Roosted = Roasted | 2018 Muddy Turkey Camp
2018 Muddy Turkey Camp Hunt
By: Chris Dunkin
Our annual Team Muddy Turkey Camp took place in Southern Iowa over the past week and it was nothing short of a great time! Not only were we fortunate to wrap our tags around 24 big longbeards during the first 4 days of Iowa’s season, but we were able to spend time with our good friends who are now like family!
The first hunt that we are airing is actually the last hunt from our camp. Muddy team member Spencer Watts hunted hard for the first 3 days of the season but came up short. On the Wednesday evening before the last day, Cody Bonner and I hit the gravel roads in search of birds we could set up on the next morning with Spencer. I can’t stress enough how valuable roosting birds the previous evening can be for a turkey hunter. Knowing where they are roosted and where they want to be is really the majority of the battle when it comes to filling tags.
During the course of the last hour of light, we found three different groups of birds that we had the opportunity to hunt the next morning. I gave Spencer a call and let him know that we had found some birds to hunt if he was willing to make the 2.5-hour drive back to Southern Iowa. It didn’t take much convincing and Spencer was on his way. After Spencer arrived at my house we analyzed our options from our scouting trip and decided to head to a farm that we had just gained permission on a few days before. This particular farm seemed like a good option as we knew where the birds had roosted, and we knew that they liked to head to this particular hay field first thing in the morning.
Our alarms went off at 4 am and a short while later we were southbound. Temps were cold, but there was no wind. After arriving at the farm we set up our Muddy VS360 ground blind and swivel-ease ground chairs in the middle of the hay field and waited for the sun to come up. A short time later the birds were hammering and we knew we were in store for an exciting hunt.
We gave a few soft yelps and putts while the birds were still in the tree. Shortly after fly down a big tom entered the field and was heading our direction. When we hunt turkeys out of our Muddy ground blinds we like to put our decoys close to the blind for a few reasons. First off, if a tom hangs up there is a better chance that he’ll still be within range. The other big reason is that we really like the rush of having a fired up tom in our laps, and with the ultra-dark interior that the ground blinds provide, we know that we can get away with it.
The big tom rushed to the setup and it wasn’t long before he was attacking our jake decoy. I cut hard on the call to try to get him to gobble but he had fighting on his mind. Hearing gobbles at 6 steps is a rush. Spencer had finally seen enough and let his 12-gauge bark.
The final day of the 1st season, and Spencer was tagged out on the 24th bird of our Muddy turkey camp.
We can’t thank all of the landowners enough who allow us to hunt. We know we couldn’t do this without them! Over the course of the next several weeks, I want to encourage you to follow along on all of our Muddy outlets as we bring you short videos from our recent turkey hunts!
Keys To Our Hunt
- Roosting the birds the evening before: If the birds aren’t there, you can’t kill them.
- Setting up our MuddyVS360 ground blind in a location that we knew the birds wanted to be from prior scouting. Once we knew they roosted on the farm, we knew exactly where to place our ground blind for the morning hunt.
- Persistence- Spencer hunted hard and finally on the 4th day found success.
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