piercing yelps and cutting pierces its way through the wind. They can also be a good close in call. With a soft drag of the box’s lid you can make soft purrs and just of soft tap of the lid can make beautiful clucks.

When choosing a box call you get what you pay for. There are some box calls out on the market that are sweet sounding however they can run as high as one hundred dollars. Now I’m not saying buy something cheap, nor am I saying you need to break the bank. The key is to try them like any other call, before you buy one. There are also water proof or water resistance box calls now out on the market, allowing you use when most other friction calls fail.

Box calls can be loud and reach out to that old long beard in strong winds

Push button calls are a great call for the beginner and seasoned veteran. I bought one last year that my five year old uses. She can make perfect yelps and cutting on it, so yes it is so easy a child can use it. Another reason you will like push button calls are that there is little movement when calling on them, just a slight movement of the finger is all that is needed. You can also get a special mount to locate the call on the end of your gun or even attach it to the handle of your bow. This call is also a great close in call much like the pot call.

Locator Calls

I always carry several locator calls with me at all times. A standard must have locator calls are the crow and an owl call. Just like with hen calls, turkeys may prefer one pitch or tone over another. The same is true with locator calls. One turkey may gobble his head off at a crow call and another turkey may gobble at a palliated wood pecker call. The key is to have a variety, so if one doesn’t work try another to try and spark a response. A thing that is common with locator calls is that they are loud. They need to reach out and hit that long beards ear drum.  For this reason when it comes to an owl call I prefer a reed call that utilizes back pressure to make your hoots. The reed calls seem to produce more volume and are also able to be toned down for when you’re working your way in on him.

Another great locator call is a coyote howler. These calls are very loud and very piercing. The only time you may want to use a coyote howler is at night when you are trying to “put birds to bed”. You don’t want a turkey thinking there is a coyote walking around by his tree in the morning. However don’t let this shy you away from utilizing this call in the evening. I locate more birds with the coyote howler than I do with my owl call. The key to locating birds is variety and don’t limit your ability with just one call. At a minimum you will want a crow and an owl call; however I strongly suggest several others also such as a palliated wood pecker call and a coyote howler.

Reed owl calls produce much louder hoots to spark a shock gobble.

Specialty Calls

Specialty calls can be anything from a wing bone call to a tube call. These are calls that you may want to also add to your vest. If you are hunting public land or birds that are called to a lot, these calls may be the secret that you have been looking for. If all spring long birds keep hearing everything from fiction calls to mouth calls you may want to try a wing bone call. It is a call that has its own unique sound that they may not have heard before.

Calling Scenario

Here is a typical scenario of a day’s hunt showing you the importance of having a variety of calls. It’s the evening before the next morning hunt. Todd Fletcher and I find ourselves standing at a high location off of a ridge. I reach for my owl call to start off with to locate a roosted tom. After several attempts on the owl call we had no such luck. I then reach into my vest and pull out a coyote howler. With on loud howl on the call I wait for a reply. Soon the sweet sound of gobble sounds back. With a sweet “Yes” We take off in the direction of the old limb hanger. As we close the distance I let out an owl hoot to keep him gobbling as we pin point his exact location. Once we pinpoint his location, I then back out and formulate a plan for tomorrow morning’s hunt.

As the morning sun begins to rise and the song birds begin to sing, I pullout my owl call. With several soft hoots, the old tom gobbles back. I then continue to close the distance getting even closer than I did the night before. Once set up I pull out my slate call and make some soft tree yelps and purrs. As soon as he answers me I set my calls down, the ball is in his court and I won’t make any more calls until he flies down from the roost. It isn’t long and soon he flies down, but my dreams suddenly fade as I learn he has several hens with him. As they yelp back and forth, I pull out my diaphragm call and start “letting them have it!” with aggressive yelps and cuts I agitate the old boss hen, hopping to bring her in to my set up with the old long beard in tow. As I’m cutting on the diaphragm call, I’m also purring and cutting on my push button call, hoping to sound like several hens fighting. As the morning goes on the hens begin to quiet down and the gobbling stops. With no turkeys around, we stand up and stretch our already cramping legs.

As the morning continues we begin cutting and running. As the wind begins to pick up we switch over to a box call, yelping and cutting aggressively. With no response we move on until we hit a hot gobbler. It isn’t long and we strike a gobble. We take off for the nearest cover quickly setting up. I then let out a yelp on my diaphragm call. With no response I wait a minute then purr on my slate call, the old long beard answers right back seventy five yards closer than when we first heard him gobble.

Soon we see him strutting about seventy yards out. I then let out a soft purr and cluck with my diaphragm call being sure not to make any movement. With just a little reassurance calling the old long beard struts on in. I added this scenario to give you a better understanding in the use of calls and why it is important to have a variety at your disposal throughout the day in the turkey woods.

Conclusion

When it comes to calling turkeys the key is variety. You don’t want to limit yourself, you want to have options. If one call is not working you want to be able to switch it up and try another. Another reason to have a variety is that with a mouth call, and a friction call allows you to sound like several hens, making that old long beard think that he has more than one hen to call his if he comes in.

Another point I cannot stress enough is to try it before you buy it. You don’t go and buy a car until you test drive it. The same is with turkey calls. Of course you don’t want to be sharing diaphragm calls, but most retail stores have friction calls out of the package for you to try out and see if you like how they sound. Here is a list of calls that I carry in my turkey vest. One thing to remember is that calls are like vehicles, one guy might like trucks and one may like cars. These calls are my personal preference as to what I like to use, but it is a good starting point for you to start your own turkey calling arsenal.

Diaphragm calls: H.S. Strut Cutter 2.5, Primos Piggy Back Deadly Double and True Double.
Pot Calls: H.S. Strut Lil’ Deuce Slate, H.S. Strut Triple Glass.
Box Calls: Primos Heart Breaker, Primos Lil’ Heart Breaker.
Push Button Calls: Quaker Boy Inc. Cyclone Push-Pin Yelper.
Locator calls: Primos Power Crow Call, H.S. Strut Palmer Hoot Tube (owl), H.S. Strut coyote howler, Knight & Hale pileated wood pecker call.

Again this is my personal turkey calling arsenal, you don’t need all these calls, but the key is to have a variety at your disposal.

 

 

 

New World Record Turkey Killed in MO

by John Mueller 14. June 2010 02:54
John Mueller

On a recent trip over to visit my taxidermist friend I had the pleasure of seing the new World Record Turkey, which was harvested by a young man from Missouri. I have 1 picture of the eight (yes 8) beards from the new world record. No trophy pics of the actual bird, but he scores a very respectable 199.9 on the Official NWTF scorecard. The turkey was killed with a shotgun by a lucky young hunter near St. Genevieve, MO this spring.  Congrats to the hunter, that's the trophy of a lifetime!




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