April 22: Dr. Darren Haskell

Darren filled his Missouri turkey tag in the morning then he Mark and Jared headed to Iowa to fill his Iowa tag the same day!

Double Trouble from the Doctor!!

It was once again time for our annual pilgrimage to northern, MO to hunt with uncle Mark during Turkey season. This year, however, we had to leave brother Justin at home – actually, we left him in Charlotte, NC. Ah, the perils of traveling - his flight was cancelled and he had to spend an extra day on the east coast and wouldn’t be able to join us for this much anticipated weekend.

Upon arrival, Mark informed us that he had a ‘plan A’ and a ‘plan B’ for the morning’s hunt. Meaning, he roosted two different turkey’s. The reason he thought ahead and made a backup plan – the weather forecast wasn’t looking too promising for the next morning. And if you know anything about electronics, specifically HD camcorders, you know that they don’t get along with rain…at all!

As we suspected, the rains rolled in about 3 am and didn’t let up. So, ‘plan B’ was enacted. We headed to a box blind overlooking a freshly disked corn field….yep, that’s correct – we where going to employ deer hunting tactics during turkey season! Had too – the only other choice was to sit inside the house and watch it rain. But, much to our surprise and delight – ‘plan B’ started off right. We heard the turkey Mark had roosted the evening before gobble a few times on the limb – which was great news, because it was drizzling and we actually where anticipating a silent morning.

Soon, the drenched lone gobbler appeared on our field – perfect we thought, we where in the game! But as soon as that thought crossed our mind – mr turkey decided to hang up at 75 yards and strut (off and on) for our hen decoy. After about an hour of watching this turkey…well, be a turkey…a live hen entered the field. She walked with in five yards of our elevated box blind and immediately the gobbler fell head over heels in love! Since he gobbled at her and began strutting, Mark decided to call to him..just too see what would happened. We resisted calling before, because we didn’t want to freak him out since we were ten feet in the air! Turned out – he wasn’t spooked at all – he LOVED the sweet sounds coming from that box. After a few M.A.D. yelps – the turkey ended up directly below us…only 3 paces from the box – in Full Strut. Mark gave the signal and Doc Haskell let mister gob have a taste of some copper plated 6’s. He was down for the count!! An unconventional hunt, to say the least - but it was a ton of fun! Neither the camera’s or us where wet and we had a dead turkey on the first morning!

Normally, that’d be the end of the story, however, Darren had a Iowa tag in his pocket. After we checked in his turkey, finished the final footage to complete the hunt, took some pictures and then cleaned him – we were off to Iowa for an evening’s hunt. During the elapsed time, the storms moved east and the sun came out!

This plan too, wasn’t something we normally do, however, we where willing to give it a try. Mark had been seeing and hearing turkeys in the this bottom field all season, yet, he never went after em. We eased down the hill and found a great set up. Mark began blind calling and after about 1 and ½ hours we heard a very faint and distant gobble. That’s right, I said we sat in one location for almost 2 hours with out hearing a thing. Its safe to say, I’ve never done that before while hunting with Mark, King of the Spring, Drury! Apparently, old age, and Lot’s of experience truly does make you a more patient hunter. Even if you are a world champion caller – sometimes it’s best to wait for them instead of running and gunning!

Man was I glad we did - that faint gobble turned into a close gobble and before long – that turkey was in the field and headed our direction. When he got to 30 yards Mark called a few more times to make him gobble…and at the sound of the blast – he gobbled his last!

Turkey #2 was down for the count! Upon further inspection, the turkey had five beards! Yes, FIVE! A great way to end a very fun filled day!

Darren and I want to thank Mark for his hospitality, his calling, and his unquenchable thirst to help guide and fill as many tags as humanly possible in a single turkey season! The hunters that have been fortunate enough to hunt with him over the years – know what we are talking about! And the countless other hunters that have watched and learned from the videos do too…he always has a trick or two up his sleeve…gobbling turkeys everywhere are not safe as long as someone in camp has as an unfilled tag!!