This turkey season is our first as a married couple, and it couldn’t have started off any better! Jessica and I headed up to good friend Dustin Bax’s farm in central Missouri to spend the weekend prior to opening day. My brother Andrew, and good friend Tim Seigler also met up with us as they were hunting another farm not far from there. The general consensus among the group was that the bird numbers were good, with lots of strutters hanging out in predictable places. The downside was that the weather was not predictable, with storms and high winds all weekend that would lead in to opening day.

First light found Jessica, Dustin, and I crammed in a ground blind on top of a hill that was getting blasted by 40+ mph wind gusts. The winds were relentless, and just wouldn’t let up. We weren’t discouraged however, because we had been scouting the field all weekend and knew that the birds used it constantly throughout the day. We could sometimes hear faint gobbles behind us, but they were hard to trace in the wind.

All of a sudden a group of birds ripped loose right behind the blind, and 4 longbeards and a jake popped out. The boss bird stayed in strut the whole time with the other gobblers in tow. As he maneuvered closer to the Flambeau Jester Decoy, a gust of wind nearly blew the blind over on its side. The big gobbler was still focused on the Jester, but knew something wasn’t right. We were doing our best to film the hunt and hold the blind down at the same time, while Jess was trying to aim. He flared the dekes a little bit but still stayed in strut. Once the other birds were clear, Jess smoked him in his tracks!

This was Jessica’s first turkey – 26 pounds, 1 inch spurs, 9 ½ inch beard. Not bad for a first bird!

Good luck and stay safe!