Spring Turkey 2008 Season with the G-man

100% Harvested on SD Prairie Hunts!

April 12-14 (SD Prairie Package) 4 bird harvested

        Day One - Started with blue bird sky's and the gobblers going wild on the roost.  Our game plan for the morning was to have Adam setup in a known travel route, while Terry and I set up on another location.  the morning was really exciting, Terry and I struck up a gobbler on top on a high finger.  We watch him strut for about ten minutes, then he committed to come off of the hill. Ten minutes later GAME OVER. We spend the rest of the morning checking some other locations and waiting out a couple of good rain showers that also held hail and snow. In the afternoon we set out at 2:00 to our set for the afternoon.  Early in the evening Terry and I call in a great bird for Adam. Then all we could do was watch as 50 - 60 bird started to comeing back to the Roosting area.  Sure we could have filled the other two tags, but my hunter were satisfied with the day. 

Terry's First Bird
Hill in back ground is where the bird started Down to us

Adam's First Bird

        Day Two - Started with Adam and I setup on another area where we had roosted some bird from the night before.  The birds were quite on the roost, but really lit it up when they hit the ground. We had to move several time to get in to position.  Finally we were in right location and GAME OVER.  As Adam and I were taking picture of his bird, we heard the report of his father shot gun.  Only five minutes after we had shot.  Twenty minute later we stood together telling stories about both hunts.  By mid afternoon we were on our way back to Rapid City  doing a little site see on the way.              

        Day Three - We spent the whole day site seeing the local area. starting with a loop through Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood and Home

Thank Guy for a great hunt, Hope to see you both again Next year

April 16-17 (SD Black Hills Package) 0 birds harvested (Donated Hunt For Children's Home Society)

         Day One - Started out very Cold and the gobblers going wild on the roost.  Our game plan for the morning was to start working logging road close to the cabin and locate a bird. Ten Minute before fly down, we located some bird and proceeded to work our way in.  We finally set up about 100 yards above the roost. I position Mike and Brain out in front. The bird started to work toward us, I manage to see the gobbler and hens walk right behind both of them at about 70 yards.  Once they had moved out we tried to get in front of them again. No luck!! We broke for the morning since the wind and snow started to pick up.  We made an attempt for the evening hunt but snow and wind made the calling sets had to stand.  

        Day Two - Started with Brain and I  having no luck at fly down. However, on the way back we spotted some bird moving down a draw.  We move slowly to get in front on them. We were almost ready to shoot when a Coyote bumped our birds.  Mean while Mike had tried to get on another bird that I had roosted from the night before. No Luck Either.  

Thanks Mike and Brian for supporting Children's Home with your donation and Hunting with the G-Man. Maybe I will see you this fall. 

April 19-22 (SD Prairie & Nebraska Package) 3 birds harvested out of 4 Birds. 

         Day One - Started with blue bird sky's and the gobblers going wild on the roost.  Our game plan for the morning was to start working the birds west of the cabin.  Arlen and I struck up quite a few birds in the morning but could not get any to leave their hens. So I set up on a High Point and we call every 10 minutes. around 10:00 a.m. a bird a mile away started to gobble at our calls. I work him for another hour and we finally spotted him coming down a point across the canyon. I worked the bird clear up to our location, But he spooked as he topped the ridge.  I continued to call and he made a swing out and back toward us. This time however, there was another gobbler with him. I slowly call them in only to get busted again. We broke for lunch. The afternoon was going to be a set because the wind had come up and was gusting about thirty mile an hour. I located a spot where I have seen a lot of bird pass by and set up our decoy. A hour into the set a group of Jakes started to come to my call and decoy. Bang!!  I decide to just set the rest of the evening in the same location. Two hours later a couple of long beards pass by and only one continued on.

        Day Two - Started with us loading up camp and making our way to Nebraska. we check in and made an evening hunt at the ranch. 

        Day Three - Started with us a hundred yard from the bird. when fly down came the bird worked a little ridge above us and slipped out the back. We heard a couple other gobbles So we gave chase.  We ended up calling in a group of 10 gobblers, The big tom slipped by and Arlen took a Jake.  

        Day Four - Started with us setting up on some roosted bird. We were in the right spot but not the right time. the bird got around us and we spent the rest of the morning working a couple other bird. Then back to SD, so Arlen could get ready for his flight back.

        Thanks Arlen for a great hunt, Hope to see you again Next year. 

