April 14: Jared Lurk & Mark Drury

I don’t know if there’s a spring season that we look forward to anymore than 1st season Iowa. Each year it seems to coincide with the initial break up of the winter flocks. Hens are still a bit grouped up but most of the adult gobs have split and are looking for hens in a big way. Since the early 1990s we have hunted the Hawkeye state in mid April with phenomenal success.

Terry and I delayed our start to the season this year due to heavy rain and a cold north wind! We finally began on the afternoon of the first day. True to first season form we were on a gobbling strutting gobbler within 5 minutes of hitting the timber. The bird worked in and terry worked his magic….. kinda! After a swing and a miss we knew we would have our work cut out for us!

The next day we yelped cut crawled and did everything we could to bring in another bird but nothing seemed to work. We had one of those days where we couldn’t do anything right. Unfortunately Terry had to depart for another engagement the next day and left Iowa with his tag unfilled.

On the third morning I hooked up with Jared who had been watching some birds working a very regular strut zone. In fact he had put a couple to bed in the exact spot we wanted. Wednesday morning dawned clear and found us nestled into a ground blind high atop a ridge right on the edge of that magical strut zone. Within minutes of the first gobbling we had birds on the ground rumbling toward us before either of us had put a call in our mouth. Seconds later two strutting birds appeared on the edge of the food plot and immediately began to sprint toward our king strut and shady lady decoys. At 20 yards Jared made a perfect shot and we realized we were having one of those days where we couldn’t do anything wrong!

Affirmation of that came in the form of another gobbling bird who answered the first series of calls after Jared had shot. 30 minutes later I was standing next to the decoys admiring a beautiful Iowa gobbler, the second of which that had approached and attacked the King Strut. Once again the Iowa first season had not disappointed!