Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

We made it here before the guide. This is really pretty country.







Well we made it by lunch time to Amarillo. The “Big Texan is exactly that BIG! I don’t believe we’ll witness anyone attempting to knock off the old 72 but thus place is well worth the stop. Plus this is the biggest damn chicken fried chicken I’ve ever seen!









With not much going  on in terms of hunting I give you tannerite exploding targets. These are half pound containers that only explode when impacted with a high velocity round. Note: these are not incendiary and are 100% stable and legal.

After we tried it at 100yrds we moved in 25 yrds for better accuracy

The watermelon was supposed to be the grand finale; but it didn’t survive the first round that missed the charge inside

Film Staring

Sig Sauer 556 sporting an Eo Tech 522

and half lbs. Tannerite containers

During this Spring Turkey season, we experienced several ups and downs, some in our control and some not. The biggest problem this season was out of everyone’s control.  The wildfires to the south and west of our location proved to be the biggest problem and challenge.  The Oasis fire (Kimble County) was the closest to us and as of two weeks ago it had grown to 6,800 acres and was only 10% contained. When my son and I pulled into Junction at the middle of April there was so much smoke that you could barely make out cars on the other side of the parking lot. Two weeks after that I returned to the lease to find that the smoke was worse than  before.  Every time we stepped out it smelled like the fires were getting closer and on Friday April 29th the smoke in the main road was beginning to make me think I was going to be making an emergency evacuation of all of our gear.

Thankfully the wind changed direction that afternoon and blew the smoke out of our area and the reports from the forest service said the fires were still a way off and not really a threat at the moment.  Today the Oasis fire, while growing to almost 10,000 acres, is now 100% contained and rain is forecasted for that area in the next couple of days. Hopefully the fire danger is becoming less of a threat, fingers crossed!!!!

Although the last trip out wasn’t the most successful, our trail cam was still going strong. Here’s a few of the highlights, hope you enjoy!

Decent looking Tom

Where are all the birds?

Still no birds.........

Hey baby.......

Heading back this weekend (last weekend of the season) hopefully with better results. Review on the HS Strut calls coming next week. I wanted to bring a bird in with one of the calls before I started, so far no luck.

This past weekend seemed like it would never get off the ground because last Wednesday my father was hospitalized. They kept him for a couple of days to make sure he was ok,  but the doctor released him in the nic of time for my buddy Mark and I to hit the road Friday afternoon. I was a little apprehensive on how the hunting was going to be due to the fact the high temps were going to be in the upper nineties, never the less we suited up and headed out.

As usual, the next morning Mark and I woke up late; I rushed to throw on my camo.  As we stepped out of the trailer there was a noticeable temperature drop, thankfully I brought a sweatshirt with me. We arrived about 25 minutes before sunrise. Immediately I noticed  that I forgot my leafy top, the hoodie was staying in the truck. “Great, I’m going to freeze my ass off” I thought to myself. Mark on the other hand, was prepared and much warmer.

We pushed ourselves up against a big cedar bush about 25 yards from the feeder. As the sun peeked over the horizon we started to hear faint gobbles in the distance.  About 30 minutes later my back was telling me to shift my position, as I started to move I heard a chirp 10 feet behind us. Suddenly, I froze, and looking from the corner of my eye I managed to catch a glimpse of a jake standing five feet to Mark’s right.  After the first bird, a second jake came into view, this one passing even closer to us. Both jakes circled my pin as if they were trying to find a way to get in without having to fly over, but eventually with one flap of their wings into the pin they went.

We watched for a bit, before several hens and a couple of jakes came sprinting to the feeder. They were running so fast we could have been in blaze orange and they wouldn’t have noticed us.  More time passed watching the turkeys eat, it seemed like a tom wasn’t coming, I quietly asked Mark “hey, you want to drop of the two jakes so at least we have some meat”? He nodded a yes, but suddenly we heard a gobble no more than 100 yards from us behind in a cedar thicket. Instantly, Mark gave a couple of hen calls to see if the gobbler would close the distance. We gave him another hour, but with so many hens in the area we guessed they went to him, so he wasn’t coming to us.

After I woke from a much-needed nap I noticed from the D-65’s photos, two young toms that seemed to frequent my feeder every day about 5:00 pm;  two hours before the timer was set to throw, so we headed back around four O’clock. We found a better location to set up; that wouldn’t silhouette us in the afternoon sun, and most importantly it was shaded. Temperatures topped out at 98 degrees that afternoon, and once again my back started screaming at me.  Suddenly we heard a chirp,  it was a tom, and he was coming right at us. As he  came into view he became nervous, quickly he turned around and ran into the brush. No more than 10 min later a group of hens came down the same game trail that the tom materialized from earlier, and at the same exact spot that the tom had second thoughts so did the hen, they spun around and took off. I started to look around to figure out what was spooking them. Best I could tell, the chairs we brought in an attempt to be more comfortable while camouflage the legs were probably giving off a glint of sun light that they could see at that spot in the trail. I broke off a tree branch trying to cover any reflection.  After I got myself situated and my chair legs covered, a group of four jakes appeared in the same spot as the turkeys before. Not wanting to miss another opportunity at some meat we raised our guns and  Mark said “GO”! In a cloud of dust and feathers I saw two jakes flopping on the ground, but I didn’t hear Mark shoot.  Thinking I just shot a double I looked at him and asked “ did you shoot”? “The one on the left is mine” he said. It turned out that we squeezed the trigger at the same time and I couldn’t hear his shot.

