Back from Kansas & Nebraska, quite a series of highs & lows, all packed into 1 week.
Kansas- Hunted private land, Day 1 started off slow at the roost, and went downhill, had to quit early due to tornadoes in the area. The next 2 days were cold, overcast, and 30 MPH winds; while I spied numerous hens both days, I was never able to hear a gobble, and the only toms I spotted were with 15+ hens in a field on another property.
The farmer was generous enough to let me hunt a 4th day (no charge), and the wind finally died down. I hit the mother lode that morning, found a roost with at least 8 gobblers, and was able to hear numerous other toms in the distance. After fly-down, had 3 jakes come out into the field I was set up in, let them drift on & started to move on the toms I thought I had heard. Jakes came back in, had me pinned in an open field, so I set up behind a blowdown and took the bird in the lead. His buddy came back to give him a thrashing (seen this on TV but never experienced it before), so I let him have it as well. Not quite qhat I was expecting or hoping for, but a hunt I will never forget.
Hunted the next 2 days in Nebraska. Day 1 was a bust, lots of jakes & hens, but no mature gobblers. Next morning heard some gobbles in the distance, snuck over to where I thought they were, and found them about 400 yards in the distance. Worked the creek bottom until I got close, and called in a group of toms. 1 came in puffed, strutting, & gobbling, saw a red head & beard & shot. Once I got closer, realized it was a jake. Oh well.
That afternoon I spied a group in a field. Waited until they came my way, set up on the field edge, and when they crossed the fenceline, pulled the trigger on this mature Merriams. Pretty bird, 22#, 1 1/4" spurs, 9" beard.