Black Hills Spring Turkey 2006 Season

100% Harvested SD Prairie Hunts

April 8-9 (SD Prairie Package) 

        Day One - Started out cloudy and windy. Jason, an instructor for Remington Arms Company in NC & Myself established a set up next to a dry dam and waited for the birds to come off the roost.  As the bird flew off, we watched them scatter in every direction. Once we located a draw that the bird were moving up we made our move to get a head of them.  Once in the draw, we called several time and got instant response.  The bird moved slowly in our direction.   Three gobblers were putting on a great show.  finally the boss gobbler committed to my call an turkey jogged toward us. At 30 yards, Jason let him have it. first bird on the ground by 8:30 a.m.  19 lbs. 7/8 inches spurs and 9 3/4 beard.  But Wait, on the South Dakota Prairie hunt you get Two Birds. So after break fast we proceeded to call birds again.  Later that evening we set up in another area and called 30 bird past us. Several were small gobbler so we let them pass.

Click Here to View Jason's Interview

Click Here to View Jason's Turkey Coming in

        Day Two - Started out Blue bird, not a cloud in the sky. We set up on a path that the birds had taken the day before. We had seven hen pass by but no Toms.  So we hopped on the 4 wheelers and started up the road.  As we top a hill we could saw a gobbler all puffed up. So we made a plan and moved into place. We just got there when the tom came running in on us. We all were surprised and no bird to show. We hunted the rest of the day and located several bird, but no one would play with us.  So we set up on another location for an even hunt at 4:00. At about 4:30 we got an answer about a mile up a draw. So we called several time and went quite.  At about 4:45, I decided to give another call. The bird gobbled just , 400 yard away. I proceeded to work the bird to with in 40 yard. Bang!!! another bird on the ground.  20 lbs., 1" spurs and 8 1/2 beard. Great job Jason.  By the way these were the first two bird for him. I am glad I could Help a dream come true.   

JUST A SIDE NOTE: Jason is also in the process of starting up a Duck & Turkey call company, The models were not ready for our hunt. He is sending out a couple for me to use the rest of the season. SO stay tuned, I will have some new products on my store soon, That are field tests.  

Click Here to View Joe's Second Interview

April 17-19 (SD Black Hill Package) 

        Day One - Started out blue bird skies. Pete from MN, Steve from CA, & Myself made our way back to a location where we had put a couple of birds to bed the night before.  At first light, Pete went to the South, while Steve and myself move to the North.  once the birds flew down we proceeded to work our magic.  It took about a hour to persuade a gobbler in Steve and My direction.  But wouldn't you know it a lone hen move in between us and took the gobbler away.  So we move further down the ridge in the direction the tom had disappeared.   About a hour later, we got a response, with a hen moving in our direction and tom in tow. The hen almost stepped on Steve as it passed.  But the gobbler was not so lucky; at 34 yards he hit the ground a 8:50 a.m. The bird weighed about 19 lbs, sported only a 4" beard , with Right spur 5/8" and left Spur 1/2"

    Steve and I move back to the truck to meet up with Pete, since we had made plans to meet at 9:30 a.m. At the truck, we met Pete. He had a similar morning, but did not have a close enough shot. the birds had stay just out of his shot zone. So we broke for Breakfast in town and cleaned the bird.  While at breakfast, we talk with some hunters down on their luck. They had been out her 5 year and no bird.  So I pointed them in a direction for success.  

    That afternoon found Pete and myself moving and calling along the ridge, where the bird were located in the morning. We did not get any response until almost quitting time. However, a spring thunder storm had also moved into the area and it was time to get off the ridge.

Day Two - Started out windy and below freezing, but we new witch tree the bird was located in. So we made a set up and waited for fly down.  At fly down the bird clamed up and proceeded to follow his hen out in front of us. We watched him march the 400 yd along the ridge, but no chance to harvest him.  Coffee Time!!!!  After we warmed up it was off to check some more areas. By this time the winds had started to come up and snow was flying. We held out until about 3:30 in the woods, but  no luck.  Once we got back in a listened to the news, there were 60 mph wind and heavy snow coming our way.

Day Three - found us hold up at the local restaurant, with high winds, 4 inches of snow on the ground, snow drift everywhere, and 50 yard visibility.  Around 12:00 p.m., we made a break for Rapid City and called it a hunt.  That how hunting goes, weather is a hard thing to predict here in the Black Hills of South Dakota.    

JUST A SIDE NOTE:  Those hunters down on their luck, called me on the night of the 17 and told me they had found a bird in one of the area I had told them about.  Thanks for the Call back to let me know.  