April 26- May 1 (SD Prairie & Black Hills Package) 7 birds harvested out of 9 birds

         Day One - Started out 26 degrees and the snow blowing side ways in the Black Hills. Richard and I set up a a couple of gobblers that we had roosted the night

        Day Two - Started out cold again with two inches of snow on the ground. Once again Richard and I set up on some roosted bird.  A half hour into the set we had call up a Jake, but no Tom.  So we move and heard a couple of gobbler on the ridge above us. We saw the bird go up the ridge so we tracked them in the snow. We came over a hill top to quick and we were busted.  So Richard and I just sat down for about a hour, then started tracking again. This time we were more alert. We spotted them out in front and Richard put on the sneak, only to get busted again by a Hen.  Mean while Robert and Gary worked a bird from over a mile away, only to get busted in the end.  We all met up for plan B.  On the way back to camp, I spotted a gobbler strutting near the road. Richard and I move in above him and set up. Two hour later, the hen finally came over the hill with the Gobbler in tow. He had gobbled over a hundred time in that two hours.  Robert, Gary and I went out later in the afternoon to roost some bird near the location of where Gary had harvested his bird. We saw a couple bird that we walked up on but No gobbling.

Robert, Richard and Gary with Richard's Bird

        Day Three - Started out cold again with Robert, Gary and Myself looking for a bird for Robert.  We hunted for most of the morning and had quite a few responses but no takers. we pack up camp and headed for the prairie. We got there in time for an evening hunt. Gary manage to bag the first bird again. 

Gary's first Prairie Bird

        Day Four - Started out Blue bird skies and a light wind. Robert elected to stay near camp and hunt while; Gary, Richard  and Myself hunted the canyons to the west.  At the start of the canyons, We dropped off Richard near a big group of gobblers. Gary and I proceeded down the canyon to the other end. We chased five different gobbler and finally connected with one. Mean while we heard a shot from Richards way. So we met up and he had been successful too.  

That afternoon hunt, Gary and Robert went for a Nature Hike. They found a few bird, but none of them wanted to play. Richard and I set up on a high point and glassed the whole afternoon. We Roosted two different gobblers.

         Day Five - Started windy and cool. Robert chose to go after the bird at the top of the canyon. while Richard and I went after the one at the bottom. Our bird was surround by hens, so calling was out. We placed ourselves close to the location where we had seen him fly up. Wouldn't you know it he flew out the opposite way. So we move in using the tree. we were close, both of us could hear him drumming. only a few more second and he would be in sight for Richard. Just then I see a Coyote coming out of the draw after our turkeys. Game Over. We call for a while but the bird had flushed too bad.  Back to the truck we went, but as we crested the hill Richard spotted  turkeys in the draw. So off we went, using the draw as cover. We move in a angle to intercept the turkeys path. However, our path put us in the wide open.  So here we are crawling toward the bird in the wide open.  I manage to get my decoy out and move it back in forth. The gobbler see it and start to move toward us. I motion Richard to crawl a little closer in their direction. Believe it or not those bird came straight toward my decoy even with us laying flat the ground. BANG!!

I am located where the bird dropped no trees here either

This is where Richard and I were laying while calling no trees here, Just trust your Camo.

Robert, Gary, Richard

     While we were working our bird, Robert call in a nice tom. A pretty good morning.  The rest of the day Robert and I continued to hunt for his last bird. We called in a good bird only to get busted, the rest of the evening was pretty windy and the storm was moving in.     

Day Six - Started with blowing light snow and cold, I placed Robert close to some roosted bird and I would watch which direction that they went. As the day lightened, I spotted the birds a draw over from Robert, so I picked him up and we started a sneak down to the bottom.  We got within eight yard and ran out of cover. The hen were still with the gobblers and none of them would come our way. Robert called quit to a great hunt. We pack up and made it back to Rapid City, before a Major storm hit.  It dumped 12 inched in under 8 hours.


May 10-12 (SD Black Hills Package) 1 bird harvested out of 2 (Donated hunt to Hunting for a Cure

    This hunt has a special meaning to me. Let me tell you how it came about.  One day Andy Pollard from Hunting for a Cure calls me and ask me to donate a hunt. Once I found out the cause, I immediately  offered a turkey hunt. Well a month later Andy calls again and let me know that he does not seem to have any takers for the hunt. That night I get a email from a father in Canada looking for a hunt for him and his son. As it turns out his son would fit the same criteria as the kid of Hunting for a Cure. However, his age was 8 year to old.  So I offer the hunt to Eric and his son Dan.  After many emails, our final out come is that Dan will not be able to make it due to surgery needed for dialysis and the doctors not wanting to risk infection. With this Eric decides to still come with his other son, Steve, for the hunt.

         Day One - Started out with us Sleeping in an extra hour due to the wind blowing hard with heavy snow.  Once we got on the road we only drove a mile from the cabin and located Two toms walking in the snow. We gave chase, but hens over the ridge were sounding better than me.  We check out a couple other location and call it a morning, hoping that the weather would clear up for the afternoon.  In the afternoon, we check out another area. It was filled with track. We made a big loop and had one tom respond, but would not work our way. We stayed until dark but not roosted birds.

