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In the Turkey Woods 2012: Missouri’s Weather Weirdness

Missouri turkey

Steve Stoltz shows off a gobbler from his Missouri hunt with the author.

After driving through some pretty heavy rain in Iowa, the Missouri border looked golden and sunny.

Until the next morning, at least, when world-champion caller Steve Stoltz and I gladly huddled in a blind that protected us from a howling wind and misting rain. Surprisingly, the bad weather didn’t deter the turkeys from gobbling. However, that didn’t visit our little corner of the field, so we ended the first day without a bird.

The second day of our hunt dawned crisp and clear, and turkeys gobbled like nuts from every corner of the property. We managed to make a move on a longbeard and had him working into range … until a car on the county highway slowed down, turned around and apparently boogered the bird. Subsequent attempts at striking other turkeys fell flat.

Day 3 seemed like the first day: Cool, breezy and rainy. We’d roosted birds the night before and were within 40 yards of their tree before flydown. But of course, the turkeys sailed just out of range and walked off like they didn’t hear our calling or see the decoys. We later came close on a hot-gobbling bird across the road, but he slipped away.

Down to the last few minutes of our hunt, Stoltz and I miraculously saw a breeding flock strutting in a larger pasture. With nothing to lose, we slipped through a small woodlot, used terrain to cover our approach and got within gun range of the birds. Seconds later, two gobblers were flopping in the sodden Missouri field.

Classic? Heck no. Effective? You bet. And those birds felt pretty darn good over our shoulders as we slogged back to Stoltz’s truck.

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