April 20-23 (Semi-Guided Package) 

    Started out blue bird skies and Snow on the ground. I met my three hunter from MO doing a semi-guided hunt at the motel around 5:00 a.m. I proceeded to show them where the gates and areas were located.  The last location where I had left them, we had heard several different gobblers in the area. They continued to hunt and check in with me over the course of the next three day. On the second evening , they scored a bird but should have had a second. At the end of the hunt they stated that they had heard several birds in the morning, but the bird would clam up until evening, making for a tough hunt.   One for three on this hunt

April 21-22 (Donated hunt to BMS) 

Day One - Started out blue bird skies. I met Fred from Rapid City, at the motel in Hill City.  We proceeded to a area where we had roosted a bird the night before.  We moved into the area well before fly down and set up.  When the birds flew down they move in our direction, but 80 yards above us.  I had chosen the wrong bench to set up on, and the gobblers was not about to leave his hens.  We moved to another area and got another bird fired up, again he had hens and would not leave them.  We broke for breakfast around 9:00.  After breakfast, we proceeded to another area for the rest of the morning. No bird wanted to play.  So the evening hunt found us back at the site where we had been in the morning.  We did have two hen come in, but not gobbler. Thank Fred and Leeann for hunting with me and helping out BMS.

April 24-25 (SD Black Hill Package) 

Day One - Started with white out condition and little travel advised. I white knuckled the trip from Rapid City to Hill City, the trip took a hour and half. usually it only takes 35 minutes. We camped out in David's room until 7:00 a.m. and had some breakfast.  After breakfast, we proceeded to drive to one of my ranched here in the hills. We park near a hay lot and could see a lot the valley in front of us. You might say we were using the truck as a WARM portable blind.  around 12:00, we spotted some turkey moving in the valley. They even ventured toward us into the hay lot. There were Three mature toms in the bunch. We let them move back down the draw and move in on them.  We could only stay out about a hour at a time due to the Snow and Winds. We called it an early day headed back to the motel.

Day Two - Started out below freezing with Clear sky, we had moved in on the roosted bird and set up.  As the bird flew off, we had several hen land almost right on us, however no Toms.  So we made a move in the direction most of the other bird had gone.  We move up a draw to the top of the hill. But little did we know but the bird had come down between us and the last location we had been.  We set up on several gobblers as the day went on. as evening was coming, we spied several gobblers making their way back to the roost. We proceeded to head them off, but not luck. Through out the day, we had three really close call, with either the bird just out of range or a outside distraction. Thanks David From TN for hunting with The Gman.

April 27-29 (SD Prairie Package) 

Day One - Started out blue bird skies for Eden and Joe a Disabled Veteran from OH and Two gentlemen from GA, Don and Jason. Joe was setup near the roosting area in a Double Bow Blind with Eden, while I took Don and Jason to another roosting area. Eden fired the toms up on the roost and continued to pour it on once they hit the ground.  Three Tom's proceeded to come right in on them. Bang!   Bang!!!! only Ten minutes into the hunt, Joe had harvested both of his bird.    

Mean while, Don, Jason and myself were having some luck of our own. But we were out played by some hens in the area.  Around 9:00 we regrouped and set out to check another part of the ranch.  By 10:30 Eden and me had a couple of bird fired up for Don.  Another ten minutes and Bang!! Don had his first bird on the ground. During this whole time Joe and Jason were setup in the blind on the edge of a field. They did not harvest a bird, but had the opportunity to watch several gobblers up a draw in front of them.

After lunch, we all checked out a deep canyon looking for more bird. We managed to find them on the edge of the canyon, but no bird was gotten. early afternoon a rain storm set in, so we called it a day.

The Gman, Joe and Eden

Don's First Bird

Day Two - Started out cold and cloudy skies. Eden and Jason set out for the area we had hunted last the day before. While Don and Myself went back to the area we had hunted the morning before looking for those lonely gobblers.  With the wind and cold we only heard a couple of bird, with no luck of harvesting them.  We decided to let the temperature warm up, before we tried it again. Mean while Eden went back to the motel to get Joe for the afternoon hunt.  

Once they arrived we split up again. Jason and I went to a new location were we had spotted a gobbler strut' in. while Joe, Eden and Don check out the area where Don had harvested his bird the day before.

Jason and I had just started to call when the bird answered. Here he comes. Gobbling all the way in. Bang!! Jason harvest his first bird ever.  I decided to just let the area calm down and started calling again, but no answer.  As we topped the hill back to the 4 wheeler, we spotted some bird moving parallel to our position. So back down into the bottom and moving to flank them. We set up twice before finally a bird came strut' in into our position. Bang!! Jason's second bird in under an hour from the first.

Eden, Don and Joe met back up with us an hour later with Don's second bird. They had located him close to where Don had harvest his first bird.  Joe had the great opportunity to watch the whole hunt play out from a ridge over looking the Draw. Thank guy for hunting

Jason's First Bird

Jason with Both Birds

left to Right- Eden, Jason, Don and Joe in the center

Day Three - found us all touring the rest of the ranch and shed hunting.  

May 4-6 (SD Black Hill Package)

Day One - Started out blue bird skies. Tom & Greg from Al plus myself slipped in on seven roosted gobbler in a deep valley.  I stayed up top while Tom and Greg slipped in.  The morning was fill with excitement, but to many hen to deal with. We did not hunt that evening.