        Day Two - Started with us back in the same area as the evening before. The wind were still unbearable and made hearing difficult. We did hear one bird at fly down, so we made our way off the hill toward his location. These birds still had hens with them, so we had to get close.  after about an hour we got a second gobbler going a mile away. So we quickly move toward him.  As we closed in we got a gobble that let us know we were close. We quickly set up. two minutes later the bird filed by Eric; He let the tom pass because he wanted his son, Steve, to get first crack at a bird.  Well the birds file by, but Steve can not locate the gobbler fast enough and the birds were gone.  We pick up their track and follow them for a mile and finally bump them.  So we pick up and move to another location.  As we were driving a good road, we spotted a group of turkey feeding. We quickly back tracked and move up into the woods.  Fifteen minutes later Bang!!  Steve had his first Merriam bird.  Great job Steve. 
    Later that afternoon found us back at our morning location. We call in several hens, but now tom. finally a hour before dark we slowly made our way toward the direction all the hens had went.  As we topped a rise we located a Tom strutting a couple hundred yards away. We made our sneak to with in a hundred yards  and call quietly. The bird did not respond, so Eric proceeded to crawl toward a position that would put him in their path. Almost ready to shot Eric got bust and game over. 

Eric & Steve with Steve's first Bird

            Day Three - Started out with us back in the same area as the night before. Since we did not roost any bird we punted. We chose a great location and had a Hen come screaming in but not tom in tow.  So we moved down the ridge and struck up and another bird. As we were calling, 20 head of elk move silently past and even laid down for a short time only a hundred yard for our position. Finally the elk move on and so did the tom but not in our direction. We check another area and play with one other tom but his hen kept taking him further away. We call it quits about 9:00 a.m., since Eric and Steve needed to get going toward home.  Thank for hunt with me Eric and Steve. I hope next year Dan can come on the trip.      

Well, Gman - trip home was without incident.  Visited Mt. Rushmore and then drove through a rainstorm until Buffalo Wyoming.  Counted 700 antelope on the way home, near the highway, 600 in Wyoming.  Had a great time, particularly when Steve was able to bag his first turkey.  He was truly impressed with your calling prowess.  I would not hesitate to recommend a guided hunt to my friends.  The distance we traveled was nearly 900 miles (or 1400 kilometers).
I will try to write up an article on the hunt, from our perspective and send you all the related pictures and video...soon.  The pictures you took would be appreciated also.  Again, thanks for your guiding and will keep you posted on the recovery of son Dan.  If you do decide to enroll in HFAC and cannot sell the hunt, remember that Dan should be ready and I would gladly send him (out of my pocket).    Cheers  Eric

May 14-15 (SD Prairie & Black Hills Package) 3 birds harvested that wanted to be Movie stars. Hosted Ronnie Smiths Outdoor Adventures TV Show.

         Day One - Started with 50 mph winds and over cast.  Our game plan for the morning was to set up on a ridge were I had roosted birds the night before. We tried a sit until sun up and then started to work the ridge. The birds were already across a canyon and working away from us. So we moved to the Prairie and check out the location. The creek bottom was pretty bear so you could scan most of it by driving a road along the edge. Once we finish a quick over we headed to town for Fuel and food.  After lunch we started at the prairie and spotted a gobbler about 700 yards away. we moved in for a set but the wind was still blowing hard. After an hour we elected to move up into the Hills. At the ranch in the hills we spotted some bird working the fields. So we quickly move out of site and set up a blind on the opposite end of the field.   about 10 minutes later three Jakes came strolling by and Worm harvested one.  After the shot we saw 15 birds consisting of jakes and gobbler going up the hill that we did not even see in the field.  As were finishing the out takes for the filming we saw three more gobbler working our way from another field. So we reset up our blind and waited, and waited, and waited.  No birds, however good thing we had the blind because 5 minutes into the last set the rain had come in.


        Day Two - Started with high winds again and back at the Hills ranch were we had harvested Worm's bird from the night before.  As the sun came up we did not here or see any turkey in our location, even though we had seen bird make there way to this location the night before.  We decided to check out a couple other areas back toward camp, before calling it a morning.  We start about noon again back at the prairie ranch. Once again we spotted a bird in the same location as the previous day.  This time we moved up a drainage ditch to with in about 150 yard and the gobbler responded. Bang Game over!  Once we had all the film out takes completed we headed for the hills again and for got to get a picture of Ronnie Bird. However, he will be a movie star pretty soon  As we pulled into the ranch, I spotted a group of gobbler working their way up a hill. We move above them and finally one responded.  Bang Game over!  The two birds were taken 2 hours apart in two different units, the Black hills unit and Prairie unit.   Thank Ronnie and Worm for hunting with the G-man, I had an excellent time and hope to see you both back for another hunt.

Gman & Ronnie Smith with his Black Hills Turkey

Early day of hunting 3:30 a.m.

Our mode of transportation

Our Campground (Walmart)

Ronnie Home away from Home

Be sure to go and check out Ronnie site and stay tune for when you can see the footage of our hunt.
Ronnie Smiths Outdoor Adventures TV Show


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