I took off on Monday and headed for the Sunflower State of Kansas. Good weather and easy traffic, combined with the anticipation of screaming Rio Grande turkeys, made it an easy drive. I spent the night along the way somewhere between St. Louis and Kansas City.
I met with Joe and Suzy Conyers, of Conyers Outdoors, in Clyde, Kansas in the mid-afternoon hours on Tuesday, and the weather was ideal. All day Wednesday was much of the same, and the first hunters I would be guiding showed up that afternoon. Both are friends of mine from Georgia, Derek Horne, of Forsyth, and Josh Grene, of Savannah.
We got things started Thursday morning under a bright, starry sky. I got Josh in his spot, and Derek and I headed to another. The birds were waking up at 5:50 as the plains came alive with gobbles in multiple directions. Derek and I got parked on one, and he was a fired-up dude! At one point, I thought all we might have to do was go pick him up because he nearly gobbled himself to death.
I gave him just enough to convince him to strut toward us several times, but each time he got within the 80-yard mark, the hens that were still in the trees would talk enough to keep him from coming on in. They eventually flew down, and we could only watch as they led the big strutter by us at 75 yards through a plowed field. We hung with him until they eventually fed off onto a neighboring property and disappeared. We hunted until lunch and came out to get a quick bite to eat.
After lunch, Derek went back in by himself, and Josh and I teamed up. We struck a bird about 1:30, and I managed to get him close enough to hear him spitting and drumming, but we never saw him. While I was working that bird, two more gobbled several hundred yards down the creek. I started working those two, and another one farther down the creek decided to join in.
I eventually got them pretty fired up, but they were content on waiting for me across the creek. As hot as they were, it only took some clouds and a sudden sprinkle of rain to turn them off. It was as if someone hit a switch. We only heard a combined two or three gobbles over the next two days.
The weather has deteriorated since Thursday afternoon, and it is going to be Monday, May 1 before it starts improving. On Sunday afternoon, it was 37 degrees with 30 mph winds and a steady, sideways rain. It’s brutal!
Hope y’all are enjoying the summer weather in the turkey woods back home. Good luck!
About The Author: GON freelance writer Donald Devereaux Jarrett has been with GON since 2003 and is currently on the following pro staffs: JEBS Chokes, Mossy Oak, Conyers Outdoors, South Dakota Hunting Service and Denver Deer Scents. If you’d like to talk turkey with Donald, you can reach him through his Facebook page or through e-mail at email@example.com.
April 24, 2017: Gobblers, Girlfriend and Naps
April 17, 2017: DDJ Tags Out In Georgia
April 10, 2017: Quiet Gobblers During Windy, Rainy Week
April 3, 2017: DDJ Rolls The Boss, Calls In Several Other Birds
March 27, 2017: Henned-Up Gobblers For Georgia Opener
March 23, 2017: Chasing Osceolas With DDJ