Day Two - Started out blue bird skies, again. We moved in on the birds, with one high and one low. But once again not bird would leave the hens.  We hunted all day with no bird even shock gobbling. finally about 15 minute before dark they started up again.

Day Three - found us spread out a mile apart, on different bird.  at around 9:00 Tom harvested the bird below.  We proceeded to hunt out the day, but could not get a bird in for Greg.   


May 12-14 (SD Black Hill & Prairie Package)

Day One - Started out blue bird skies for Bill from TX and myself. Our quest was for three birds in three days in two different areas.  We started the hunt in the Black Hill unit.  I drove us to a know hot spot for turkey on the first morning. The gobblers were hot in the area, we located five different gobblers in a small draw.  We proceeded to slip in on the hottest. after just a couple of tree yelps, one of the gobblers was busting to get to us. He flew out of the tree, with three minutes to go before shooting.  I just waited for the time and then threw out a couple of yelps. he came straight in. Click, my hunters gun miss fired, then Bang!!! Ten minute after shooting time the hunt was done in the hill for Bill.  Since we had the rest of the day slated for the Hills, I grabbed his shot gun in hope to fill my tag too.  But no bird would come in.  So we came back to the motel and packed up for the trip to the prairie.  

We arrived about 1:00 p.m. and proceeded to take a nap. At 5:00 we headed out to locate and roost a bird for the next morning.  At the first location we stopped at, just as I  was about to send out a locating call a gobbler gobbled!! not once but three times.  We located him on a distant hill and made a quick plan on how to get to him.  twenty minute later Bang!!! two bird in one day.  We still tried to locate a roosted bird for the next morning but no one was home.


Bill's Black Hills Bird                                                 Bill's Prairie Bird Number 1

Day Two - Started out cold and cloudy skies. We proceeded to a known roost area, the birds were there, but no takes.  We moved to several location. Finally we found a gobbler that was very talkative. We moved in as close as the prairie would allow, and bill tried to make a crawling attack. But in the end a hen took the tom in the other location. The wind came up and were gusting to over 40 mph making locating gobblers very difficult. The bird won that day.

Day Three - found us at the same roosting area we had been at the prior morning. Again the hen took the gobbler off.  So we proceeded to cover ground on the 4 wheelers.  We located a group of turkeys in the open prairie. there was a small draw that parallel their movement. so we decided to sneak in and give it a try.  We over shot their path and got busted buy some jakes.  After some very long minutes, we regrouped and Bang!!! Three bird in Three days.  Great Job Bill.  

Bill's second bird on the Prairie.

A Note from Bill

Just wanted to drop a note to thank you for a great time last week turkey hunting with you in South Dakota.  I have been on lots of hunts but that hunt for Merriam's maybe tops them all.  I now have a new favorite place to turkey hunt.  I don't know if it was the beautiful scenery, the turkeys we got into, or the company but it was certainly a great experience.  I am really appreciative of the effort you put in to make the hunt a roaring success and with 3 turkeys taken, I would say that was an understatement. 
Thanks again for all you did.  I look forward to seeing you next year.
Bill Hickey
Southlake, Texas

May 15-17 (SD Black Hill Package)

Day One - Started out blue bird skies for Dennis and TJ from SC and myself. I took TJ with me and set up about 100 yd off the hotest bird.  At fly down he move to the hens location and vanished.  Dennis had a similar morning.  Once again, not a gobble until 15 minute to dark

Day Two - Started out blue bird skies, we changed the location of our attack.  We watched several bird make there way to our location. But at 80 yards a distant shot spooked the bird away.   We managed to find couple of bird still talking after 9:00 up to 11:30 but we could not close the deal after several location changes. The day was long with hot weather and no action from the birds. The rest of the day.

Day Three - Started out blue bird skies, the bird were active on the roost but quite the rest of the day. we change location and found several other bird but could only get shock gobbles from them.  Thank Dennis and TJ for a great time.

May 18-19 (SD Black Hill Package)

Day One - Started out blue bird skies for John from IL and myself.  We moved into a location that I had roosted bird the night before.  The gobbler was hot, Then on lone hen right next to him took him over the hill away. At 12:00 we fired up another gobbler, he continued to move toward us. in the End he hung up and drifted away from us. We hunted until 5:00 with only a few other response

Day Two - Started out blue bird skies again. We changed location, the bird were very active, but we chose the wrong angle and the bird move just out of Shot gun range.  We moved to several other location with the last being very productive.  The wind had come up make locating bird difficult.  We play with one bird for ten minutes, before we determine his location. Once we had him dial in we moved and called toward him. He was also coming toward us. but we had a half mile between us. at 400 yard, we made our stand.  he continued to come. finally he drift in between a couple of spruce tree into view. he puffed up and strutted.  at sixty yard he decide he had enough and drifted away, never to call again.

What a Spring, Thank You every one that hunted with me. I hope to see all of you again next year.  

Home Up Sucess 2010 Success 2009 Success 2008 Success 2007 06turkey 06elk 06WYDEER 06Nebraska 05buff 05turkey 05wydeer 05elk Success 2004 Success 2003 Success 2002

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