My competent and motivated guide then continued to lead me down an old two track that led from behind the abandon farmstead, to the back half of the 13,000 acre private ranch we would be hunting this trip. Mike then stopped, turned to his right and pointed to a small cedar tree that was flush against an old fencepost and whispered “We are here!” Just like clockwork.
I got settled into position as Mike set up his flock of 3 Dave Smith hen decoys and one big Pretty Boy Tom. Mike had spent the last 3 mornings on an adjacent ridgeline watching exactly where this flock of turkeys went every morning after descending from the roost. It was 10 minutes till show time!
The big question was… Will they follow the same path as the previous three mornings, we would soon find out.
Now I was starting to get the butterflies, as every two minutes one gobble from the roost tree turned into 3 or 4 within seconds. The morning slowly got lighter and lighter until I could clearly see the roost tree the birds had been sitting in, and it was empty.
I heard Mike, who was set up to my right about 10 yards away, give a couple yelps from his favorite old slate call. I turned to my left and what should appear- A BIG RED HEAD coming right down the path just like he was supposed to. Followed by another big red head and a smaller grey head.
The three birds sped up the pace when the caught sight of the artificial flock of turkeys we had set up. When they got within 50 yards the younger Jake ran right up to the pretty boy and puffed up like a beach ball. The big Tom that was following was a little more cautious. His hen stayed close by. All three birds were now within 20 yards, directly in front of us. I was just getting ready to click the safety off and pull the trigger when the hen glanced over in my direction and gave me a good once over. She slowly turned and started walking back the way she came and the big Tom started to follow suit.
Just then I heard Mike give a couple more clucks and all three birds turned to look. I knew this was my moment. It was now or never. I wanted to take the big Tom, but he was just a little too far to my left and with the cedar tree in between us I didn’t want to risk a poor shot. I turned back to the Jake he was puffed up directly in front of me at 15 yards proud as can be. He made it too easy- Pow!
Just like that, not more than 20 minutes into the hunt we had a bird down!!! It doesn’t matter how many of these prehistoric looking critters I shoot, my heart is always racing a hundred miles an hour after the kill. Mike had done his part and put the birds right in front of me. In fact he was just as excited as I was, the true tell tale of a quality guide.
Now some hunters may be upset to have their 3 day hunt ended in the first 20 minutes, that is IF the hunt was over. Being we were hunting in the heart of the great state of Nebraska where multiple turkey tags are available over the counter, I was only half way done. Now I was going to make Mike earn his money as I wanted my second bird with my bow.
We made our way down the hill and back to the truck. We were both just enjoying the gorgeous rolling hills scenery with turkeys gobbling in the distance in pretty much all directions. As excited as I was to have a bird in hand, Mike shared with me that he had two more roosts set up for our next hunt about a ½ mile away.
Around 10:30 later that morning, we had Mike’s Primos ground blind set up right where he had been watching the other flock of birds fly down to the last 3 mornings as well. It was evident Mike had really done his homework on this hunt.
Being that it was mid May, the temps were heating up quickly and although we gave it a good couple hours in the blind with no response, it was clear the birds, like us, were heading for the shade of a place out of the sun at this point in the day.
By 1pm Mike and I were on our way back to the lodge located right along the North Platte River, in the great town of Lexington, Nebraska. Mike grew up in the area and has been chasing turkeys around these hills for over 20 years. He has many land owner connections to make sure he always has a great place full of turkeys for his hunters. After a quick lunch it was nap time for this guy.
Around 5pm as I was sitting outside the cabin where Mike had the 3D Gobbler archery target set up (which was a great way to make sure I was “dead on” upon arrival. I heard a couple Gobbles from across the river. I asked Mike if we could hunt that area. He replied “Heck ya”.
He told me to grab a pair of hip boats off the shelf inside the cabin and head over there while he got a spread of mouth watering pork chops ready for the grill.
I spent the next 90 minutes playing cat and mouse with a big Merriam Gobbler with no success. After I returned Mike shared that the bird was probably still henned up and was just a little too far off the property line to commit.
No matter, we enjoyed an incredible home-cooked BBQ and a tall Coors Light and reminisced on the day’s events. This was turning out to be one of those hunts you just don’t forget.
The next morning’s alarm went off way too early. As excited as I was about the upcoming hunt, it took just a couple minutes longer to roll out of the sack this morning. No matter, after a quick breakfast of OJ and eggs / toast we were out the door, right on time again.
As we made our way across the pasture to the pre-set ground blind we could see the 2 roost trees full of turkeys again.
We patiently waited for the birds to fly down. This morning it seemed to take a lot longer for the birds to hit the ground, probably since our view was only a 20 yard by 50 yard plot of pasture directly in front of us staring at Mike’s two hens.
All morning long we heard turkeys behind us sounding off. Once Mike even crawled out to see what they were up to. “Just out in the pasture behind us picking at cow patties and strutting around” Mike informed.
This game sure got a lot tougher when I put down the gun and picked up the bow, I thought to myself.
Finally around 10am the turkeys all got quiet and we decided it was time to make a move. We slowly made our way along a treeline along the canyon we were set up on. It didn’t take more than 10 minutes of walking before we had a group of 4 hens and a Jake in view. We slowly crept back into the trees and made a quick move around the back side of the treeline to out flank the birds. Mike made another quick set and within about 10 minutes Mike had the Jake in view.
Since he didn’t give us the best shot and I was now looking for a mature Tom, we let him go. A couple hours later we were still cat and mousing the birds in the area as the temps started to heat up again. By high noon it was clear the birds were all in the trees at this point trying to keep cool and the hunt was quickly coming to an end.
Another nice perk of the hunt, expert turkey guide Mike Meyer is more than happy to skin the tail in preparation for a nice fan mount, for a nominal fee
Back at the cabin that afternoon I couldn’t thank Mike enough for the action packed and well put together Nebraska Turkey Hunting Adventure I had just experienced. Now normally outfitter Larry Frimann runs his Nebraska turkey hunts as a 3 Day "All Inclusive" Package but being that I only had 2 days set aside for this trip I had to hit the road a day early.
I was quick to call outfitter Larry as soon as I hit the road and talk up his guide Mike for what an outstanding job he had done for me. From the pre-scouted hunt, to the exceptional cooking and just making the overall hunt an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I felt proud to call BG Outfitters the Official Nebraska Turkey Hunting Outfitter of HuntTheNorth.com!