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Name: Joel Nelson
IDA Staff Since: 12/04/06 12:00 AM
Sponsor(s): Quaker Boy Game Calls
Website/Email: joel.nelson@in-depthoutdoors.com

Location : Nebraska
Species : Turkey
Nebraska Gobblers - Part 2 by Joel Nelson

One down, one to go, but my buddy Jake and I both had a feeling that this one wouldn’t come so easy. Earlier that morning, Jake had setup near some gobbling birds that ended up being further away than we thought when roosting the night before. Then, when a gobbler did take interest to his calling and setup, 3 pretty maids all in a row made a bee-line for his tom, thus ending whatever chance he had to lure him into gun range. Jake sprung into action, trying to get to where the 3 birds that were sounding off earlier were located, but to no avail. What he did gain, was some valuable knowledge to call upon regarding the landscape and its attributes. He was at the end of a plowed food plot, at the intersection of a beautiful T-bone of former crops and freshly burned old cedar plantings. Better yet, the lanes between the cedars were greening up, fast and furious. These were obvious travel corridors for the birds, and seemed to hold their interest and attention earlier when Jake was doing the calling.

Stick Bridges Through the Swamp
After cleaning my bird, we headed back out to where he last heard from the three gobblers of the cedar plots. But no one was home. Or so we thought. Just when the woods seem dead, and your last scans of the area revealed nothing, sometimes all you need to do is start moving and you’re sure to run into a turkey. As it happened, both turkeys and hunters were walking in the same direction, a sure recipe for boogering birds. Booger we did, but thankfully, they were both hens, or potentially a hen and a jake. Not our birds. We trudged on, past the cedar thickets to some more broken country. Rolling hills with deep ravines, cedar groves, and dense thickets. The way-back of the back 40 so to speak. Prospecting for gobblers every 150 yards or so, eventually, we struck a runner. A go-away gobbler. The kind that gobbles with fury, but only over his shoulder as he’s tracking in completely the opposite direction. This bird was goofy. I was starting to like him already.

Beautiful Merriams Hybrid Coloration
We setup against a cedar tree in the open grass upland, certain that he was coming to our calls. The gobbles got louder, then softer, as he tracked from right to left of our direction as if he was stuck on train rails, destined for some other faraway locale. So we gave chase. Repositioning twice towards him, at the top of a large wooded and thick ravine, we called down into the woods. No response. Hmmm. What now. Continue down the ravine, but not straight at him such that we’d spook him. We’d approach from a different angle. Another set of calls, another bit of silence. Wonder where he went to? Gobbled several times only 20 minutes or so? So we continue to head to the bottom of the draw, only to scarcely make out an older gentleman fishing in a pond at the bottom of the valley. We didn’t want to disturb him, and he served as somewhat of an unknowing “blocker” for us anyway, so we took a turn into the densest part of the valley, heading right towards where we heard the last few gobbles.

Crossing a creek at the base of the valley, we couldn’t help but see that this was not your traditional turkey country. Blow-downs, messy springs coming out of hillsides and forming swamps in different places…..the kind of place you’d think a turkey wouldn’t want to be in. But “in” he was, and now, he was gobbling at our calls. Our setup was good, at least I thought, but that tom came to 80 yards, looked off a ledge he was on, turned on a dime and gave us 9 cents back in change. “We'll stay on him?,” I said, more of a comment than a question. We went to where he last gobbled at the edge of that embankment, only to have him gobble our socks off at 30 yards. Frozen in place, we were handcuffed. On the top of an old river bank point, in thick cover, being able to see no more than 15 yards to the edge of this point, and being able to see nothing below us. Which was a good thing, the gobbler was below us. Hearing that “hen” up on the bank who has been chasing him for much of the afternoon was about all he could take. He gobbled again. Close. Now we were the hunted, and literally caught standing. Sitting down would take what little view we had away, and moving an inch would obviously cost us should he be anywhere within sight through the brush. Jake held his gun steady, and aimed at the point. Perfect. That’s where it would need to be if that bird came straight up the bank, and he’d have little to no time to shoot. I watched left while he held the gun up for 2 painstaking minutes. Of course, the bird was left. Jake smoothly maneuvered the gun back behind the tree, then forward and up again to put a bead on the bird. Range was hard to determine from up on the bank. The bird was below, in brush, but stood no match for the swarm of #6 Hevi-shot pellets that jumped out of the end of his gun barrel. There it was. The 2nd and final bird in our Nebraska lightning-hunt. It was fast, but it was fun, and we’re a bit more confident rolling into our MN and WI seasons for it. Spring in the turkey woods, does it get any better?


Joel Nelson
IDO Hunting Pro-Staff

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Reged: 03/26/02
Posts: 1520
Post Bucks: $14.44
Loc: Minocqua, Wisconsin
Re: Nebraska Gobblers - Part 2 new [Re: Joel Nelson]
#705489 - 04/20/12 03:18 PM


Great story, especially loved the "9 cents in change". Congrats to the both of your for your doggedness and to Jake for his Merriam as well!!!


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IDO Hunting Reporter

Reged: 05/13/07
Posts: 2337
Post Bucks: $18.34
Loc: P4
Re: Nebraska Gobblers - Part 2 new [Re: mbenson]
#705501 - 04/21/12 12:28 PM

Way to go! What a beautiful bird!

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Reged: 09/21/09
Posts: 830
Post Bucks: $14.58
Loc: Mantorville, Mn
Re: Nebraska Gobblers - Part 2 new [Re: John_Steinhauer]
#705703 - 04/28/12 10:33 AM


Way to go! What a beautiful bird!

x2 awesome

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Brad Juaire

Reged: 03/18/05
Posts: 5747
Post Bucks: $100.70
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
Re: Nebraska Gobblers - Part 2 new [Re: Johnsy]
#705742 - 04/30/12 11:56 AM

Congratulations Jake! Great report Joel! You guys worked hard for that bird!


Brad "Grifter" Juaire
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Jason Ramthun
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Reged: 09/20/03
Posts: 4851
Post Bucks: $85.08
Loc: Byron MN
Re: Nebraska Gobblers - Part 2 new [Re: Brad Juaire]
#705747 - 04/30/12 12:26 PM


Jason "GMAN" Ramthun

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