Sunday morning was going to be our last hunt, it was a bit windy, but not as cold as it was Saturday morning. We spent the night before cutting branches and stacking them up for better concealment. We nestled into our new blind,as the sun came up, but this time there wasn’t any gobbling. At 7:15 am my feeder went off. A moment later a hen ran up the pin; about the same distance as the other turkeys spooked from the afternoon before, and just like they did she quickly headed out of there. Then,  Mark took out his slate call and struck it a few times,  a strong gobble came in reply. I glanced over my left shoulder and I could see in full strut a bright blue head coming our way. Mark gave one more call off the slate and then got his gun ready, another chirp and purr, and Mark stuck that double barrel 16 gauge  through the cedar bush and let one round rip. Gladly we stood up out of our chairs for a quick stretch before having a look at Marks bird. It was a respectable Gobbler, about a seven-inch beard and one inch spurs, not a wall hanger but better than the two jakes from the night before.

I was glad to get Mark on the birds this weekend, it was about him having success more than anything. I have a weekend off from assistant coaching my son’s baseball team in two weeks, and I can’t wait to film Michael shooting his first turkey. Also, I am reviewing some Hunter Specialties turkey calls for Outdoor Blogger Network.  Maybe my next entry will be about Mike’s first turkey I called in.

Stay tune and join our subscribers list…..

PS:  Happy to report Dad is doing well!

5pm toms

Mark's Tom 4/3/11

Mark Baker 4/3/11


The game cam caught us in the background that first morning.

The alarm clock rang at 3:50am Friday, “man that came too fast”, I thought, as I drug my half awake self, to the shower. I wanted us on the road by 4:30am so I could get most of the day at the lease. I knew it was going to take at least three trips into town for materials. We had packed the truck the night before, all we needed to do was to get dressed and get going.

We made decent time arriving at the ranch around 9am, quickly unpacking, and then headed back to Ozona.

After a quick stop at the grocery store we went over to the Davey Crockett statue to snap a quick picture. The story of this statue is funny; it seems that it was originally built for the town of Crockett in East Texas, but for whatever reason it was not accepted. Then was given to the County seat in Crockett County (Ozona, TX) Davey never came within 300 miles of this area.

Many thanks to Russell and all the folks over at Triple C Hardware They had everything I needed, from the fence, feeder, and feed all at a fair price. To top it off I had some of the best customer service ever. The workers in the storage yard were able to get the feeder and fence in my truck, so I only needed to make one return trip to pick up my corn next morning.

Unloading everything was a snap, I just backed the truck up on the spot I wanted the feeder, and drug the materials out of the truck.

The feeder was surprisingly light for all that steel, but I was able to slide the legs on it and just leaned it up right, then the ladder just hooked in. After getting the feeder set up I called it a day. I was exhausted from the drive that morning. I knew next day was going to be a killer.

Saturday morning I picked up 500lbs of corn to fill my feeder. When I arrived back to my spot I was relieved to see my feeder still standing after a windy night,we had over 20mph wind the night before. I immediately realized that carrying ten 50lbs bags up that ladder in this wind was sketchy at best, but I managed to get it done with no mishap or injury. Note: the green streamer hanging from the varmint cage, lots of wind.

Michael found a new favorite spot to supervise the effort.

I had zero knowledge of how to build a feeder pin, so I was very fortunate to meet Clovis, one of my fellow lease members. Him, his wife, and grand-kids were there for spring break. He was kind enough to give me a hand in building my pin. Now I know why you hear building fences is no joke. I thought I was drinking enough water while working, but the dry air climate was sucking the water out of me faster than I could drink it. I was glad when we were done, I was completely tapped out.

I’d say it was a job well done. Thanks to Clovis!!!!!!

After completing the feeder and pin, and near exhaustion we drove to the top of a hill where there is an old caliche drilling pad to relax and soak in the day accomplishments while watching the sunset.  The last thing I needed to get done was hang my game camera. Fixing my blind will have to wait for another weekend.

As Michael and I headed out that night we made one last stop by the spot to set up the camera, and with that we headed back to Austin, knowing we were well on our way to a great 2011 deer and Turkey season.

I got tracks!!!!!!!